Type 4 Ho-Ro

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Type 4 Ho-Ro
四式自走砲.jpg
Type 4 Ho-Ro Self-Propelled Gun
TypeSelf-propelled artillery
Place of originEmpire of Japan
Production history
No. built12
Specifications
Mass16.3 tons
Length5.52 meters (18.1 ft)
Width2.33 meters (7.64 ft)
Height2.36 meters (7.74 ft)
Crew6[1]

Armor12–25mm (0.98in)
Main
armament
150mm Type 38 howitzer
Secondary
armament
none
EngineMitsubishi Type 100 air-cooled V-12 diesel
170 Hp (126.8 kW)
Power/weight12.8 hp/ton
Suspensionbell crank
Operational
range
200 kilometers (125 miles)
Speed38 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.

Development[edit]

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]

Design[edit]

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which was based on a design by the German arms-manufacturer Krupp was mounted, but dated from 1905 and had been withdrawn from service as being obsolete in 1942.[4] The gun's elevation was restricted to 30 degrees by the construction of the chassis. The restricted elevation meant it was capable of firing a 35 kilogram shell 6,000 meters (6,600 yards). Given its breech loader, the maximum rate of fire was only 5 rounds per minute.[5] Other issue with the design was that the gun had a traverse movement of only 3 degrees. The gun crew was protected by a gun shield with armor thickness of 25 mm at the front,[6] but the shield only extended a very short distance on the sides, leaving the rest of the sides and back exposed. This made the design extremely vulnerable to close combat.

Top-angle view of Type 4 Ho-Ro

Combat history[edit]

The Type 4 Ho-Ro was rushed into service and deployed in batteries of four, which saw combat as part of the 2nd Tank Division with the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army during the Philippines Campaign in the last year of World War II.[2][7] 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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tomczyk 2007, pp. 13, 14.
  2. ^ a b Taki's Imperial Japanese Army Page: "Ho-Ro"
  3. ^ a b Zaloga 2007, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b Trewhitt 1999, p. 108.
  5. ^ Tomczyk 2007, p. 9.
  6. ^ Tomczyk 2007, p. 13.
  7. ^ Zaloga 2007, pp. 38, 39.

References[edit]

  • Trewhitt, Philip (1999). Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Dempsey-Parr. ISBN 978-1840843286.
  • Tomczyk, Andrzej (2007). Japanese Armor Vol. 5. AJ Press. ISBN 978-8372371799.
  • Zaloga, Steven J. (2007). Japanese Tanks 1939–45. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-8460-3091-8.

External links[edit]