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Type 99 Pontoon Bridge

A Type 99 Pontoon Bridge crossing a river with supplies onboard

The Type 99 Pontoon Bridge was a type of landing craft that was widely used by Japan during WWII. It consisted of three large sections, each resembling a small version of the Type 95 Collapsable Boat. It had the capability to carry either a single tank or a single artillery piece and was propelled by a small motor in the rear of the craft.

The total weight of the Type 99 was around 1,000 kilograms fully assembled with it being 11 meters long and 7 meters wide.[1] The craft itself was known for its excellent reliability. Its main strength was allowing the Imperial Japanese Army to mobilize its troops quickly and effectively through even the most treacherous waters with little set-up required.

In fact, this design process was typical of most Japanese assault craft, with speed and ease of use being marked as high priorities. Around 5-7 men typically served in a fully crewed Type 99. 

History

The Type 99 was initially developed in the late 1930s with it first being adopted by the army in 1939. From there, it was issued standard to most combat engineer units. It is most notable for serving in the jungle environment of Malaya and allowing the attack to be carried out swift enough for the British defenders to be caught well off guard. In total, around 500 production examples were produced. The rest of the Type 99 craft were then reassigned from Malaya and served throughout the South Pacific until the end of the war.

References

  1. http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/PontoonBridge.html

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