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The Type 2 Ka-Mi was an amphibious tank that was utilized by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Description

The Ka-Mi had a crew of five and it could travel at speeds of 9.65 km/h in the water and 37 km/h on land. [1]It was powered by a 120 hp, Mitsubishi diesel engine and had a 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun.[2] An additional armament of two torpedoes could also be mounted on the Type 2 Ka-Mi, two being mounted on each side. The Type 2 was the first amphibious vehicle created by the Japanese, however they were almost completely hand-built which meant that Type 2s were in short supply and yet they were still the most common type of amphibious vehicle used by Japan during the war.[3]

The Type 2 remained buoyant because of the two pontoons that were placed on the vehicle on the front and rear of the vehicle. These would be bolted on and removed once the amphibious capabilities of the tank were not longer needed. The Type 2s chassis was based on the Type 95 Ha-Go. The Type 2 also included two rudders and two propellers to navigate in the water, these were located at the rear of the vehicle as well. It weighed about 11,300 kilograms and it had around 200 liters of fuel capacity.

With its amphibious capabilities, the Type 2 could also be launched from a submarine, further adding to its uses in the Pacific. Like most other Japanese tanks, the Type 2 was largely used as a static pillbox on various pacific islands with some degrees of success.

History

The Type 2 was not used as an offensive amphibious vehicle on islands such as Guadalcanal as it was intended. As the war progressed the Japanese moved to defensive positions rather than offensive. This meant that the Type 2 was mainly used as a defensive support vehicle and acted more like a stationary gun position. It was mainly used in the Mariana and Marshall islands.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/japan/tanks-amphibious/type-2.asp
  2. http://www.onwar.com/tanks/japan/data/t2kami.htm
  3. http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=287


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