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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

The development of tankette models has been progressive. In China, Japanese tankettes were used in reconnaissance and cavalry roles and, when equipped with tracked trailers, also were employed to carry supplies and ammunition.

The Model 92 (1932) tankette represents probably the earliest tankette model still commonly used. This vehicle has the turret mounted to the rear of the chassis, giving it a boot-like appearance. Both welded and riveted construction are used throughout the hull. Suspension is four-point, with the use of bell cranks resisted by armored compression springs on each side. There are four rubber-tired bogie wheels in pairs and two return rollers on each side. A front sprocket drive is used. Tracks are the outside center-guide type. The long, sloping glacis plate is a prominent identification feature. A light machine gun, ball-mounted in the turret, is the only armament.

Approximate specifications
1. Weight  3 tons.
2. Length 10 feet 3 inches.
3. Width5 feet 3 inches.
4. Height5 feet 4 inches.
5. Clearance13 1/2 inches.
6. Crew2 men.
7. Armor6 to 14-mm (0.24 to 0.55 inch).
8. Armament17.7 MG ball mounted.
9. Ammunition1,980 rounds.
10. Engine, 4 cylinder32 horsepower, gasoline.
11. Transmission4 forward, 1 reverse.
12. Ground contact6 feet.
13. Width of track5 inches.
14. Track pitch3 inches.
15. Diam. sprocket21 inches.
16. Diam. bogie wheel15 inches.
17. Diam. rear idler15 inches.
18. Height to center of sprocket25 inches.
Approximate maximum performance
1. Speed25 miles per hour.
2. Range of action100 miles.
3. Gradient27°.
4. Obstacles: 
       Trench4 feet 6 inches wide.
       Step2 feet 1 inch high.
       Ford2 feet deep.

[ TBD ]
Figure 19.—Model 92 (1932) tankette.

[ TBD ]
Figure 20.—Model 92 (1932) tankette with tracked trailer.

[ TBD ]
Figure 21.—Model 92 (1932) tankettes crossing Sinkiang River.

Tankette Model 94 (1934) is basically the same as the parent Model 92. The rear idler, however, has been replaced by a trailing idler and the front drive sprocket has been lowered to compensate for this. Bell-crank suspension with armored compression springs is employed, as in the Model 92, and the number of rubber-tired bogie wheels and return rollers is the same as in the earlier model. It is reported, however, that a Ford 4-cylinder tractor engine is used in the Model 94.

Approximate specifications
1. Weight  3.4 tons.
2. Length 11 feet.
3. Width5 feet 3 inches.
4. Height5 feet 4 inches.
5. Clearance12 inches.
6. Crew2 men.
7. Armor4 to 12-mm (0.16 to 0.47 inch).
8. Armament17.7 MG.
9. Traverse360°.
10. Ammunition1,980 rounds.
11. Fuel capacity23.3 gallons.
Approximate maximum performance
1. Speed26 miles per hour.
2. Range of action100 miles (estimated).
3. Gradient27° (also reported as 30°).
4. Obstacles: 
       Trench4 feet 6 inches wide.
       StepNo details.
       Ford2 feet deep.

[ TBD ]
Figure 22.—Model 94 (1934) tankette.

Specifications of the Model 97 (1937) tankette vary considerably in reports from several combat theaters. As compared with the Model 94, the suspension remains unchanged. The hull, however, has been completely redesigned. More room has been provided in the turret to accommodate the 37-mm gun, although a machine gun sometimes is mounted instead of the tank gun. The design of the front plate is simpler than in earlier models and deflection angles have been improved. Significant armor is .47 in. thick.

There is a large hatch on the turret top and a hatch over the driver's compartment which cannot be opened when the turret is at the 12-o'clock position. There also is a hatch over the engine-compartment grille and a small hatch in the rear sloping plate of the engine compartment. There is a driver's visor, and a vision slit in the turret equipped with a protectoscope at about a 10-o'clock position. There is a small pistol port in the rear of the turret. No facilities for intercommunication of crew members are provided.

The vehicle is powered by a 4-cylinder in-line, air-cooled Diesel engine of 48 horsepower. Engine specifications, however, indicate that this engine might develop 105 horsepower at 2,000 revolutions per minute.

Approximate specifications
1. Weight  4.5 tons.
2. Length12 feet.
3. Width6 feet.
4. Height6 feet.
5. Clearance14 inches.
6. Crew2 men.
7. Armor4 to 12-mm (0.16 to 0.47 inch).
8. Armament37-mm gun.
9. Ammunition96 rounds.
10. Transmission4 forward 1 reverse.
11. SteeringDrive shaft brake.
12. Fuel capacity20 gallons (also reported 24 gallons).
Approximate maximum performance
1. Speed28 miles per hour.
2. Gradient30° (also reported as 34°).
3. Obstacles: 
       Trench5 feet 3 inches wide.
       StepNo details.
       Ford2 feet 6 inches deep.

[ TBD ]
Figure 23.—Model 97 (1937) tankette.

The tentatively identified Model 98 (1938) tankette sometimes is confused with the Model 97. It has a squat, rounded appearance, and the turret is set centrally. A three-man crew is carried, with a turret gunner and front gunner in addition to the driver.

Suspension is bell crank, spring resisted, with four bogies in pairs on each side and a large rear idler which also acts as a bogie. There are two return rollers on each side; the drive is of the front-sprocket type.

The vehicle mounts a 13.7-mm machine gun in the turret and a light machine gun, probably 7.7-mm, in the hull. Also reported is a model that had a 37-mm gun as its only armament.

Additional specifications are:
Length  10 feet 3 inches.
Width  5 feet 9 inches.
Height  5 feet 4 inches.
Weight  3 to 4 tons.
Speed  33 mph (max.).
Armor  Same as Model 92.
Ford  2 feet 6 inches.
Trench  4 feet 6 inches.
Belly clearance  1 foot 1 inch.

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