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, however, and only two 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.[2] 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.[2]

By this point in the war, Japan no longer had the resources that would allow for the shipment of heavy vehicles overseas, and the Type 4 Chi-To were earmarked for the final defenses of the Japanese home islands against the expected Allied invasion. Army planners envisioned large armored divisions equipped with the Type 4 Chi-To driving the invaders back into the sea, but 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.[2] 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.[1] The tracks were supported by seven road wheels. 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.[3] This gave it a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).[1] 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.[4] The gun was mounted in a large, hexagonal turret. A single 7.7 mm machine gun was mounted in the hull.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d History of War website
  2. ^ a b c Zaloga, Japanese Tanks 1939–45, p. 22
  3. ^ Zaloga, Japanese Tanks 1939–45, pp. 20-22
  4. ^ Tomczyk, Japanese Armor Vol. 4, pp. 19, 22, 30
  5. ^ 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]