The Type 97 Chi-Ha was a 15-ton tank fielded by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Sino-Japanese War and WWII. Massively produced by the firm Mitsubishi, it was in service with the Japanese armed forces from 1938 to 1945. It is deemed the best Japanese tank of the war, mechanically speaking, for it was reliable, with acceptable maximum speed and range. However, the Type 97 had two important, battle weaknesses; it was not well enough protected, with a maximum armor thickness of 25-mm on the front, and it had an underpowered 57mm gun. Its armament also included two 7.7-mm machine guns. The turret and hull of this Japanese tank was not cast in one piece, as the American Sherman M4, as it was made of riveted steel plates. The turret, which rotated 360ยบ, was located in the center of the hull. It was equipped with narrow tracks,with six road wheels and two sprockets (the driving one situated at the front).

Specifications

Type: medium tank

Weight: 15 tons

Length: 5.5 m

Width: 2.3 m

Height: 2.2 m

Engine: one 170-hp, Mitsubishi, 12-cylinder, diesel

Maximum speed: 24 mph

Range: 140 miles

Weaponry: one 57-mm gun; two 7.7-mm machine guns

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