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Japanese Type 4 Chi To Tank


Kentucky-roughrider
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The front profile should be able to resist the Sherman's short 75mm at some distance. The Type 5 75mmL57 gun should be more than adequate for killing Shermans at distance. The suspension type was well proven so there should be no mechanical issues there. However the Chi-To was originally designed as a 20 ton tank, requirements pushed it up to 25 tons armed with the successfully experimented 57mmL57 and that prototype was completed in 1944. But then orders made it mount the long 75mm. There were some concerns that some hydraulic systems and what not might not handle the increased weight of 30 tons. But probably would have been fine. The 400hp diesel engine pushing a 25 ton tank probably would have giving some good mobility but for 30 tons, maybe still ok. Assuming it miraculously reached production and even more miraculous, the few production variants were to engage US tanks, if M4s with the short 75mm, probably would be a nasty surprise. If an M4 (76), then approximately equal footing. Although those Chi-To tanks would probably be driven by inexperienced crew with very little training.

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The Chi-To probably would have done a little better than the Chi-Ha vs M4 (75) as the Type 5 75mm should still be able to pen the front of the M26. But M26 definitely better overall with much greater range of penetration ability between the two. And T29s and T92s oh my!

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I was speaking only of the army, as the USMC was refitting its tank battalions entirely with the M4A3 (105mm) for Olympic-Coronet, some 600 ordered for shipment in 1945. USMC tank gunnery in its tank crew course changed to 105mm in June, 1945. M4-based flame tanks were to be issued three per company, however.

 

Five of six tank battalions could have been refurbished with 75mm gun tanks, according to V Amphibious Corps logistics data, however the rebellion of the tank battalion commanders was subsiding and it seems clear that the M4(105mm) would be accepted providing the power turret be restored [lacking in the first 30 delivered].

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From procurement of 1152 T29s ordered 12Apr45, one could extrapolate as many as 15 battalions, given that the 500 T30s were to equip 7 special battalions. Not many would be ready for Olympic, but all were conceivable for Coronet, but I know of no such planning data for the invasion force. T92 was recommended for limited production in March45, but only five pilots were built by V-J Day. Again, their use was programmed in the invasion of Japan but users and numbers were probably not identified.

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What sort of impressive fortifications were the Japanese building that resulted in such vehicles being "rushed" through developent for use in Olympic? Do any such bunker complexes or whatever they were remain today?

 

Even considering how fanatically Japanese troops fought across the Pacific I don't understand how the Japanese could motivate the bulk of the army (not to mention the civilian populace) to put up serious resistance. Did anybody (even Japanese high command) truly think they had a chance of forcing a favorable outcome if the allies were to invade mainland Japan? Or was it all just for the sake of honor? I understand how ignoble surrender was to them, but when it reaches such an extreme it still seems very difficult to comprehend.

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From procurement of 1152 T29s ordered 12Apr45, one could extrapolate as many as 15 battalions, given that the 500 T30s were to equip 7 special battalions. Not many would be ready for Olympic, but all were conceivable for Coronet, but I know of no such planning data for the invasion force. T92 was recommended for limited production in March45, but only five pilots were built by V-J Day. Again, their use was programmed in the invasion of Japan but users and numbers were probably not identified.

 

Was the plan to incorporate them into regular infantry or armored divisions or were they to be used in a kind of schwere panzer abteilung?

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The rush to production was the Ordnance opinion in late 1944 that the Germans might and could field improved AFVs in the coming year. That said, the advent of V-E Day did not change the assessment that the Japanese home islands would be tough campaigns, after all a complete field army was being transferred from Germany to Operation Coronet.

 

There is the innate conservatism of military planners that there is never too much, and the US had plenty of 'things' to add to the weapons list, only manpower was constrained. There also would be no constraints on convoy and ship loading capacity as was the case for the war in Europe, 1941-45.

 

As for Japanese fighting spirit, see Emperor Worship. It had not slackened to any point thus far.

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What sort of impressive fortifications were the Japanese building that resulted in such vehicles being "rushed" through developent for use in Olympic? Do any such bunker complexes or whatever they were remain today?

 

Even considering how fanatically Japanese troops fought across the Pacific I don't understand how the Japanese could motivate the bulk of the army (not to mention the civilian populace) to put up serious resistance. Did anybody (even Japanese high command) truly think they had a chance of forcing a favorable outcome if the allies were to invade mainland Japan? Or was it all just for the sake of honor? I understand how ignoble surrender was to them, but when it reaches such an extreme it still seems very difficult to comprehend.

 

The hope was that it would be such a blood bath that the Allies would agree to negotate a Japanese surrender ending of hostilities on terms acceptable to the military rather than continue. This is why nuclear weapons were a game changer as the Allies could apparenl;ly inflict massive casualties without much risk to themselves. Even then the military was reluctant to bend to reality.

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Very interesting, how about compared to the T34 coming across the border when the Russian attacked in 1945?

In some ways this sounds like comparing the M4 to the Panzer mark IV.

Getting Chi-To tanks to Manchuria would be another miraculous condition. But yea, more or less, Chi-To fits the mix of T-34/85, M4 (76), and late model panzer IVs.

 

Tank R&D and especially production was full of delays for obvious reasons. By Dec 1945, they planned on having Chi-Nu tanks armed with the Type 5 75mm as well. For heavy firepower, the Ho-Ri TD with the 105mm was also planned to be ready by then. But meh oh well.

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In the top photo, the US mistakenly wrote type 5 on the rear of the Chi-To. Chi-To is a type 4 as it was completed in 1944 with the 57mm gun and was named at that time Type 4. It got the requirement to be armed with the Type 5 75mm after being designated Type 4. Where as the Type 5 Chi-Ri was completed in 1945.

 

The bottom picture of the model has the production version hull and turret. The production version (actual blueprints are published in Ground Power) has the greater sloped upper hull than the prototype. Also note the turrets, the prototype in the top photo attempted using cast parts for the turret, hence the rounded corners and edges where as the production version has shaper welded corners and edges.

Edited by JasonJ
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