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Japanese tanks

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Akas, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Akas

    Akas New Member

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    It is rare that anyone would consider Japanese tanks of WW2 superior to their American counterparts, However I believe they didn't have to be as the war was primarily at sea and in the jungle tank combat was hard to conduct. As for the tanks that they did make they faired well against the Chinese who had little to no armour, and even when fighting in the jungle they could outmaneuver American tanks and kill the lighter American tanks. On thing that would've posed a serious problem to the Japanese tanks would be a invasion of the American mainland which would have been almost impossible but if they managed to land then the wide open city and mountain terrain would make amour combat difficult if not impossible (unless a heavier tank was designed.) In conclusion Japanese tanks weren't totally ineffective and were quite good when facing a opponent without armour but Was inferior if there wasn't the advantage of the jungle.
     
  2. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Is that Tarawa?
     
  4. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Kwajalein, February 1944. "Private First Class N. E. Carling stands beside the American M4 Sherman medium tank "Killer" on which is mounted a knocked-out Japanese Type 94"
     
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  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    There you go.........thanks for the Answer Patton, I've never seen that image before.
     
  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I should note that's a M4A2 Sherman with the twin 6-71 diesel engines. It's the best version, but I may have some bias...
     
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  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some people...
     
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  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Killer appears to have wood planks on the side, any idea? Protection against magnetic mines, like the German zimmerit coating?
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Never underestimate the value of a good toothpick after a hard won battle. Especially if the NAAFI are responsible for the kip.
     
  10. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Could you elaborate on this a bit? I would consider the Stuart comparable to Japanese tanks, and what little I've seen about tank-on-tank actions has the honors about even. The Stuarts in the Philippines and Burma in 1941-42 were eventually lost, often destroyed by their own crews as the armies retreated, rather than in tank battles.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I'd give the Stuart's the edge. Better gun, armor, and reliability.
     
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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Additional armor...they were still vulnerable to side hits from Japanese 47mm.
     
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Initially, the Wooden armour was added as stand-off against Japanese type 99 magnetic mines.
    Planks 4" from the hull back-filled with concrete.

    Type 99:
    Type_99_mine.jpg

    Among other 'advanced bravery' methods:
    Forlorn Hope - Suicide Weapon: Japanese Suicidal Snipers and Anti-Tank Squads

    The modification was maybe not effective against all attacks:
    Knocked_out_M4_Sherman_Tank_on_Iwo_Jima_March_1945.jpg


    Another shot of 'Killer' (with apologies for quality. Phone scan.)
    1531952804926.jpg


    To add to this, caption on second shot mentions Sgt Joe Bruno, Company C, Marine 4th battalion.
    Nice to have a couple of crewmen named on an allied tank.


    Re. Japanese tanks.
    I always suspect that, like Italian gear, they're not quite as crap as always cited.
    Not much there in the big boys toys department but probably quite adequate for the jungle & colonial usage envisioned.
    They certainly kept an eye on more advanced projects, though I must confess my Japanese bookshelves are pretty insubstantial.
    Anyone read anything good on Japanese armour development?
     
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  14. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    [​IMG]
    Australians and Japanese Tanks...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A couple captured...
     
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  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It has nothing to do with the war primarily being at sea - The US tanks of the inter-war era were almost as pitiful as the Japanese mediums, but the US quickly developed and produced the Sherman..."In the jungle", primarily pertains Southwest Pacific Theater. The islands in the Central Pacific did not have the tropical rain forest jungle found in the SWPA. Besides, once the Shermans became increasingly plentiful, the US Marines and US Army quickly adopted tank-infantry tactics that functioned very well in less-than-hospitable terrain.

    What Japanese tanks had to be, was at least on par with the Russian examples. However, it took them about 3 years to upgrade the Type 97 medium tank to the "improved" model - which was simply the old chassis with a new turret mounting a high-velocity 47mm gun. Part of the problem was that despite some very major industrial advances in Japan, she was still largely an agrarian-based economy, and her heavy industries were just not capable of large-scale tank production, while still maintaining an increasing output of ships, planes, guns, artillery, etc. Also, maintaining a large army and a large navy, while building up a large air force is very expensive...and Japan was going broke with her war in China, building up her air force, and maintaining her large navy.


    In the main, all tanks tend to fair well against an enemy who is incapable of countering them.


    I believe that the maneuverability was roughly equal, and with the better reliability of the American tanks, all the US tanks would have the edge in combat. The exception, of course, being the Philippines 1941.


    Cities and mountainous terrain are always problems for tanks, no matter how big or how small(1st Chechnya anyone). Wide open plains will benefit whomever can make good use of long-range tank gunnery, but the Americans fielded a higher-velocity, longer-ranged 37mm than was field by Japan at the time.


    Japanese tanks were not totally ineffective...Just totally ineffective in the face of any semi-determined or better defense. The US Marines at the Matanikau River were without armor, but they annihilated the 1st Independent Tank Company just the same.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It has nothing to do with the war primarily being at sea - The US tanks of the inter-war era were almost as pitiful as the Japanese mediums, but the US quickly developed and produced the Sherman..."In the jungle", primarily pertains Southwest Pacific Theater. The islands in the Central Pacific did not have the tropical rain forest jungle found in the SWPA. Besides, once the Shermans became increasingly plentiful, the US Marines and US Army quickly adopted tank-infantry tactics that functioned very well in less-than-hospitable terrain.

    What Japanese tanks had to be, was at least on par with the Russian examples. However, it took them about 3 years to upgrade the Type 97 medium tank to the "improved" model - which was simply the old chassis with a new turret mounting a high-velocity 47mm gun. Part of the problem was that despite some very major industrial advances in Japan, she was still largely an agrarian-based economy, and her heavy industries were just not capable of large-scale tank production, while still maintaining an increasing output of ships, planes, guns, artillery, etc. Also, maintaining a large army and a large navy, while building up a large air force is very expensive...and Japan was going broke with her war in China, building up her air force, and maintaining her large navy.


    In the main, all tanks tend to fair well against an enemy who is incapable of countering them.


    I believe that the maneuverability was roughly equal, and with the better reliability of the American tanks, all the US tanks would have the edge in combat. The exception, of course, being the Philippines 1941.


    Cities and mountainous terrain are always problems for tanks, no matter how big or how small(1st Chechnya anyone). Wide open plains will benefit whomever can make good use of long-range tank gunnery, but the Americans fielded a higher-velocity, longer-ranged 37mm than was field by Japan at the time.


    Japanese tanks were not totally ineffective...Just totally ineffective in the face of any semi-determined or better defense. The US Marines at the Matanikau River were without armor, but they annihilated the 1st Independent Tank Company just the same.
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Indirectly, though, it possibly does.
    Japan not the most resource-rich nation, and it's often cited that they ploughed those resources, technical & physical, into naval & aviation priorities, with land warfare being something of an ugly stepchild.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Even if it's just within the army the steel in a single tank can make a lot of rifles, mgs, and guns. The IJA may simply have seen the latter as a better option.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    They poured quite a bit of resources into their war in China. However, the IJA brass wanted light and fast, which was not necessarily what the armor command wanted, but those in charge control the purse strings, and they tend to get what they want - The Type 97 Shinhoto was the "best" that armor could get.
     
  20. Akas

    Akas New Member

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    Yes that Is true but one of the reasons the Sherman was brought in was because it was vulnerable to not only Japanese tanks but the Japanese AT though the Stuart could also kill the Japanese tanks though it is true that the Stuart was overall better than most Japanese tanks like the ha go but when faced against the type 97 it was fairly even matched
     

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