On Luzon, U.S. forces encountered the Type 92 (1932) tankette for the first
time. Newsreel addicts will be very familiar with this vehicle, since the Japanese
used it throughout their China campaigns.
|Type 92 (1932) tankette, front view.|
Though it had not been expected that this obsolescent 3-ton, two-man tankette would
prove other than an extremely vulnerable vehicle, actual inspection of a captured
specimen indicates that it is even less useful than anticipated. Tests indicate that
it has value chiefly as a prime mover, and only limited usefulness as a light
reconnaissance vehicle. Its armor is effective only against the lightest small-arms
weapons. Besides there being no protection against small-arms bullet splash in any of
the vision slots and openings, caliber .30 AP can penetrate the
rear door at ranges up to 300 yards. Caliber .50 can penetrate the front, side, rear,
and turret at ranges up to 600 yards. The maximum armor thickness is .47 inch (12 mm),
but most of the armor in the hull and turret is only .39 inches (10 mm). The thinnest
armor on the vehicle is .2 inch (5 mm).
The Type 92 tankette is weakly armed, mounting only a Type 97 7.7-mm tank air-cooled
machine gun in the turret. The ball mounting permits a traverse of 30 degrees, and an
elevation from minus 5 to plus 10 degrees. Stowage is provided for about 2,000 rounds
The tankette is very maneuverable. The use of an outside track guide, however, causes
a tendency to throw the track during sharp turns. A further drawback is the high rate
of air flow through the vehicle, which should make it very difficult to operate during
a smoke concentration.
|Type 92 (1932) tankette, left side view.|