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Japanese Tanks and Tank Tactics
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 26, November 15, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Special Series publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Chapter III: Equipment

Little is known about Japanese heavy tanks. Those reported have been characterized as slow, clumsy, and lightly armored. The performance of none of them thus far encountered is sufficiently effective to make them usable against modern vehicles of this type used by other armies. Production of heavy tanks is not beyond the capabilities of Japanese industry, however, and in suitable terrain satisfactory armored vehicles of this type may be encountered.

The Model 97 (1937) heavy tank, about which considerable data has been secured, weighs 32 tons and is 24 feet 5 inches long, 9 feet 10 inches wide, and 9 feet 6 inches high. A crew of six is carried. Maximum road speed is reported to be 28 miles per hour. The trench is 7 feet; ford is 4 feet 2 inches. Maximum armor thickness is 1.38 inches.

The suspension has a U-shaped scissor articulation. There are six bogie wheels on each side arranged in pairs, with horizontal coiled spring resistance.

In addition to the large main turret which mounts a 75-mm gun and at least two machine guns, there are two auxiliary turrets forward, each of which mounts a light machine gun. In addition to the 75-mm gun the main armament may include a lighter tank gun.

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