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  Type 97  Chi-Ha Medium Tank   
11th Tank Regiment

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Gordon Page c1990s
Wartime History
Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank. Assigned to the 11th Tank Regeiment under the command of Colonel Zueo Ikeda on Shumshu Island.

On August 18, 1945 a Soviet force of 8,360 troops from the Soviet Army and Navy supported by naval vessels and aircraft made an amphibious landing on Shumshu Island, despite the fact Japan had accepted the terms of surrender and the Pacific War had officially ended.

Although the Japanese were in the process of disarmament they responded to the landing with a counter attack in accordance with their right to defend Japanese territory. Aided by a fog that covered the landing area, forty Japanese tanks from the 11th Tank Regiment attacked the Soviet landing force by rushing the beach area. For more than two hours a vicious close quarters battle ensued as the Soviets rushed to deployed anti-tank guns. During the Battle of Shumshu, the Japanese tanks claimed to have killed 100 Soviets troops but lost twenty-one tanks in the last Japanese armor action of World War II.

This tank remains in situ on the battlefield. The turret and main gun remain in place. By the 1990s, the right tread was misisng.

The History of Battles of Imperial Japanese Tanks - Part II - Shimushu

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


Tech Info
Type 97
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