97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto (Type 97-Kai / Improved Type 97)
The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) Type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha medium tank. Literally, Shinhoto means
"new turret" in reference to the redesigned turret and larger main gun. Also designated the Type 97-Kai (Improved Type 97).
After the Battle of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan Incident),
the Japanese Army acknowledged the need for
improvements on the Type 97 Chi-Ha and deveoped the Type
97 Shinhoto Chi-Hi (Improved Type 97) with the same chassis with a new turret with the higher velocity Type 1 47mm gun with 120 rounds. This gun was
more effective that the previous Type 90 57mm main gun (short barrel) used in earlier variants.
Several Shinhotos were
rushed to the 2nd Tank Division fighting in the Philippines in
1942 and took part in the attack on Corregidor. They could
penetrate the Sherman's armor, but only from the side and from
the front at 500 yards or less.
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 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.
Imperial Japanese Army - AFV - Type 97-improved Medium Tank "Shinhoto Chi-Ha"
Crew 4-5 (Driver, Gunner, Loader, Commander)
Weight 13 tons (empty) 15 (loaded)
Maximum Speed 25 mph
Armor (front) 25mm (side) 15mm
Armament Type 1 47mm gun, 2 x 7.7mm machine gun (turret, coaxial)