Tag Archives: Type 95

A closer look at a surviving Ha-Go, the only Japanese tank at Bovington

David Willey, the curator at The Tank Museum, talks about their captured Japanese Ha-Go in the above video.

The Tank Museum’s Type 95 was captured in Burma during WWII and was examined in Calcutta before being sent to Britain. Surviving Japanese tanks from the Second World War are extremely rare.

As for the Ha-Go, the 16-ton tank was the most numerous Japanese armored fighting vehicle ever made and saw extensive use from China to Siam. With its 37mm gun it 25mph road speed, it was roughly comparable to the M3 Stuart, though with just 12mm of armor it could easily be knocked out with a 37mm anti-tank gun (or the British comparable QF 2-pounder) from as far away as 1,400 yards, or the average bazooka later in the war at ranges much closer.

Ha-Go on the roll, 76 years ago today

National Museum of the U.S. Navy# 80-G-179029

“A tank unit of our victorious army roaring by the Philippine legislature (Japanese caption).”

Image taken from the captured Japanese propaganda booklet, Victory on the March (3月の勝利), published in 1942 at the high water mark of the Empire.

General Douglas MacArthur declared Manila an open city to prevent its destruction on Dec. 24, 1941 and withdrew U.S. forces from the capital. The neoclassical-style Legislative building was constructed in 1921 and was the seat of the Philippine government.

The building, much like Manila itself, was largely destroyed in February 1945 when the Japanese withdrew, with many historians remarking that no other national capital with the exception of Warsaw suffered the same amount of destruction. The building was restored and used by the Philippine Senate until 1997 and is now the home of the National Art Gallery and Museum complex.

National Museum of Fine Arts (Old Legislative Building) reopened in 2012, National Museum of Anthropology (Old Finance Building) inaugurated in 1998, and the National Museum of Natural History (Old Tourism Building) to open in 2018.

The vehicles in the top image, of a column of Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, likely of the 4th Tank Regiment of the 14th Army, was taken when Japanese forces occupied Manila on 2 January 1942, some 76 years ago today.

The 4th was a crack veteran unit, as it had taken part in the Nomonhan against the Soviets in 1939 and would go on to be used in the Dutch East Indies within weeks of this image (bringing captured M3 Stuarts with them), then remain there in Java as garrison forces until 1945.

As for the Ha-Go, the 16-ton tank was the most numerous Japanese armored fighting vehicle ever made and saw extensive use from China to Siam. With its 37mm gun it 25mph road speed, it was roughly comparable to the M3 Stuart, though with just 12mm of armor it could easily be knocked out with a 37mm anti-tank gun (or the British comparable QF 2-pounder) from as far away as 1,400 yards, or the average bazooka later in the war at ranges much closer.

In short, it had pretty thin armor for a WWII-era tank.

175 million self-loading military rifles made since 1896– and most are likely still around

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

AK-47 style rifles accounted for almost half of the global production of self-loading rifles over the past century according to the study. (Graphics: Small Arms Survey)

A new study released by the Small Arms Survey found that over half of all autoloading rifles ever made for military use are either AK-type or AR-10/15 type designs.

The 60-page study was authored for the Geneva, Switzerland-based SAS by N.R. Jenzen-Jones, director of Armament Research Services, an international policy-neutral technical intelligence consulting group.

The effort concentrates primarily on military arms issued as a primary combat weapon and not those built or marketed to the civilian or law enforcement user. As such it includes select-fire and automatic magazine-fed rifles such as the AKM and semi-auto battle rifles such as the M1 Garand made after the advent of smokeless powder. Excluded were crew-served weapons.

Starting with the Danish Navy’s order of 60 Rekylkarabin carbines in 1896 and moving forward, the study concluded some 175 million self-loading rifles have been produced for military use since then, noting this figure was “conservative.”

More in my column at Guns.com.