Type 31 75 mm mountain gun
|Type 31 75mm gun|
Type 31 75 mm mountain gun at the Hämeenlinna military museum.
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Used by||Empire of Japan|
|Wars||Russo Japanese War
World War II
|No. built||Approximately 620|
|Weight||.330 tonnes (730 lb)|
|Barrel length||1.06 m (3 ft 6 in) L/13.3|
|Shell||6 kilograms (13 lb)|
|Caliber||75 millimetres (3.0 in)|
|Recoil||semi-rigid cable/spring system|
|Elevation||-5° to +38°|
|Muzzle velocity||487 m/s (1,600 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||2-3 rounds/minute|
|Maximum firing range||6,500 m (7,100 yd)|
The Type 31 was introduced in 1898, with the “Type 31” designation indicating that the gun was developed in 31st year of reign of Emperor Meiji. Designed by Colonel Arisaka Nariakira, it had a barrel made of steel, which improved the range and accuracy of the gun over the earlier 7 cm mountain gun, which had a bronze barrel. The Type 31 used smokeless powder cartridge shots, and had a semi-rigid recoil system using cables connected to a set of springs. It had a range of approximately 7800 meters, using a 6.0 kilogram explosive shot. The Type 31 also came in a lighter mountain gun version, which had a shorter range (4300 meters). Approximately 620 were produced and deployment to combat units was completed by 1902. The gun remained in service to the end of World War II.
About one hundred Type 31 guns were sold to Russian empire in 1916. About 50 of these later surfaced in Red Army during Finnish Civil War, and ultimately 44 guns were appropriated by Finland when the hostilities ceased. These guns were designated 75 VK 98. 42 of these guns, together with the 28000 shells, were sold again in 1937 to the Republican Spain in the ongoing Spanish Civil War. The chartered Estonian transport Yorbrook, carrying guns and ammunition, was intercepted in Bay of Biscay by Spanish cruiser Canarias shortly before Battle of Cape Machichaco 5 March 1937. During the battle, the Yorbrook was escorted by Republican forces to enter port of Bermeo, but it is unknown if the guns were dumped to sea or offloaded in Bermeo.
- War Department TM-E-30-480 Handbook on Japanese Military Forces September 1944
- Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5: The Scarecrow Press.
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- War Department TM-E-30-480 Handbook on Japanese Military Forces September 1944 p 400
- Jaeger platoon site - infantry guns of Finland
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