Type 4 Chi-To

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Type 4 Chi-To
Chi-To.JPG
Type Chi-To medium tank
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Production history
Designed 1942–1944
Number built 2
Specifications
Weight 30 tonnes (30 long tons; 33 short tons)
Length 6.73 m (22 ft 1 in)
Width 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in)
Height 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in)
Crew 5

Armor 12–75 millimetres (0.47–2.95 in)
Main
armament
Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun
Secondary
armament
2 × Type 97 Light Machine Guns
Engine Mitsubishi AL Type 4 37.7 litre air-cooled V12 diesel engine with supercharger
412 hp at 1,800 rpm
Suspension Bell crank
Operational
range
250 kilometres (160 mi)
Speed 45 kilometres per hour (28 mph)

The Type 4 medium tank Chi-To (四式中戦車 チト Yonshiki chūsensha Chi-To?) was one of several new medium tanks developed by the Imperial Japanese Army towards the end of World War II. The Type 4 Chi-To was by far the most advanced Japanese wartime tank to reach the production phase. The war ended before the Type 4 tank could see combat. Only six pre-series vehicles were completed and from that only two tanks were completed.[1]

History and development[edit]

Prototype of the Type 4

Development of the Type 4 Chi-To began in 1943, as an intended successor to the Type 97-kai Shinhoto. The new tank was similar in appearance to the Type 97, but was significantly larger.[1] The first prototype was delivered in 1944; the Type 4 was the most advanced Japanese tank to reach production. Production was hampered by material shortages, and by the bombing of Japan in World War II; and plans of mass-production by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at a rate of 25 units per month at two different sites could not be realized. By 1945, only six chassis had been produced, from which only two Type 4 Chi-To tanks were completed prior to the end of the war.[1]

By this point in the war, Japan no longer had the resources that would allow for the shipment of heavy vehicles overseas. The Type 4 Chi-To, along with the Type 3 Chi-Nu were earmarked for the final defenses of the Japanese home islands against the expected Allied invasion.[2] However, the war came to an end before more units could be completed and neither of the two completed units were used in combat.[1]

Design[edit]

Type 4 Chi-To prototype
Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun Mark I
Type 4 medium tank Chi-To (Planned production model). A schematic illustrating the interior side view.

The Type 4 Chi-To was a thirty-ton, all-welded medium tank with a maximum armor thickness of about 75 millimetres (3.0 in) on the frontal plates.[1] The tank was 6.73 m (22.1 ft) long, 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in) high, and 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in) wide. The Type 4 had a crew of five men. The tracks were supported by seven road wheels.[3] It was powered by a 300 kW (400 hp) engine, which was significantly more powerful than the 180 kW (240 hp) engine of the 19-ton Type 3 Chi-Nu tank.[4] This gave it a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The main armament consisted of a long-barreled Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun which was a variant of the Japanese Type 4 75 mm AA Gun.[5] The gun was mounted in a large, hexagonal turret. A single 7.7 mm machine gun was mounted in the hull.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Zaloga, Japanese Tanks 1939–45, p. 22.
  2. ^ Tomczyk, Japanese Armor Vol. 4, pp. 3, 15, 17.
  3. ^ Tomczyk, Japanese Armor Vol. 4, pp. 19, 20.
  4. ^ Zaloga, Japanese Tanks 1939–45, pp. 20-22.
  5. ^ Tomczyk, Japanese Armor Vol. 4, pp. 19, 22, 30.
  6. ^ Miller, The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World, p. 187

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Foss, Christopher (2003). Great Book of Tanks: The World's Most Important Tanks from World War I to the Present Day. Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-1475-6. 
  • Foss, Christopher (2003). Tanks: The 500. Crestline. ISBN 0-7603-1500-0. 
  • Gander, Terry J. (1995). Jane's Tanks of World War II. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-470847-4

External links[edit]