The Type 97 Chi-Ha was a Japanese medium tank that was used during WWII. It was designed by Mitsubishiand went to large-scale production in 1938. It had a weight of 16.5 tons, it had a 170 hp Mitsubishi Type 97 diesel engine, and it could go up to 24 mph. The total capacity of fuel for the Chi-Ha is about 235 gallons and the armor of the whole tank is about 1 inch thick.
The Chi-Ha also had a crew of four and it had two Type 97 Machine guns. Another part of the armament is the 57mm Type 97 main gun. The suspension of the Chi-Ha is identical to that of the Type 95 Ha-Go. It also had 6 wheels on each side of the tank and it had a length of about 18 feet. The Chi-Ha eventually would be succeeded by the Type 1 Ch-He.
VariantsEditThis was a special version of the Chi-Ha which differed in several ways compared to the original Chi-Ha. It had a crew of 4 and a 47mm main gun. Other than the few changes that were made the Type 97 Shinhoto Sh-Ha was almost the same. Even though the new high velocity 47mm main gun was powerful, it could not beat the Allied tanks it faced in the Pacific Theater.
The Type 97 Ch-Ha also had other variants besides the Shinhoto, there was the the Shi-Ki which was a command tank with a 37mm gun rather than an MG. It also included long range radios and other communication systems. Another variant is the Se-Ri Armored Recovery Vehicle, which had a crane and a 240 hp engine.
The Type 97 Chi-Ha was used extensively by Imperial Japanese forces in the Pacific. It was designed to assist infantry units by destroying machine gun nests and other fortifications. The first battles the Chi-Ha fought were in Manchukuo facing Chinese forces and it had a fair amount of success. The Type 97 was also used against the Soviet Union at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. One notable battle occured in Saipan where american forces defended against large amounts of Type 97 Chi-Has and Type 95 Ha-Gos. Another notable use of the Type 97 was during the Malayan Campaign.
- ↑ http://www.onwar.com/tanks/japan/ft97chiha.htm
- ↑ http://www.wwiivehicles.com/japan/tanks-medium/type-97-chi-ha.asp
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=223