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The Type 97 was an infantry mortar that was used by Japan during World War II. It fired shells of a calibre of ninety millimetres at a distance of up to 3,800 metres and was a simplified version of the previous Type 94 mortar.

It took anywhere from three to five men in order to operate effectively and was not very mobile considering that it had a total weight of 173 kilograms and was very bulky.[1] It had a total length of 121 centimetres and a muzzle velocity of 227 metres per second.

The Type 97 was different from its predecessor in that it had many of the older functions such as recoil dampening removed to decrease the weight even more than it already was. Furthermore, with the complicated features removed, it could be produced in a much larger scale.

The Type 97 is also an equivalent counterpart to the American M1 Mortar in terms of combat effectiveness and reliability. In fact, the Type 97 succeeded in combat and continued to be used despite its drawbacks.

History

The Type 97 was first developed in 1935 as the replacement for the overly complicated Type 94 so that production could be stepped up and weight decreased. It first saw combat in China fighting with Japanese troops throughout the campaign but when the war expanded to other areas of the Pacific, the Type 97 followed Japanese troops and was used until the end of the war in sparse quantity. in total, about 600 Type 97s were made by the end of the war.[2]

References

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=478
  2. http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/mortar.htm#97-90


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