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"Type 1 Chi-He" Topic

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469 hits since 15 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 3:19 p.m. PST





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Legion 415 May 2018 3:28 p.m. PST

Still looks like something Orks would use ! evil grin

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 4:08 p.m. PST

An interesting example that illustrates just how quickly the state-of-the-art moved during WW2.

Design specs were initiated in 1940 (as I understand it -- although the picture on this issue is somewhat confused).

47mm gun with very respectable AT performance. Certainly better than the 50mm being put into Pz IIIH in 1940. Better than the 47mm being put int S-35 in 1940. Better than the 45mm being put into BT-7 in 1940. Better than the 47mm being put into the M13/40 in 1940. Not quite the equal of the 2prd being put into A13 MkII in 1940.

As much as 50mm of armor. Better than M13/40, BT-7 or A-13 MkII. About equal to the Pz IIIH or the S-35.

Good turn of speed. Better than Pz IIIH, M13/40, or S-35. Not quite the equal of the A-13, definitely less than BT-7.

3 man turret and radio. Better than the M13/40, S-35, or BT-7. Equal to the Pz IIIH and A-13.

But … it didn't enter service until 1943. What looked like an entirely competitive spec in 1940 was absolutely hopelessly behind the curve in 1943.

(aka: Mk 1)

Garand16 May 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

The Japanese had the Shinhoto CHi-Ha type 97 in service in time for the Phillipines campaign in '41. The Type 1 was just an update/modernization of that basic hull type. So yes the Japanese could be competitive in tank design (somewhat…there were still a lot of archaic features such as the lack of a coaxial machine gun). The problem is that most of the budget went to the Navy & then Air services, respectively, so the Army got whatever was left. They were left with the choice of either deploying lots of light tanks, or a smaller number of medium tanks. Since their principle enemy up until the US was China, which had a very poor tank fleet, a tank was better than no tank. So the Japanese quickly fell behind the curve of tank development. If the Type 1 entered service in '40 or '41 & could be produced in large numbers, I doubt things would be that different though, unless the Japanese could capitalize on the development & get a 75mm armed tank into service by '43.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 10:55 a.m. PST



Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

Agree that the Shinhoto ("New turret") Chi-Ha was indeed available in time for the Philippines campaign, but to my understanding only in the very last stages (Bataan and maybe even just Corregidor), so may be better stated as the Philippines campaign in 1942 rather than 1941.

Still it is an interesting and noteworthy tank.

I think most American (and Brit? Don't know…) views of Japanese tanks are formed based on the light tankettes seen on a few of the islands in the central Pacific, or on the Type 97 (or even Type 89) mediums seen in the early advances in Malay/Singapore or the Philippines, and then in the 1944/45 Burma or Philippines campaigns.

It seems that 1941 and 1944 were when and where the western allies fought tanks that the Japanese used.

I think the Japanese were just a half-cycle out of sync. They're best points in time for their tanks, from state-of-tech perspective, were in 1934-38 and 1942.

The Type 89 was a reasonably respectable tank from 1934-38. The Chi-Ha was a bit better, though with the same modest velocity 57mm gun. Not at all outclassed compared to French short and medium 37mm guns or even 47mm guns, and not too far out of place compared to Russian short 76.2mm guns. In 1938 they were able to handle the levels of armor on T-26s or BT-5s, but found themselves out-ranged by Soviet 45mm guns in tank-v-tank action. But mostly mostly they suffered from the shear number of Soviet tanks deployed against them.

The Chi-Ha and in particular the Shinhoto Chi-Ha were respectable compared to many European designs. Not great, but respectable. Compared to an A9, A10 or A13, to an H39, to an M13/40, or a Pz 35t / R2, or even the later Turan I or Turan II, they don't look too bad. And they were built in respectable numbers too. More than 2,000 total Type 97 Chi-Has, of which almost 1,000 were the Shinhoto version.

The problem for the Japanese reputation was that the Shinhoto Chi-Ha didn't see much tank combat until 1944/45, at which point it was hopelessly out-classed.

(aka: Mk 1)

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

A rather interesting article on the topic some might find worthwhile:

This article also interesting and does mention gaming aspects:

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2018 2:34 a.m. PST

The Japanese did everything mostly right for a while after Pearl Harbor.

Granted, they had made a big mistake in trying to dominate China which proved to be a huge drain on resources rather than the expected bounty.

But they got a lot right, good planes, strong navy, carriers, submarines, decent enough tanks and suitable field equipment.

They put smart, capable people in charge and they did very well, even though many of the areas they attacked were not priorities as they had more pressing matters regarding a little disagreement with Germany.

And then they start to second-guess themselves or outright grab hold of the idiot ball and don't let go. I've often described Japan in WWII as a potential comedy if the results weren't so bloodcurdlingly tragic.

When it comes to tanks Japan never had a major need for them. Just like the US, their tanks would have to be shipped overseas and with a fraction of the transport capacity the US would develop during the war, tanks would never be a huge factor, by the time they did need them it was too late to even try to catch up as they were facing tanks that were designed to fight the best the Germans could crank out.

Legion 417 May 2018 7:21 a.m. PST

Most of the IJFs weapons on the ground were not very technically advanced but in the beginning it worked for them. Especially in the early war years, against the Chinese and their peasants armies, etc.

The IJFs AFVs were probably the least "advanced" and evolved only slightly at best as the war progressed. As Mark mentioned. But again, any forces without effective AT weapons the IJFs AFVs were/could be "quite formidable". E.g. the German Pz. Is & IIs in the early battles in Western Europe.

But again, based on terrain the situations the IJFs fought in, their AFVs generally worked for them. As Patrick pointed out they just didn't really need that many or that advanced technologically …
However, the M4 Sherman was called the "Panther of the Pacific" for a reason.

But again there was very little Tank on Tank actions in either the PTO or CBI. Almost all if any Allied AFVs were not destroyed by Japanese tanks.

Probably the most Tank on Tank actions the IJFs saw was before the War at Khalkhin Gol, 1939. Against the USSR … and generally they didn't always fare well there either …
Bottom line in was is Soviet victory. And Armor played a part in that defeat of Japan's forces …

Fred Cartwright17 May 2018 7:29 a.m. PST

Nice looking tank though.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2018 10:52 a.m. PST

Glad you like it my friend!.


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