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WWII Japanese Tanks in China


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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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  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.

 

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

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Fascinating stuff, thank you. It's interesting to see how tank development progressed in a country whose machines were (for the most part) used to facing only infantry without AT rifles. Some of them look rather endearingly like mobile teapots, dishwashers or Wallace & Gromit constructions. I note that they largely used what appears to be a form of Horstmann suspension, which I assume was for reasons of monetary and material expedience, and it surprised me to learn that the British Chieftain used the same...or probably similar, to be more accurate.

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4 hours ago, Jamby said:

Fascinating stuff, thank you. It's interesting to see how tank development progressed in a country whose machines were (for the most part) used to facing only infantry without AT rifles. Some of them look rather endearingly like mobile teapots, dishwashers or Wallace & Gromit constructions. I note that they largely used what appears to be a form of Horstmann suspension, which I assume was for reasons of monetary and material expedience, and it surprised me to learn that the British Chieftain used the same...or probably similar, to be more accurate.

 

It's similar in the sense that any suspension system with springing elements will operate on a very similar principle to all the others. Chieftain et al have two wheels per spring, and load the spring in compression; whereas the Type 97 Medium Tank has springs in tension and one wheel per spring on the front and rear, and looks to have 4 wheels supported by the same spring in the middle. The rotating bogie on a sprung swingarm is neat, and quite like the ferdinand (or more likely the ferdinand was like the japanese tanks, given the production dates)

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1 hour ago, Xlucine said:

 

It's similar in the sense that any suspension system with springing elements will operate on a very similar principle to all the others. Chieftain et al have two wheels per spring, and load the spring in compression; whereas the Type 97 Medium Tank has springs in tension and one wheel per spring on the front and rear, and looks to have 4 wheels supported by the same spring in the middle. The rotating bogie on a sprung swingarm is neat, and quite like the ferdinand (or more likely the ferdinand was like the japanese tanks, given the production dates)

 

...It's quickly dawning on me that I'm going to need to read a lot more about tank suspension. At a glance, the suspension types look virtually identical, though I suppose much of their inner workings is concealed behind the wheels themselves.

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16 hours ago, Jamby said:

I note that they largely used what appears to be a form of Horstmann suspension

You are right, the Japanese is really fond of the Horstmann type suspension, Although they did not actually bought one of the foreign tank which use that suspension. To some extent the horizontal coil spring suspension largely used by the Japanese tanks was designed by themselves (Tomio Hara). From Type 94 Tankette (the first Japanese tank applied with that suspension) to the mighty Type 5 medium tank their suspension design are all similar. 

Here is an overall picture of Type 97 medium tank's suspension:

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This is the initial suspension design (road wheel and spring arrangement) on Experimental Type 97 medium tank No.1. It comes basically straight from the standard Horstmann suspension

 

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Hope these will help :) 

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5 hours ago, EnsignExpendable said:

That setup looks extremely vulnerable to mines. Did the Japanese write anything about suffering damage from Chinese IEDs?

Maybe, but to be honest I haven't found out any original Japanese archives regarding the Tanks'(I have Type 89's, but it uses leaf springs, and most damages were not caused by IEDs) damage report caused by Chinese IEDs or homemade explosives, probably because there were too few encounters in 1940s. But I'll sure let you know when I find them. 

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