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Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank
Technical Information

Background
The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Type 97 Chi-Ha / Kyūnana-shiki chū-sensha Chi-ha / 九七式中戦車 チハ / was a medium tank.

Development
Type 97 Chi-HaDuring 1936 development began based around the Type 90 57mm main gun (short barrel) as the main armament, the same weapon used in the Type 89 I-Go Medium Tank with a six wheel suspension based on the system used in the Type 95 Ha Go Light Tank. Also armed with two Type 97 7.7mm machine guns, one in the hull another in the turret with up to 2,745 rounds in magazines for both weapons.

Wartime History

In 1937 the Type 97 Chi-Ha entered service with the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). Used during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan Incident) but proved to be ineffective against Soviet armor. Afterwards, the Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto (Type 97-Kai / Improved Type 97) was developed with the more effective Type 1 47mm main gun with higher velocity. with 120 rounds. Regardless, the Type 97 Chi-Ha remained in use until the end of the Pacific War. The type last action with the Japanese Army was during the Battle of Shumshu on August 18, 1945.

Wartime History
Used in the Battle of Nomonhan and during the Pacific War until the official surrender of Japan.

Production
Built by Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Nihon and Sagami. A total of 2,092 (other sources state 2,208) Type 97 Chi-Ha and Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto (Type 97-Kai / Improved Type 97) and were built between 1938 until 1943 making the Type 97 Chi-Ha was the most widely produced Japanese tank of World War II until production ceased to produce the newer Type 1 Chi-He medium tank.

References
Imperial Japanese Army - AFV - Type 97 Medium Tank "Chi-Ha"
Thanks to Alfred Weinzierl and Stan Gajda for assistance with this profile.

Technical Details
Crew  3-4 (Driver, Gunner, Loader, Commander)
Weight (loaded) 15.8 tons
Length  5.5m
Width  2.34m
Height  2.38m
Maximum Speed  25 mph
Armor (front) 25mm, (side) 15mm
Armament  47mm main gun with 120 rounds, 2 x Type 97 7.7mm machine guns (hull and turret) with 2,745 rounds in magazines


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