Type 4 Chi-To
|Type 4 Chi-To|
Type Chi-To medium tank
|Place of origin||Empire of Japan|
|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)|
|Armor||12–75 millimetres (0.47–3.0 in)|
|Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun|
|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
|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.
History and development
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. 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.
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.
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. The tank was 20.75 feet (6.32 m) long, 9.4 feet (2.9 m) high, and 9.5 feet (2.9 m) wide. The Type 4 had a crew of five men. The tracks were supported by seven road wheels. It was powered by a 400 horsepower (300 kW) engine, which was significantly more powerful than the 240 horsepower (180 kW) engine of the Type 3 Chi-Nu tank. This gave it a top speed of 28 miles per hour (45 km/h). 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. The gun was mounted in a large, hexagonal turret. A single 7.7 mm machine gun was mounted in the hull.
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