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Type 95 Light Tank

Discussion in 'Japanese Motorised Weapons' started by Jim, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
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    via War44
    The Type 95 light tank was developed to meet the requirements of the Japanese army in the early 1930s, the first two prototypes being completed in 1934 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. These were tested in China and Japan and the type was then standardized as the Type 95 light tank, the company calling the vehicle the HA-GO while the army called the vehicle the KE-GO.

    The Type 95 light tank had a 37-mm main gun and a hull-mounted 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun together with another 7.7-mm gun at the rear of the turret.


    Over 1,100 Type 95s were built before production was completed in 1943, although some sources have stated that production continued until 1945. The hull and turret of the Type 95 were of riveted construction and varied in thickness from 0.25 in (6 mm) to a maximum of 0.55 in (14 mm). The driver was seated at the front on the right with the bow machine-gunner to his left. The latter operated the Type 91 6.5-mm (0.255-in) weapon (with a traverse of 35° left and right), which was later replaced by the Type 97 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-gun. The turret was in the centre of the hull, offset slightly to the left and fitted with a Type 94 37-mm tank gun firing armour piercing and HE ammunition. This gun was later replaced by the Type 98 gun of a similar calibre but with a higher muzzle velocity. There was no coaxial machine-gun, but another machinegun was mounted in the turret rear on the right side, Totals of 2,970 rounds of ammunition were carried for the two machine-guns and of 119 rounds for the main armament. A major drawback of this tank, like many French tanks of the period, was the fact that the tank commander also had to aim, load and fire the main armament in addition to carrying out his primary role of commanding the tank.

    Type 95 tanks cross paddy fields while on exercise. The Type 95 sufficed in its anti-infantry role, as the Japanese army did not come up against any armour of consequence until meeting the Marines in 1943.


    The Mitsubishi six-cylinder air-cooled diesel was mounted in the hull rear and coupled to a manual transmission with one reverse and four forward gears. Steering was of the clutch and brake type, and suspension of the bell crank type consisting of each side of four rubber-tyred road wheels, with the drive sprocket at the front and idler at the rear; there were two track return rollers. In those days no air-conditioning systems were available to keep the interior of the tank cooled so the walls of the crew compartment were lined with asbestos padding which in addition gave some protection to the crew from injury when travelling across country.
    In 1943 a few Type 95 light tanks were modified to carry the 57-mm gun as fitted to the Type 97 medium tank under the name KE-RI, but the variant was not very successful as the turret was too cramped. The KE-NU was the Type 95 with the complete turret of the Type 97 CHI-HA medium tank. The Type 95 was succeeded in production by the Type 98 KE-NI light tank, but only about 100 of these were built before production was completed in 1943 as the type was not considered a very satisfactory design. The Type 2 KA-MI amphibious tank used automotive components of the Type 95 light tank, and this was widely used in the early Pacific campaigns of World War II. Japan also used tankettes on a large scale including the Types 92, 94 and 97, the last being the most common. When used in China and during the early World War II campaigns against the Americans, the Type 95 proved a useful vehicle, but once confronted by American tanks and anti-tank guns it was outclassed.

    A Type 95 at speed, probably in Manchuria. Japan’s conquests were aided considerably by the fact that none other opponen ts possessed any significant amount of armour, nor any an ti-tank capability.


    Specification: [​IMG]
    Type 95
    Crew: 4
    Weight: 7400 kg (16,314 lb)

    Length: 4.38 m (14 ft 4 in)
    Width: 2.057 m (6 ft 9 in)
    Height: 2.184 m (7 ft 2 in)
    Engine: one Mitsubishi NVD 6120 six-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine developing 120 hp (89 kW)
    Performance: maximum road speed 45 km/h (28 mph); maximum range
    250 km (156 miles);
  2. tom!

    tom! recruit

    Sep 14, 2004
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