Japanese Type 1 Ho-Ki Armored Personnel Carrier

The Japanese produced a limited number of the innovative Type 1 Ho-Ki, fully-tracked armored personnel carriers. The Ho-Ki APC was developed in 1941, but full-scale production did not start until 1944. A limited number of Ho-Ki were deployed with Japanese reinforcements to the Philippines in 1944, and several Ho-Ki were captured by the U.S. on Leyte and Luzon.

From Enemy on Luzon: An Intelligence Summary:

Although not encountered before our return to the Philippines, several of these vehicles were captured there by U.S. forces. One was recovered on Leyte, and at least four were found on Luzon.

Japanese Type 1 Ho-Ki APC Armored Personnel Carrier

Full Track Personnel Carrier

The vehicle was full tracked, armored, and powered by a six cylinder air-cooled Diesel engine. The bogie wheels and suspension were similar to those of the Type 95 Light Tank, but the track was both longer and wider than that of the tank. This carrier, 15 feet 9 inches long overall and 6 feet 8 inches wide, was protected with ¼-inch armor on all sides and rear, but was open at the top except for the driver’s compartment. There were doors at the rear and one on each side to permit personnel to leave the carrier rapidly. The driver’s compartment was on the left front of the body and was equipped with metal vision slits for driving under fire. The vehicle had four speeds forward in addition to high and low range transfer case and was equipped with a spring-mounted towing pintle.

Being much lighter than the Type 95 Light Tank, employing an engine of similar power, and having roughly the same track contact, the vehicle gave excellent cross-country performance. The addition of the transfer case increased the range and power as compared with a light tank. U.S. combat troops found these vehicles to be highly satisfactory artillery prime movers.

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