Type 4 Chi-To

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Type 4 Chi-To
Chi-To.JPG
Type 4 Chi-To medium tank
Type 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 6.42 m (21 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 (L/56.4)
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

(13.73 hp/tonne)
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 medium tanks developed by the Imperial Japanese Army towards the end of World War II. While by far the most advanced Japanese wartime tank to reach production, industrial and material shortages resulted in only six chassis being manufactured; only two of these were completed with neither seeing combat.[1]

Design[edit]

Interior side view of planned production model
Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun Mark I
Type 4 prototype, with turret reversed
Type 4 prototype, with turret reversed

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] Manned by a crew of five, it was 6.42 m (21.1 ft) long, 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in) high, and 2.87 m (9 ft 5 in) wide.[2] Main armament was a turret-mounted long-barreled 75 mm/L56.4 (4.23 m) gun capable of being elevated between -6.5 to +20 degrees. An 850 metres per second (2,800 ft/s) muzzle velocity gave it an armor penetration of 75 millimeters at 1,000 meters. A single 7.7 mm machine gun was mounted in the hull.[3]

The Type 4's 300 kW (400 hp) gasoline engine was significantly more powerful than the 180 kW (240 hp) engine of the 19-ton Type 3 Chi-Nu,[4] giving it a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) on tracks supported by seven road wheels.[5]

Development[edit]

Development of the Type 4 Chi-To medium tank began in 1943 as an intended successor to the Type 97-Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha. The first prototype was delivered in 1944. Similar in appearance but significantly larger than the Type 97, it was the most advanced Japanese tank to reach production.[1]

Intended Type 4 Chi-To output was 25 tanks per month spread over two Mitsubishi Heavy Industries factories. Late war shortage-induced delays caused by the severing of supply lines with conquered territories and U.S. strategic bombing of the Japanese mainland resulted in only six chassis being built by 1945. Just two were completed and neither saw combat.[1][6]

At the end of World War II the two completed tanks were dumped into Lake Hamana in Shizuoka Prefecture to avoid capture by occupation forces. One was recovered by the US Army, but the other was left in the lake. In 2013 there were efforts to locate the remaining tank, but it was not found.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Zaloga 2007, p. 22.
  2. ^ Tomczyk 2005, p. 30.
  3. ^ Miller 2000, p. 187.
  4. ^ Zaloga 2007, pp. 20-22.
  5. ^ Tomczyk 2005, pp. 19, 20.
  6. ^ Tomczyk 2005, pp. 19, 22.
  7. ^ Takagi, Shogo Lake Hamana searched for WWII sunken tank April 17, 2013 The Japan Times Retrieved April 3, 2016

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]