Japanese Type 98 Halftrack

The following U.S. intelligence report on the Japanese Type 98 halftrack personnel carrier and prime mover was published in Enemy on Luzon: An Intelligence Summary:

A Japanese combination personnel carrier and prime mover was recovered near Manila, Luzon.

The vehicle was without armor or armament of any kind. It had a folding canvas top and four wide seats providing seating capacity for approximately 16 persons. Storage compartments for equipment and luggage were provided under the seats. The vehicle was equipped with a large winch and towing pintle in the rear.

Japanese Type 98 Halftrack WW2

Halftrack Personnel Carrier and Prime Mover

The engine, a 6-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled diesel type, was connected to a four-speed forward, one-speed reverse, spur-gear transmission. The chassis layout was similar to the German standard half-track, while the suspension and steering followed the Opel truck half-track conversion. The front transverse leaf spring, independent wheel suspension was an original and effective feature. The vehicle was 18 feet 3 inches long, 6 feet 4 inches wide, 7 feet 10 inches high, had a ground clearance of 13 inches, 110 horsepower, and weighed approximately 6 tons.

Performance tests indicated a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour, an estimated radius of action of 125 miles, and proved that the vehicle could manipulate a trench 3 feet wide, a vertical wall 18 inches high, a 50% slope, and a stream 3 feet deep. Ample power and cross-country mobility were provided to allow it to fulfill the functions of a prime mover and personnel carrier.


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