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Japanese Tank Variety 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 Kyugoshiki keisensha Ha-Gō). 1935. Японский танк Тип 95 “Ха-Го”.
prototype factory in china
Image by Peer.Gynt
Poklonnaya Gora WWII Museum. Moscow.
Поклонная гора. Москва.

Weight – 7,400 kilograms
Length – 4.38 m
Width – 2.06 meters
Height- two.18 meters
Crew – 3

Main armament Sort 94 37 mm gun
Secondary armament Kind 91 six.five mm machine gun or two x Kind 97 7.7 mm machine gun
Engine Mitsubishi NVD 6120 air-cooled diesel 120 hp (89 kW)
Suspension Bell crank
Operational range250 kilometers
Speed 45 km/h (road)

The Type 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 Kyugoshiki keisensha Ha-Gō?) (also known as the Variety 97 Ke-Go) was a light tank employed by the Imperial Japanese Army in combat operations of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second World War. Despite the fact that it was really slow for a light tank, it proved sufficient against opposing infantry in campaigns in Manchuria and China, as the Chinese National Revolutionary Army had really couple of tanks or anti-tank weapons to oppose them. Nevertheless, the Kind 95 lacked the armor or armament of contemporary Allied tanks, and was regarded as obsolete by the begin of Planet War II. Much more than two,000 units were made. It was also employed by Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF detachments in Pacific locations in the course of conflict.
History and improvement

From early 1930s, the Japanese army started experimenting on a mechanized warfare unit combining infantry with tanks. Even so, the Variety 89 Medium tank could not hold pace with the motorized infantry, which could move at 40 km/h by truck. To solve this dilemma, the Army Technical Bureau proposed a new light tank at 40 km/h speed and began improvement in 1933. The prototype of the new tank was finished in 1934 at the Army’s Sagami Arsenal. It was a higher-speed and lightly-armored tank equivalent to the British cruiser tank or Soviet BT tank. Its code name was &quotHa-Gō&quot (ハ号) designated that it was the &quotthird kind&quot of tank created.[three]

In 1935, a meeting was held at the Army Technical Bureau, at which time, the Variety 95 was presented as a prospective principal battle tank for mechanized infantry units. The infantry had issues that the armor was not thick adequate for enough infantry assistance even so, the cavalry indicated that the improved speed and armaments compensated for this thin armor. In the end, the infantry agreed, as the Sort 95 was still superior to the only obtainable option, which was the armored automobile.

Production was started in 1935 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. By 1939, one hundred units had been constructed. Mitsubishi would go on to develop a total of 853 in their personal factories, with an additional 1250 units built by the Sagami Arsenal, Hitachi Industries, Niigata Tekkoshō, Kobe Seikoshō, and Kokura Arsenal.[two]

Type 95 Ha-Go tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender

Type 95 on show at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, front view

Proper side view.

Type 95 at Tarawa

The Sort 95 was a major improvement more than the Japanese Army’s prior light tanks and tankettes, but was quickly involved in an intensive plan to create improved variants such as the Manshū model (Kind M), the Ha-Gō’s direct descendant. Variety M was technically identical but created for use in the Kwantung Army’s tank schools in Manchukuo and it was planned to be supplied in far a lot more numbers to future Manchukuo Imperial Army armored units and was projected to be manufactured in that nation.

Another development was the Kind 98 Ke-Ni light tank that entered production in 1942 of which 200 autos have been built. This derivitative was better armored and carried an armament comprising one particular Sort one hundred 37 mm gun and two 7.7 mm machine guns.

The Sort 95 also served as the basis of the Variety two Ka-Mi amphibious tank which gave good service in Japan’s early campaigns of Planet War II.

Design and style

The Kind 95 was a 7.4-ton vehicle with a complement of 3 crewmen (generally a commander/gunner/loader, mechanic/bow machine gunner, and a driver).

The major armament was one particular Type 94 37 mm Tank Gun with 37 mm caliber, barrel length of 1.3585 meters (L36.7) (early model), 1.358 meters (L36.7) (late model), el angle of fire -15 to +20 degrees (early model), -15 to +20 degrees (late model), AZ angle of fire of 20 degrees (early model) 20 degrees (late model), muzzle velocity: 600 m/s (early model), 700 m/s (late model), penetration: 45 mm/300 m (early model) 25 mm/500 m (late model) utilized by the Variety 95 Light Tank. The commander was accountable for loading, aiming, and firing the primary gun, The Variety 95 tank carried two sorts of ammunition, Variety 94 higher-explosive and Kind 94 armor-piercing.

Secondary armament consisted as two Type 91 six.5mm machine guns, 1 mounted in the hull and the other in the turret facing to the rear. Trial use in Manchukuo and China confirmed that far better armament was desirable and the 6.5mm machine guns had been exchanged for far more effective 7.7mm Kind 97 light machine guns on the proper hand side, for use by the currently overworked commander/gunner in 1941. The original Kind 94 principal gun was also replaced with a Sort 98 weapon of the very same caliber but with a larger muzzle velocity.

The hand-operated turret was tiny and incredibly cramped for even the 1 crewman typically located there (the commander), and was only getting in a position to rotate in a 45 degree forward arc, leaving the back to be covered by the rear-facing machine gun which failed to compensate for this significant disadvantage.

The most characteristic function of the Sort 95 tank was its simple suspension method. The tracks had been driven through the front sprocket. Two bogie wheels had been suspended on a single bell crank with two bell cranks per side. There had been two return wheels. The suspension had troubles early on with a tendency to pitch so badly on rough ground that the crew occasionally located it impossible to drive at any speed, and so it was modified with a brace to connect the pairs of bogies. Regardless of this, the tank continued to give its customers a rough ride across any uneven ground, and was offered with an interior layer of asbestos, helpful in minimizing interior heat and guarding the crew from injury when the tank moved at high speed across rough terrain.[three]

This very first production models used one particular 110 hp (82 kW) Mitsubishi air cooled diesel engine with a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). This was the identical engine that equipped the Sort 89 I-Go medium tank. Later the far more potent engine Mitsubishi NVD 6120 with 120 hp (89.five kW) was installed.[3] Some Variety 95 were fitted with two reflectors in the front of the vehicle for evening operations.


Variety 95 tank in Bovington tank museum, Dorset

Type 95 on show at the Battery Randolf US Army Museum, Honolulu, leading rear view

Kind 95 Ha-Go tanks destroyed by an Australian two pounder gun in the Battle of Muar

A single of six Ha-Go tanks destroyed by an Australian two pounder gun in the Battle of Muar. The escaping crew were killed by allied infantry covering the artillery
Type three Ke-Ri
This was a proposed model with a Kind 97 57 mm gun as the principal armament. This design never ever got past testing in 1943.
Type 4 Ke-Nu
The Sort 4 Ke-Nu was intended to address one particular of the most widespread complaints about the Type 95 from its users – the cramped turret. The existing Kind 95 turret was replaced by the turret of a Sort 97 Medium tank for much more space. About 100 units have been created.
Variety 95 Manshū
The Sort 95 Manshū was an operational and education tank derived from and really comparable to the Sort 95 Ha-Gō. These tanks have been detached to Manchukuo and belonged to the instruction unit of the Kwantung Army tank college.
Type 95 &quotTa-Se&quot Anti-Aircraft Tank
An experimental vehicle named &quotTa-Se&quot was constructed in November 1941, utilizing the chassis of Type 95 Ha-Gō with a 20 mm anti-aircraft gun taken from the Type 98 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. An additional version utilized a Type two 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. Neither model went into production.
Variety two Ka-Mi Amphibious Tank
This was the very first amphibious tank created in Japan, and was intended for use by the Navy’s SNLF. The pontoons could be detached following landing by a fourth crewman from inside the tank. The chassis was primarily based on the Kind 95 Light Tank. The Variety 2 Ka-Mi was encountered by the United States Marine Corps in the Marshall Islands and Mariana Islands, specifically on Guam, exactly where it was utilized in static defense positions.
Sort 95 &quotRi-Ki&quot Crane Car
The Kind 95 Ri-Ki was an engineering vehicle for field functions. It had a three-ton four.five meter boomed crane.
120 mm self-propelled gun &quotHo-To&quot
The Variety 95 Ho-To was a Variety 38 120 mm howitzer mounted on the Kind 95 Ha-Go chassis. The gun was low-velocity but the HEAT shell enabled it to destroy the American M4 Sherman tank. This self-propelled gun was created along with the Ho-Ru self-propelled gun.
Kind five Ho-Ru 47 mm self-propelled gun
The Ho-Ru was a light tank destroyer equivalent to the German Hetzer. The improvement of the Kind 5 Ho-Ru began in February 1945. The Type five Ho-Ru utilized the chassis of the Type 95 Light Tank, but its suspension was enlarged to 350 mm track hyperlink width. The wheel guide pins were set in two rows to hold a road wheel among them. The sprocket of the driving wheel was the grating kind to gear with the wheel guide pins like on the Soviet T-34. It was armed with one particular 47 mm main gun.
Sort 98 Ke-Ni light tank
This final modification was somewhat lighter than the original Sort 95, even with its heavier (.62 inch) armor. It entered production in 1942, but only about 200 were manufactured.

Combat history

When the Variety 95 entered service in 1935 it was a capable machine and comparable to any modern light tank in the planet. It was the very best automobile of its category available to the Japanese forces in any numbers from the 1930s to World War II, and was used mainly to assistance infantry or as cavalry reconnaissance and, to a lesser extent, as raiding vehicles. It could compete with the American M3 light tanks on the Philippines, even though the British had very handful of tanks of any variety in Malaya or Burma in December 1941. [four]

The Type 95 Ha-Gō proved moderately profitable for the duration of the early campaigns of late 1941 and early 1942, when Japanese forces overran British Malaya and seized the fortress city of Singapore. A single crucial to the Japanese good results in Malaya was the unexpected presence of their tanks in locations exactly where the British did not think tanks could be employed. The wet jungle terrain did not turn out to be an obstacle twelve Sort 95s took portion in the attack which broke the Jitra line on 11 December 1941.

The very first tank-vs-tank battles of the war was on 22 December 1941 for the duration of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Type 95s of the 4th Tank Regiment clashed with M3s of the American 192nd Tank Battalion. Each tanks have been armed with a 37 mm gun, and the M3 was far better armored however, the inexperienced American commanders failed to make very good use of their tanks.

Two Sort 95 tanks have been deployed to assistance the Japanese landing at Milne Bay, late August 1942. Initially, the tanks proved profitable against the lightly armed Australian infantry, whose ‘sticky bombs’ failed to stick due to the humidity. Even though the tanks had proved dependable in the tropical conditions of Malaya, they could not deal with the volume of mud brought on by intense, practically everyday rainfall at Milne Bay. Both tanks had been bogged down and abandoned a couple of days after the landing.

The Type 95 very first started to show its vulnerability during later battles against British/Commonwealth forces, where the tank’s 37mm gun could not penetrate the armor of the British Matilda tanks which had been deployed against them. The thin armor of the Type 95 created it increasingly vulnerable as Allied forces realized that common infantry weapons have been capable of penetrating the minimal armor around the engine block, and even its thickest armor could not withstand something above rifle caliber. Its firepower was insufficient to take on other tanks such as the medium M4 Sherman or the M3 Stuart light tanks. [four]

As the tide of the war turned against Japan, the Kind 95s have been growing expended in banzai charges or had been dug-in as pillboxes in static defense positions in the Japanese-occupied islands. Throughout the Battle of Tarawa, seven entrenched Kind 95th opposed American landings. More were destroyed on Parry Island and on Eniwetok. On Saipan, Type 95s attacked the American Marine beachhead on 16 June 1944 and much more have been utilized in the largest tank battle in the Pacific the following day.

In the Battle of Guam on 21 July, ten Kind 95 had been lost to bazooka fire or M4 tanks. Seven far more have been destroyed on Tinian on 24 July, and 15 more on Battle of Peleliu on 15 September. Likewise, in the Philippines, at least ten Sort 95s have been destroyed in different engagements on Leyte, and one more 19 on Luzon. At the Battle of Okinawa, 13 Type 95s and 14 Variety 97 Shihoto medium tanks of the 27th Tank Regiment faced 800 American tanks.

When the war ended hundreds of Type 95s have been left in China. They were used during the Chinese Civil War and by the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China in the course of the Korean War.