All photos were taken by myself in year 2016 during my visit to Beijing. Tanks are from the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution and the Tank Museum(currently closed). Enjoy.
No.1: Type 94 Light armored car (Tankette) in the Tank Museum
This is the early version of the Type 94 Tankette. It was found in a river in 1970s. It is the best preserved Type 94 Tankette in the world.
No.2: Type 97 Medium Tank in the Tank Museum
This is a late version Type 97 medium tank. It carries the old small 57mm gun turret but has the revised engine ventilation port. This tank was donated by the Soviet 7th mechanized division before they withdrew from China in 1955.
No.3: Type 97 Medium Tank Kai in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution
This Type 97 Medium Tank Kai's combat serial number is 102. It belonged to the former China North-East tank regiment. It took part in the attack of Jinzhou against KMT army on 1948-9-14, and did great contribution for knocking out their bunkers and MG nests by shooting and ramming. Thus after the battle this tank was awarded with an honored name:"The Hero(功臣号)“ About the tank itself, it was assembled by the Chinese army themselves by using destroyed or damaged Chi-Ha parts after the surrender of Japan. This particular tank was built up with a normal Type 97's chassis(57mm gun version) early model, and a Type 97 Kai's Shinhoto(New turret for the 47mm gun). However there are other saying claim that this tank was modified by the Japanese. It was the first tank that roared over the Tiananmen Square during the Founding Ceremony of China on 1949-10-1.
The same tank on 1949-10-1. China's tank army origins from old IJA tanks.
No.4: Type 97 Medium Tank in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution
Sorry, only one photo was taken. This Type 97 Medium Tank has a chassis from Type 97 Medium Tank Kai and a turret from a normal Type 97 Medium Tank. It was merged together by the Chinese army.
No.5: Type 95 Armored Track(Train track) Vehicle in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution
Only two samples survived. One is in China here and one is in Kubinka, Russia (Maybe now it is transfered to the Patriot Park? I don't know).
Hope you enjoy the photos I took! No repost to other places without my permission.
This is an article simply to show you guys here how Waffentrager is a faker. The original article ( https://www.weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404213101531682050) was written in Chinese and Japanese. For better understanding I will translate and edit the article and post it here.
And I must tell you why I want to reveal this shit: Long time ago I found many sayings from Waffentrager’s blog which I had never heard of, so I turned to my Japanese friend and IJA tank researcher Mr.Taki and asked him to confirm a few of them. In the end it turned out that none of Waffentrager’s article is true. I once argued with him and he not only failed to give out his reference but also deleted my replies! I’m very angry!
Now let’s get started.
At the very beginning I recommend all of you who opened this post to take a look at Waffentrager’s original article, that will help you understand what I’m debating.
Here is the link to the original article: https://sensha-manual.blogspot.jp/2017/09/the-ho-ri-tank-destroyer.html?m=0
In China we need to use VPN(aka “ladder-梯子” or “the scientific way of browsing the Internet-科学上网” in Chinese)to open that link above so at first I post out Waffentrager’s original post in the form of screenshots in my article. I’ll skip that here.
Fig.1: I will skip his original article.
Now, I had raised my first question here: Please take a look at the screenshot:
Fig.2: My first question
In the original article, Waffentrager insisted that the Type 5 gun tank was built in July, 1944 and fully assembled in August. It was also put into trials at the same time.
Fig.3: Waffentrager’s original article.
But, is that true? Let’s have a look at the Japanese archive:
Important Fig.4: Archive code C14011075200, Item 4
Notice the part with the red, this is the research and develop plan for the Japanese Tech Research center in 1943, and had been edited in 1944. ◎砲１００(Gun-100) is the project name for the 105mm gun used by Type 5 gun tank. The column under it says: “Research a tank gun with 105mm caliber and a muzzle velocity of 900m/s”. This means that the gun had just begun to be developed and from the bottom column we can know that it was PLANNED to be finished in 1945-3[完成豫定 means ”plan to be finished” and 昭２０、３ means ”Shouwa 20-3”. Shouwa 20 is 1945 in Japan (you can wiki the way for Japanese to count years I’m not going to explain it here)]
Next let’s move on to the Type 5 gun tank itself, here is the Japanese archive:
Important Fig.5: Archive code C14011075200, Item 7
“新砲戦車(甲)ホリ車” is the very very first name of Type 5 gun tank, it should be translated into:”New gun tank(A), Ho-Ri vehicle”. “ホリ” is the secret name of it. Still from the column we can easily know that Ho-Ri was also planned to be finished in 1945-3. But under that column there is another one called:”摘要(Summary or outline)”, in this it says:”砲１００、第一次試作完了昭和１９、８”, In English it is: “Gun-100, First experimental construction(prototype construction) finished in Shouwa 19-8(1944-8)” What does it mean? It means that in 1944-8, Only the 105mm gun used by the Type 5 gun tank was finished! If the Ho-Ri tank itself was finished why it was not in the 摘要 column? So how could an unfinished tank mounted the prototype gun? Waffentrager is talking bullshit.
Also from Mr.Kunimoto’s book, he gave the complete schedule of the 105mm gun, here it is:
Important Fig.6: Kunimoto’s schedule
“修正機能試験” means ”Mechanical correctional test”, it took place in 1944-8, this matches the original Japanese archive(though this chart was also made from original archives). At that time the gun had just finished, not the tank.
Next is this paragraph from Waffentrager’s article:
Fig.7: Weighing 35 tons
From the archive above(important Fig.5) we can learn from the second large column”研究要項(Research items)” that Ho-Ri was only PLANNED to be 35 tons, and maximum armour thickness was PLANNED to be 120mm, not was. Waffentrager is lying, he used the PLANNED data as the BUILT data. I will post out the correct data below later to see what Ho-Ri is really like when its design was finished.
Fig.8: 全備重量-約三五屯(Combat weight-app.35t), 装甲(最厚部)-約一二〇粍(Armour, thickest part-app.120mm)
At this time, some of the people might inquire me that:”Maybe the Type 5 gun tanks were really finished! You just don’t know!” Well, I will use the archives and books to tell these guys that they are totally wrong. None of the Type 5 gun tank was finished.
Always let’s look at Waffentrager’s article first. He said that a total of 5 Ho-Ri were completed.
Fig.9: Waffentrager said 5 Ho-Ri were completed.
He also put an original Japanese archive(C13120839500) to “enhance” his “facts”.
Fig.10: Waffentrager’s archive
Everyone can see the”ホリ車,1-3-1” in the document, and someone might actually believe that 5 Ho-Ri were actually built. But they are wrong! Waffentrager is cheating you with “only a part of the original document”! Here is what the original archive really looks like:
Important Fig.11: Archive code C13120839500, Item 7
“整備計画” is “Maintenance plan” in English, again it was PLAN! The whole plan was made in 1944-12-26. I don’t actually know how Waffentrager can misunderstand this, maybe he doesn’t even know Japanese or Chinese!
Important Fig.12: The cover of the same archive, “昭和十九年十二月二十六日” is 1944-12-26” in English.
I have other archives to prove that Ho-Ri were not finished as well:
Important Fig. 13 and 14: Mitsubishi’s tank production chart made by the American survey team after the war ends.
From the chart you can only find out Type 4 and Type 5 medium tanks’ record. There is no existence of Type 5 gun tank Ho-Ri, or the”M-5 Gun Tank” in the chart’s way.
Except for the archives, many books written by Japanese also mentioned that Type 5 gun tank were not finished:
Fig.15: Kunimoto’s record.
“二〇年五月完成予定の五両の終戦時の工程進捗度は、やっと五〇パーセントであり、完成車両出せずに終戦となった。” In English it’s: “When the war ended, the five Ho-Ri planned to be finished in 1945-5 had finally reached 50% completion. No completed vehicle were made when the war ended.”
Here is another book written by Japanese with the help of former IJA tank designer, Tomio Hara:
Important Fig.16: Tomio Hara’s book
“完成をみるには至らなかった” Again he emphasized that the tank was not finished. Also when Ho-Ri’s design was finished its combat weight was raised to 40 tons, not the planned 35 tons. It was only powered by one “Modified BMW watercooled V12 gasoline engine”, rated 550hp/1500rpm. In Waffentrager’s article he said later a Kawasaki 1100hp engine were installed, but obviously that’s none sense. There was really existed a Kawasaki 1100hp engine but that is the two BMW V12 engine(Same engine on Type 5 gun tank or Type 5 medium tank) combined together for Japanese super-heavy tank O-I use. It will take much more room which Ho-Ri do not have.
Fig.17: O-I’s engine compartment arrangement. There’s no such room in Ho-Ri for this engine set.
And last here are the other questions I asked
Fig.18: Other questions I asked
I have already talked about the questions regarding C13120839500 and the engine. As for the gun with 1005m/s muzzle velocity, the Japanese never planned to make the 105mm gun achieve such a high velocity because they don’t have the enough tech back then. Also from the archive C14011075200(important fig.4) the 105mm gun was designed only to reach about 900m/s.
So, after all these, how did Waffentrager replied? I will post out the replies from my E-mail(because he deleted my replies on his blog).
Fig.19: Waffentrager’s first reply
He kept saying that my archive is not the same as his and he is using his own documents. I didn’t believe in these shit and I replied:
Fig.20: My reply
Last sentence, the Ho-Ri III he was talking about is fake. There are only Ho-Ri I(The one resembles the Ferdinand tank destroyer) and Ho-Ri II(The another one resembles the Jagdtiger tank destroyer). He even photoshoped a picture:
Fig.21: Waffentrager’s fake Ho-Ri III
Fig.22: The real Ho-Ri I and the base picture of Waffentrager’s photoshoped Ho-Ri III in Tomio Hara’s book. Many same details can be seen in Waffentrager's fake Ho-Ri III
The 4 variants of up-armoured Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank is also fake, I will post his original article and the confirmed facts I got from Mr.Taki by E-mail.
Fig.23: 4 models of up-armoured Chi-Nu by Waffentrager
Fig.24: Mr.Taki’s reply
Waffentrager used every excuses he could get to refuse giving out the references, and finally he deleted my comments. What an asshole!
Fig.25: Our last “conversation”
Fig.26 He deleted my comment.
So, as you can see, Waffentrager is really a dick. He is cheating everybody because he think that we can’t read Japanese. Anyway I still hope he could release his reference and documents to prove me wrong. After all, I’m not here to scold or argue with somebody, but to learn new things. Also if you guys have any questions about WWII(IJA) Japanese tanks, feel free to ask me, I’m happy to help.
The O-I (オイ車 Oi-sensha) was a super-heavy tank prototype designed by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War after the Battles of Nomonhan in 1939. The O-I is one of the Second World War’s more secretive tank projects, with documentation regarding the tank being kept private for over 75 years at Wakajishi Shrine, Fujinomiya. Surviving files have been purchased by FineMolds Inc., and publicly previewed in mid-2015. The multi-turreted 150-ton tank was designed for use on the Manchurian plains as a supportive pillbox for the Imperial Japanese against the Soviet Union. The project was disbanded four years after the initial development began, deemed unsatisfactory for continuation in 1943 after the lack of resource material for the prototype.
History and development
After 1939, the Imperial Japanese Army quickly came to realize that previous forms of mechanized warfare were proved inefficient after their defeat at Khalkhin Gol.
Development of the super-heavy project was spearheaded by Colonel Hideo Iwakuro, the head of the Ministry of War of Japan (陸軍省 Rikugun-shō). Iwakuro opposed Japan’s advances towards the Soviet Union in 1939, and with the Japanese defeat, he decided to initiate a project to construct a heavily armored tank capable of withstanding large-caliber field cannons. Iwakuro assigned Colonel Murata of the 4th Technical Research Group to design and construct the super heavy tank in 1939. Colonel Murata noted Iwakuro’s words as described;
“I want a huge tank built which can be used as a mobile pillbox in the wide open plains of Manchuria. Top secret.”
“Make the dimensions twice that of today’s tanks.”
The 4th Technical Research Group began designing the super-heavy vehicle throughout 1940, attempting to meet Colonel Iwakuro’s vague instructions on the ultimate goal of the project. By March 1941, the research group had finished initial tank design and was ready to begin construction. The following month, a group of pre-selected engineers were chosen to partake in the building of the super-heavy tank. One recorded engineer was Shigeo Otaka, who stated they were sent to the 4th Technical Research Group’s previous headquarters in Tokyo. There, they were guided through a barracks containing multiple small fitting rooms, where they were to conduct meetings and reports on the progress of construction of the super-heavy vehicle. Towards the end of the barracks facility was a fully-enclosed room devoid of windows, with soundproofed walls to prevent external personnel from overhearing discussions related to the project. Each officer present possessed a portion of the project’s blueprint, which, when assembled, projected the full design of the tank, labeled "Mi-To". The name originated from a collection of the Mitsubishi industry and the city, Tokyo; given to the vehicle to uphold secrecy of the tank’s project.
Colonels Murata and Iwakuro
The chosen engineers voiced their concerns regarding the Mi-To’s design noting that previously, the largest-sized Japanese tank had been the prototype Type95 Heavy in 1934. Issues that had been noted with heavy tank experiments in the years preceding the Mi-To showing Japan’s generally unsuccessful testing on multi-turreted vehicles exceeding the weight of standard armored vehicles. However, with the threat of a second Russo-Japanese conflict becoming more apparent, the project continued despite the engineer’s doubts on the size and mobility of the vehicle.
Four engineers who survived to record the dealing had with the project
On April 14th 1941, the engineers began the construction of the Mi-To under secretive means. This entailed privately-made mechanical parts and equipment being shipped to the construction zone. Colonel Murata’s original concept was to complete the super-heavy tank three months after the initiation of Mi-To’s construction. This, ultimately, did not come into fruition; as technical issues on the project began to arise. Due to the limitation on material consumption by the government, the amount of parts that could be secretly shipped-in began to dwindle. By the first month of construction, essential construction resources had been depleted and the issues with the vehicle’s cooling system further caused delays. The construction of the Mi-To was postponed until January 1942, a delay of nine months.
After the Mi-To’s construction was resumed, the hull was completed on February 8th 1942. The tank had reached near-completion and was being prepared for mobility testing. Mitsubishi built the four turrets for the tank in May of the same year. Initial assembly of the tank’s armament took place soon after the turret’s superstructures were completed. However; the project once again did not have the necessary resources needed for the few remaining parts required for the final assessment. Due to this, the primary turret was removed as it lacked a 35-millimeter-thick roof plate, which had not yet arrived. Thus, the project was put on standby, until further development could continue. The total weight of the vehicle at the time was 96 tons, due to the lack of remaining structural plates and absent 75mm bolted-on armor.
O-I documents previewed by FineMolds
The date on which the construction of the tank resumed is unknown, although active testing of the tank was scheduled for late 1943. The tank was unveiled to the Imperial Japanese Army’s highest command in 1943, and received a name change to O-I. This followed Japanese naming convention (O translating to Heavy, I for First, making it "First Heavy") that was standard. In his place was Lieutenant Colonel Nakano, Murata's assistant and colleague. Tomio Hara, head of the Sagamia Army Arsenal, was also present. Following the demonstration, senior officials within the IJA requested that field trials begin in August of the same year. The tank was disassembled at 2:00 AM one night in June of 1943 and sent to the Sagami Army Arsenal in Sagamihara, 51 kilometers from Tokyo. The vehicle arrived at the depot in June, and was reassembled and tested on the 1st of August.
On the day of the trials, the O-I performed satisfactorily until the second hour of the tests. While maneuvering on off-road terrain, the tank sank into the ground by up to a meter; attempts at traversing the hull to extricate the vehicle proved fruitless, resulting in further sinking due to the vehicle’s suspension coils compressing. The tank was eventually towed out, and further testing was continued on concrete. However, the earlier damage to the suspension resulted in vehicle’s movement damaging the concrete, which in turn, further damaged the suspension bogies to the point that further testing could not continue. The trials were postponed, and later canceled the following day.
Nevertheless, the trials conducted at the testing field were considered to be a success, and the vehicle was deemed ready for use in spite of its flaws. The engineers began disassembly of the tank on the 3rd of August due to resources being limited and the inability to maintain the tank in the field. Disassembly of the tank was completed on August 8th. Two days later, the engineers noted in a log that they were to inspect the parts and conduct research to fix the issues the O-I would face.
The fate of the O-I after its field-trials which took place on the 1st of August is unclear. Russian reports claim the Japanese were in possession of a wooden O-I mock-up mounting a Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine in 1945, however other sources point to the scrapping of the remaining parts of the same year. The remains of the O-I reside at the Wakajishi Shrine, with a track link of the prototype still present.
Remaining track link of the prototype O-I tank
The O-I was conceived out of the necessity to produce an armored vehicle capable of withstanding modern weaponry being able to return fire with similar firepower. The O-I was designed to act as a mobile pillbox, supporting infantry and mechanized groups along the border of the Soviet Union. The tank had a length of 10.1 meters, width of 4.8 meters, and a height of 3.6 meters. The dimensions of the vehicle closely matched those of the Panzer VIII Maus. The tank was envisioned to have a standard thickness of 150 millimeters front and rear, in order to protect against common anti-tank weapons of the time, yet it was constructed with armor 75 millimeters thick. However, an additional armor plate could be bolted on to bring the total thickness of the armor to 150 millimeters. The use of additional armor allowed for ease of construction and transportation, while also providing the tank with additional defense. Side armor on the hull superstructure was 70 millimeters thick. The additional armor plates were 35 millimeters thick, but armor surrounding the suspension was only 35 millimeters thick. This made the tank’s theoretical armor on the side 75 millimeters. There were eight wheel-supporting beams located on both sides of the suspension area which added an additional 40 millimeters of armor to specific locations on the side of the O-I. 40 ladder pieces were placed around the tank to provide crew with the ability to climb onto of the vehicle with ease.
The two 47mm cannons used in the two frontal turrets were also modified to fit the armor layout of the tank. The weapon’s barrels were reinforced with steel to secure them to the tank, due to the standard gun not adequately fitting into the turret.
The tank was both designed and built with two inner armor plates to divide the interior into three sections; walls with two doors each and an ultimate thickness of 20mm. This allowed the crew and modules to remain relatively safe while the structure was kept safe with supporting stands. These supports allowed the interior armor plates to stay stable and also prevented collapse. Inside the O-I were two Kawasaki V-12 engines, both located in the rear, parallel lengthwise, to give room for the rear turret operator and transmission. The transmission copied that of the Type97 Chi-Ha’s, but used larger parts and gears making the total weight heavier. The vehicle had a coil spring system, with eight 2 wheeled boggies, totaling 16 individual wheels.
Sources - O-I documentation, Finemolds - O-I project report notebook 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 (Finemolds) - JP Tank Perfect Guide - 日本の戦車 原乙未生 (Hara's book) (Old sources) - 帝国陸軍陸戦兵器ガイド1872-1945 - 日本陸軍の火砲 野戦重砲 - 戦車と戦車戦 - 太平洋戦争秘録 日本・秘密兵器大全 ---------------------- Since the article Soukou and Daigensui wrote long ago is filled with inconsistencies and errors, decided to make something thats actually accurate to the reports. Wrote it on Google Docs initially, posted it to WT earlier. Will be present on Ritas blog and eventually Wikipedia.
Disclaimer: Yeah naturally Japanese tanks arent a big focus here, so I usually ignore posting things of the matter here. But like the O-I article I posted here oh so long ago, this article comes with the results of some days spent in the archive reading and (continuing to do) translating pages of reports that havent been read in like, decades. So with that said, hope you enjoy. Still a matter I'm unfinished diving into.
Type5 Ho-Ri : The Japanese Ferdinand As of recently, I've gone through the Japanese National Archive files, looking through to find documents that relate to my studies. While I was there, I stumbled across something that caught my interest. Of said documents, the one of most importance was a file called "Military Secrets No.1". The reports were held by the Ministry of Defense, Army records section, Munitions Mobilization district. Contained in these files were a 3-page production chart of late war tracked vehicles of the Japanese army. Located within the chart I found a number besides the Type 5 Ho-Ri tank destroyer. A vehicle that until recently was only known to have made it to wooden mockup stages. In this lengthy article I will cover my findings on the tank project. Unfortunately visual representations of the tank are still being looked at. So I will use existing found sources for this.
National Institute for Defense Studies " Military secret No.1 "
In September of 1942, the Japanese Army Staff came to the realization that they had no choice but to design a series of tanks to compete with the arrival of the American Sherman tank. Three concepts were proposed by the Staff, each with their own gun selection; Kou (47mm), Otsu (57mm), and Hei (75mm). As combat data filtered back to Japanese high command, the model Kou concept would later merge with Otsu concept, becoming the basis for the design of the Type4 Chi-To. The Hei proposal would eventually lead to the development of the Type5 Chi-Ri. Additional impetus for new development projects came from a change in the Weapons Administration Headquarters Research Policy in July 1943, a change which was made as a result of analyzing and examining the situation of the tank warfare between the German army and the Soviet Union. Through analysis of this data, the Army's tank doctrine shifted to an emphasis on developing tanks which prioritized the anti-armor mission instead of prioritizing infantry support with limited anti-tank capability. Upon the promulgation of this policy, the Japanese Army decided to develop a series of tank destroyers alongside the medium tanks being designed. As a result, the Type5 Chi-Ri, Japan’s primary medium-tank project, would become the basis for a new anti-armor vehicle. This was a natural choice for IJA command; the Chi-Ri project was more mature. Additionally, it held the most advanced technology Japan produced at the time, technology which would become ubiquitous in the designs that would be made until Japan's defeat in 1945.
Testing model of Chi-Ri. Used to trial the series of cannons and turrets designed for the tank. In the photograph it is captured by US forces after the gun had been dismantled for further trials. By Japan's defeat in 1945, three models of Chi-Ri entered production.
The tank destroyer built upon the chassis of the Chi-Ri would eventually be called the Ho-Ri. Development of this vehicle began shortly after the development of the Chi-Ri, when it had been decided that the tank would use the coil spring suspension system that Japanese manufacturers were already familiar with. After this decision was made, the Army also began work on designing the tank destroyer’s superstructure and casemate. The first design the Army came up with mimicked the Chi-Ri chassis entirely, though the turret was replaced with a reinforced rear-mounted superstructure. The Experimental 10cm Cannon With the development of a new series of tank destroyers taking place, the Army decided to design and produce a new high capacity anti-tank gun to fit the role. On July 22 of 1943, the Army Military Customs Council began designing a 105mm caliber anti-tank gun. Once the design of the cannon had been completed, construction of the cannon took place around a steel shielding that was to be the Ho-Ri's superstructure plating. The trial placement was capable of traversing 10 degrees to the left and the right, elevating by 20 degrees, and depressing by 15. The gun weighed 4.7 tons, with a barrel length of 5.759 m. During one of the first council meetings that took place on the 30th of June, however, the council gave Major Ota and Lieutenant Colonel Neima of the Army Weapons Administrative Division, the two chief engineers of the Experimental 10cm project, the task of achieving the requirement that the gun meet 200mm penetration at 600 meters distance and 1000m/s velocity. Naturally, the tank gun was not capable of this, and, instead, the Experimental 10cm had a muzzle velocity of 915m/s with AP (900m/s with HE), and achieved a performance of 150mm penetration at a distance of 1000 meters. The 10cm Experimental Anti Tank gun relied on a system similar to the Type5 75mm Anti tank cannon in relying on an autoloading mechanism for the tank. This mechanism was known as a semi-automatic loading system, different to the ordinary "autoloader" you see in other vehicles. Unlike the typical autoloading system, the loading crew of the gun system placed the individual shells on the chamber, the system automatically ramming the shell into the breech and forwarding to operation. This gave the effect of automating half the loading routine, as the name suggests. The Experimental 10cm was put into service with the Ho-Ri in 1945. The technical name for the model to be used on the prospective production model was known as the Type5 10cm anti tank cannon. The shell rammer used a horizontal chain closing type, and the automatic loading machine was attached to the back of the gun. It was used because loading ammunition of 123 cm total length and 30 kg weight was deemed too strenuous on a small Japanese physique. Various artillery parts had been diverted and referred to in order to shorten the time of development. The autoloading machine adopted the mechanism of the Type3 12 cm AA Gun for inspiration. The automatic loading mechanism was a continual source of problems, but was repeatedly refurbished to eliminate the drawbacks. Photograph of the Experimental 10cm Anti tank cannon during trials. Note: The shielf and protector are used on Ho-Ri prototype. Gun was first tested separately and then placed in tank prototype. Ho-Ri Designs Originally, the Ho-Ri was to keep the secondary 37mm that had been mounted on the Chi-Ri design. The reason for this addition was due to the limited gun-traverse on casemate tank destroyers. Additionally, the primary cannon could only do so much for itself. Hence, to combat many anti tank threats which the Americans could have dedicated to the assault on Japan, the 37mm was seen as being an efficient method of providing additional firepower against infantry and combat vehicles. To this end, the 37mm gun offered a range of APHE and smoke shells. The 37mm was capable of an elevation of 20 degrees and depression of -15 degrees. The mount itself also offered a horizontal traverse of 20 degrees. The 37mm gun could also be used as a ranging device for the main cannon, however this most likely would not have been needed due to the high velocity of the main gun.
Outline of the Ho-Ri design I. Technically entered modified construction of one of the 3 Chi-Ri units.
The development of the Ho-Ri design was split into two concepts. One being a rear mounted superstructure on the Chi-Ri chassis with a central stationed engine, and the other having a centralized superstructure with a rear engine placement. The Ho-Ri engine selection was different from the traditional diesel that the Army had kept with for most of their tank production. Japan used a BMW designed gasoline V12 aircraft engine . The main reason for this change was due to industrial capacity of Japan reaching its peak, aircraft development was still a heavy priority and many assets were available for useage. The output of the tank was 550hp/1500rpm. The Ho-Ri II’s design also enabled the option of adding a 20mm AA station on the rear hatch for additional protection. However, the likelihood of it being useful is up for debate. In addition, central placement of the superstructure enabled 60 rounds for the main cannon to be stored instead of the Ho-Ri I’s 40 rounds. In terms of armour, both vehicles were to keep the Chi-Ri hull, hence the maximum frontal armour of these tanks was only 75mm. On the superstructure, however, armor thickness was increased to 100mm. By the time both designs, which had been developed in parallel, were presented to Army General Staff it was too late; the war was almost over, and the thickness of the armor was no longer sufficient against US armaments. Nevertheless, the design showed promise. Thus, while neither design was chosen for production, the Ho-Ri I was adopted as the main influence for the third revision of the tank. This third vehicle is commonly labeled as Ho-Ri III. Technically, however, none of the Ho-Ri vehicles were numerically designated. Ho-Ri III wooden mockup. Ho-Ri III took the basis of the Ho-Ri I, and revamped it to fit the needs of the military. The frontal plate of the tank was sloped at a 70 degree angle and increased to 120mm thickness. In this configuration, the tank was capable of withstanding most anti tank measures the Unites States could bring to the home islands of Japan. The designers of the tank built a wooden mockup form of the revision 3 design and presented it to the general staff, at an unknown date. The Ho-Ri kept its general composition the same as the prior designs, but this change was what the Army Staff ultimately decided to go with and schedule the Ho-Ri for prototype construction. The tank would have a crew total of 6; driver, gunner, two loaders, radio operator, and commander. The past designs made use of the 37mm that the Chi-Ri hull had present, however, with the chosen slope change on the Ho-Ri III, this was no longer present and a crew member spot was open. The 6th crew member was placed as the second loader to assist with the autoloading mechanism and provide shells for the primary loader. The construction of the prototype was completed in 1944. The tank achieved a speed of 40kmh during the trials. The tests were seen as a success, resulting in the Army ordering 5 units of the tank. The tank was put in service as the Type5 Ho-Ri, as the production model started in 1945. However, by the time of the war's end, the series of tanks only made it to 50% completion. Only one operable prototype had been completed fully. Reports of the trial are still being processed at this time [11/15/16]. My research continues. I have been spending days now trying to go through everything and get the details of the tank out to the light. Once all the documents are collected together and organized, translated, and put back together I will write a follow up article to this. You can view full post with all images on my blog post: http://sensha-manual.blogspot.com/2016/11/type5-ho-ri-japanese-ferdinand.html