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Type 92 Light Howitzer

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The Type 92 Light Howitzer was a light howitzer that was used by Japan during World War II.

Description

The Type 92 could fire 70 mm rounds at a maximum range of up to 2,800 meters.[1] Each shell weighed about 3.7 kg and the length of the barrel was 79 centimeters. The total traverse of the Type 92 was 45 degrees and the elevation ranged from -8 degrees to 70 degrees. Since the Type 92 could aim very high, it was not only used for direct fire, but also for indirect fire in a mortar like role.

The total weight of the system was 212.2 kilograms and the length was about 2 meters. The Type 92 could fire off rounds at a rate of 10 rounds per minute and it had a small blast shield mounted that wasn't particularly effective at protecting the crew from enemy fire. To operate efficiently, the Type 92 required a crew of ten (five was the minimum required) and it had a muzzle velocity of 198 meters per second.[2] The Type 92 could fire HE, smoke, and armor piercing shells and the kill radius of the HE round was 22 meters.

Because of the Type 92's light weight, it was capable of being inserted and transported in almost impassable areas. It could also be disassembled relatively easily. These traits allowed it to operate in the jungles of the Pacific with little to no problems. The Type 92 was meant to be transported by pack animals.

Variants

Although there were no official variants, the Type 92 Light Howitzer did have some minor changes made to it over the course of its production. One of these changes was the transition from wooden wheels to perforated metal wheels because of reliability and the sounds made by the wooden wheels that could possible give away the crew.

History

The Type 92 Light Howitzer was first produced in 1932 and was meant to replace the older, less reliable howitzers of the Imperial Japanese Army. The first combat use was during the campaign in China and it was used until the Japanese surrender in 1945. By Japan at least, Korean forces used the howitzer well into the 1950s. The Type 92 was very effective in its jungle role and was one of the most successful Japanese artillery pieces of World War II. Two Type 92's were assigned to every battalion and that is why it was called Daitai Ho, "Battalion Artillery". One of the notable uses of the gun was "Harassing Fire".[3] Japanese artillery men would fire from hidden jungle positions on Allied troops then move to new positions and continue firing. This had a certain psychological effect on Allied troops, but it mainly just kept them occupied.

References

  1. http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/inf-gun.htm
  2. Lüdeke, Alexander. Weapons of World War II. Parragon Books Ltd. (2007), Page 157
  3. http://chinaburmaindiawwii.devhub.com/blog/601336-70-mm-battalion-gun-type-92/


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