Type 4 Ho-Ro

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Type 4 Ho-Ro
Type 4 Ho-Ro Self-Propelled Gun
Type Self-propelled artillery
Place of origin Empire of Japan
Production history
No. built 12
Weight 16.3 tons
Length 5.52 meters (18.1 ft)
Width 2.33 meters (7.64 ft)
Height 2.36 meters (7.74 ft)
Crew 6[1]

Armor 12–25mm (0.98in)
150mm Type 38 howitzer
Engine Mitsubishi Type 100 air-cooled V-12 diesel
170 Hp (126.8 kW)
Power/weight 12.8 hp/ton
Suspension bell crank
200 kilometers (125 miles)
Speed 38 km/h (23.6 mph)

The Type 4 15cm self-propelled gun Ho-Ro (日本語: 四式十五糎自走砲 ホロ, Imperial Japanese Army Type 4 15cm self-propelled gun Ho-Ro) was a self-propelled gun developed by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II.


Inspired by the Grille series of self propelled artillery vehicles developed by Nazi Germany during World War II, wherein a 15 cm sIG 33 infantry support gun was mounted on a tracked chassis, engineers at the Army Technical Bureau resolved to do the same. Production was assigned to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The exact number produced in 1944 is uncertain, but was approximately 12 units.[2]


Type 4 15cm self-propelled gun Ho-Ro side view

The chassis selected was a modified Type 97 Chi-Ha chassis.[3] On to this platform, a Type 38 150 mm howitzer[3] which was based on a design by the German arms-manufacturer Krupp was mounted, but dated from 1905 and had been withdrawn from service as being obsolete in 1942.[4] The gun was capable of firing a 36 kilogram shell 6,000 meters. The gun crew was protected by a gun shield with armor thickness of 25 mm to the front,[5] but was unprotected to the sides and rear, which made the design extremely vulnerable to close combat. Other issues with the design was that the gun had a traverse movement of only 3 degrees, and had a slow rate of fire due to its breech loader.


The Type 4 Ho-Ro was rushed into service and deployed in batteries of four, which saw combat with the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army during the Philippines Campaign during the latter months of World War II.[2] Remaining units were deployed to Okinawa in ones and twos for island defense during the Battle of Okinawa, but were severely outnumbered by American artillery.[4]



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