Type 91 10 cm howitzer

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Type 91 10 cm 105 mm howitzer
Type 91 105 mm Howitzer.jpg
Type 91 10 cm 105 mm howitzer
Type light howitzer
Place of origin Japan
Service history
In service 1931-1949?
Used by War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svgImperial Japanese Army
 Republic of China (NRA)
 People's Republic of China (PLA)
Wars Second Sino-Japanese War
Soviet-Japanese Border Wars
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Production history
Designed 1927-1931
Manufacturer Osaka Arsenal
Produced 1931-?
No. built 1,100 + 100 (Motorized Model)
Variants Steel tires on artillery wheels, Wheels and Tires
Weight 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb)[1] Firing
1,979 kg (4,363 lb) Traveling
Length 4.72 m (15 ft 6 in) Firing
8.94 m (29 ft 4 in) Traveling
Barrel length 2.54 metres (8 ft 4 in) L/24
Width 1.57 m (5 ft 2 in) Track
1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) Maximum
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

Shell 105 x 243mm R[2]
Shell weight 15.7 kilograms (35 lb)
Caliber 105 millimetres (4.1 in)
Action manual
Breech Interrupted screw
Recoil hydropneumatic
Carriage Split trail, demountable spade plates, trail blocks integral to trails. Wheels and Tires or Steel tires on artillery wheels.
Elevation -5° to +45°
Traverse 20° right,20° left
Rate of fire 15 Minutes 2 rpm
Maximum 6-8 rpm
Continuous 50-60 rph
Muzzle velocity 546 m/s (1,791 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 10,771 metres (11,779 yd)
Feed system manual
Sights panoramic

The Type 91 10 cm howitzer (九一式十糎榴弾砲, Kyūisshiki Jissenchi Ryudanho) was a 105 mm (4.13 in) howitzer used by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. The Type 91 number was designated for the year the gun was accepted, 2591 in the Japanese imperial year calendar, or 1931 in the Gregorian calendar.[3]

History and development[edit]

Cadets of the Imperial Japanese Army during shooting training with Type 91 10-cm-howitzer (with wooden spoked wheels) at Fuji training ground. ca. 1935

The Type 91 10 cm howitzer was an orthodox design howitzer, based largely on contemporary French Canon de 105 mle 1913 Schneider howitzers ordered during the late 1920s by the Japanese Army Technical Bureau for evaluation purposes. It was intended to supplement, and eventually supersede the largely obsolete Type 38 15 cm howitzer, which had been in service since the end of the Russo-Japanese War. Over one thousand units were produced beginning in 1931.


A Japanese cannoneer is taking aim

For a weapon of modern design the Model 91 (1931) 105-mm howitzer is by U. S. standards an extremely crude-looking piece. It is much smaller and lighter than the German and U. S. howitzers of the same caliber, weighing even less than the standard 75-mm guns used in Europe in World War I. Despite its lightness and its appearance of not having been quite finished, it is capable of throwing a 35-pound shell very nearly as far as can the heavier and far more formidable looking German 105-mm howitzer.[3]

The Type 91 10 cm howitzer was a standard 105-mm artillery piece of extremely light construction relative to range and weight of projector.[3] Identification Demountable spade plates, long cradle extending almost to muzzle end of tube, a hydropneumatic recoil mechanism, split trail, and interrupted screw breech mechanism. It was designed to be towed by a team of six horses.[4]

The Type 91 fired a 15 kg standard high-explosive shell, up to 10,500 metres and could also fire chemical, armor-piercing, and shrapnel shells.[4] Japanese charge-system numbering is unusual, in that the numbering is reversed from American, British, German, French and Italian charge numbering systems:[3]

  • Charge 1: 11,772 yd (10,764 m)
  • Charge 2: 8,502 yd (7,774 m)
  • Charge 3: 6,322 yd (5,781 m)
  • Charge 4: 5,123 yd (4,684 m)


Night practice shooting at Fuji training ground

Early models of the Type 91 had wooden spoked wheels, but later versions had steel wheels with pneumatic tires for towing behind a motorized transport at the cost of an extra 250 kilograms (550 lb).

Combat record[edit]

Type 91 10 cm howitzer was used in large numbers in front line combat service from the time of the invasion of Manchuria through the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars, the Second Sino-Japanese War and in most fronts during the Pacific War. The Type 91 was typically assigned to field artillery regiments together with 75mm field guns.[5]

Weapons captured by the Chinese during the Second Sino-Japanese War, or abandoned in China at the time of the surrender of Japan, were placed into service by both the National Revolutionary Army of the Nationalist government and the People's Liberation Army of the Chinese communist government through the Chinese Civil War.



  1. ^ Chamberlain, Light and Medium Field Artillery for the early version with spoked wheels.
  2. ^ "101". www.quarryhs.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d War Department Special Series No 25 Japanese Field Artillery October 1944
  4. ^ a b US Department of War. TM 30-480, Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
  5. ^ [1] Taki's Imperial Japanese Army page


  • Bishop, Chris (eds) The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Barnes & Nobel. 1998. ISBN 0-7607-1022-8
  • Chamberlain, Peter and Gander, Terry. Light and Medium Field Artillery. Macdonald and Jane's (1975). ISBN 0-356-08215-6
  • Chant, Chris. Artillery of World War II, Zenith Press, 2001, ISBN 0-7603-1172-2
  • McLean, Donald B. Japanese Artillery; Weapons and Tactics. Wickenburg, Ariz.: Normount Technical Publications 1973. ISBN 0-87947-157-3.
  • Mayer, S.L. The Rise and Fall of Imperial Japan. The Military Press (1984) ISBN 0-517-42313-8
  • War Department Special Series No 25 Japanese Field Artillery October 1944
  • US Department of War, TM 30-480, Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, Louisiana State University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8071-2013-8

External links[edit]