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  Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto (Royal Australian Armoured Corps Museum)   
IJA
8th Tank Regiment

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Australian Army
September 19, 1945

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Australian Army
September 28, 1945

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Peter Flahavin 1996
Tank History
Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto medium tank. Hull number unknown.

Wartime History
This tank was transported as cargo aboard a ship and unloaded at Rabaul. Assigned to the 8th Tank Regiment at Rapopo to the south of Rabaul. This tank survived until the end of the Pacific War.

On September 8, 1945 Japanese forces on New Britain officially surrendered. Afterwards, all the operational tanks and vehicles were assembled at Rapopo Airfield. On September 19, 1945, the Australian Army 2/4 Armoured Regiment inspected 40 tanks and other vehicles, which were parked in lines. These included Type 97 Chi Ha medium tanks, Type 95 Ha Go light tanks and amphibious tanks and other vehicles

On September 28, 1945 one of forty Japanese tanks surrendered at Rapopo Airfield to the Australian Army 2/4 Armoured Regiment. Afterwards, the tanks were driven by Japanese drivers with Australian commanders from Rapopo to Rabaul. This tank and Type 97 Te-Ke Tankette were selected as war prizes and shipped to Australia. The other surrendered tanks were abandoned or destroyed.

Display
This tank is displayed at the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Museum (RAACM). Painted in a three color scheme including dark green, light green and tan with a yellow lightning bolt motif on each side of the turret. The front of the hull has two Japanese flags.

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Last Updated
September 29, 2020

 

Tech Info
Type 97
Shinhoto

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