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