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Japan's Type 89 Medium, Chi-Ro; Type 89 Yi-Go Medium; Type 92 Medium, Type 94 Medium

Photos

Type 89 Medium, original model
Japan's Type 89 Medium Tank

Type 89 Medium3:
Japan's Type 89 Medium
Type 89 Medium. Crossing bridge during training in June 1941. There is an umpire beside the tank with a white arm band.
Type 89 Chi-Ro

Type 89 Medium. Going down a jungle road.
Japan's Type 89
Type 89 Medium
Japan's Type 89

Type 89 Medium
Japan's Type 89
Type 89 Medium. During training.
Type 89 Ot-Su

Type 89 Medium. Near Shanghai.
Type 89 Ot-Su
Type 89A Chi-Ro Ko Medium3:
Japan's Type 89A Medium
Type 89A Chi-Ro Ko Medium3:
Japan's Type 89A Medium
Type 89A Medium Tank:
Japan's Type 89A Medium Tank
Type 89B Chi-Ro Ot-Su Medium3:
Japan's Type 89B Medium Tank
Type 89B Chi-Ro Ot-Su Medium3:
Japan's Type 89B Medium Tank
Type 89B Medium Tank:
Japan's Type 89B Medium Tank
Type 94 Chu Sensa, Shiki 94 Medium
Japan's Type 94, Chu Sensha, Shiki 94
Type 94 Chu Sensa, Shiki 94 Medium
Type 94, Chu Sensha, Shiki 94
Type 94 Chu Sensa Medium
Type 94, Chu Sensha, Shiki 94

Design

Many of the features were copied from the Vickers Mark C that was purchased from Britain in 1927.

This was the second home produced tank and was Prototype No. 2.4 It was completed in April 1929 and after testing was called the Type 89 Light Tank.4 After the Type 95 Light Tank appeared it was renamed the Type 89 Medium Tank.4

In 1929 the Type 89 was accepted for service and was classified as a medium tank as it weighed 10 tons.6

Main Armament

Gun had a muzzle velocity of 1,148 ft/sec.

Engine

The engine was modified from a 100 HP Daimler 6 cylinder aircraft engine.3

Steering

The steering and reduction gear was the same as the Prototype No. 1 tank.3

Early Models

Initially it had a front plate with a door on the right.4 There was a vertical front plate with a bow machine gun on the right, and the driver's visor on the left.4 There was a small cupola mounted on the turret.4

The five return rollers were mounted on a girder.4

May have been called the Type 92 Medium.4

Later Models

Had one long sloping front plate.4 The driver was on the right and the bow MG on the left.4

Based on experience in the field by troops, there were changes made.6 The commander's cupola was changed from a small design to a larger one with a split hatch.4,6

There were four return rollers.4 A ditching tail was added.4

May have been called type Type 94 Medium.4

Prototype

Prototype No. 2 was based upon Prototype No. 1 and had many of the same components.3 The suspension was simplified.3

Production

Sagami Arsenal was designated to be the manufacturer of the Type 89.6 However, it had limited facilities and subcontracted much of the work.6 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) built a new plant just to produce the Type 89.3,6

  • Prototype No. 2:
    • Manufacturer: Osaka Army Arsenal3
      • Armor: Japan Steel Works Ltd3
    • Production: April 1929 - ?3
  • Type 89:
    • Production: 1931 - 6
    • Type 89A: 1136
    • Type 89B: 2916
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)3,6
  • Total: 4046
  • Type 94:
    • Manufacturer: Osaka Arsenal5

Variants

  • Type 89A Chi-Ro Ko: Had gasoline engine4, but after experience in Manchuria in the cold weather it was decided to substitute a diesel engine. Widely used in China and sometimes fitted with unditching tails. Had a box type hull with sloped glacis plates. Protective skirting covered the leaf springs.
  • Type 89B Chi-Ro Ot-Su (Otsu?): Appeared in 1934 (sometimes known as the Type 94). Had single sloping front plate, new turret with commanders cupola, and a 6 cylinder diesel engine. Some vehicles had unditching tails at rear. The driver sat on the right and the hull MG gunner sat on the left. Steering was done by clutch and brake.
  • Type 94, Chu Sensha, Shiki 94: The 57 mm fired a 5.7 lb AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,150'/sec.5

Usage

First Shanghai Incident

First used at the Shanghai Incident in 1932 as part of the naval landing force.3

Officers and crews liked the performance of the Type 89.3

Jeho Operation

In Inner Mongolia in 1934 the Army organized their forces into combined arms units.3 These were very successful.3

China Incident / Marco Polo Bridge Incident

In July 1937, during the China Incident, there were two battalions of Type 89 tanks used.3

Second Shanghai Incident

The Type 89 was used at the Second Shanghai Incident in August 1937.3

World War II

Initially the Type 89 was the Japanese Army's main tank used in combat.3

Used by the medium tank units of Yamashita's 25th Army during invasion of Malaya and Singapore.

Some also saw action in Burma and in the Philippines before the majority of them were moved in mid-1942 to China for use.

Specifications

  Type 89
Crew Commander, loader, driver, gunner-hull
43,4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight - initial 9.6 tons4, 9.8 tons3
Weight - after modifications 11.3 tons4, 11.5 tons3
Length 14' 2"4, 18' 10.25"
4.3 m3
Length with trench crossing tail 18' 11"4
5.75 m3
Height 7' 2"4, 8' 5"
2.2 m3
Width 7'4, 7' 2"
2.15 m3
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 0.35 m3
Ground clearance - later model 0.5 m3
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 57 mm Model 90
57 mm4
Secondary  
MG  
MG - rear turret 1: MG4
1: 6.5 mm MG Type 91
MG - hull 1: MG4
1: 6.5 mm MG Type 91
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 100
Secondary  
MG 2,745
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 173,4
Hull Front, Upper 17
Hull Front, Lower 17
Hull Sides, Upper 17
Hull Sides, Lower 17
Hull Rear 17
Hull Top 10
Hull Bottom 6
Turret Front 17
Turret Sides 15
Turret Rear 15
Turret Top 10
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 speed
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Compression ratio  
Fuel (Type) Diesel4
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 17 mph4
27 kph3
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road  
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 4.6 m3
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 3' 3"
Trench crossing 6' 7", 8' 3"
2 m3
Trench crossing - with tail 2.5 m3
Vertical obstacle 2' 9", 3'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Leaf Spring
Wheels each side 9
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width 12"
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Type 89A Chi-Ro Ko
Crew 42
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 28,000 lb
12.7 tons2, 13 tons
Length w/gun 16' 8", 18.8'2
5.1 m
Length w/o gun  
Height 8.48'2
Width 7' 3", 7.17'2
2.2 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 57 mm2
Secondary  
MG 2: 6.5 mm MG2
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 10 - 172
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Daimler water cooled
Mitsubishi2
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water2
Cylinders 62
Capacity  
Net HP 1052, 1186
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Compression ratio  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,4,6
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 15 mph, 15.5 mph2
24.1 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 87 miles
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side 5
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Type 89B Chi-Ro Ot-Su
Crew 41
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 28,660 lb, 25,353 lb
11,500 kg, 13,000 kg1
12.79 tons1, 13 tons
Length w/gun 14' 1", 18' 10"1
4.73 m, 5.73 m1
Length w/o gun  
Height 7' 2", 8' 3"1
2.56 m1
Width 7'1
2.13 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 57 mm1
Secondary  
MG 2: 6.5 mm MG1
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main  
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 171
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Mitsubishi1,6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders 61
Capacity  
Net HP 115, 1201 @ 1,800 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Compression ratio  
Fuel (Type) Diesel1,4,6
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 15.5 mph, 16 mph1, 17 mph
26 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 100 miles, 106 miles1
170 km1
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side 4
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  Type 94, Chu Sensha, Shiki 94
Crew 45
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 15.4 tons5
Length w/gun 16.4'5
With ditching tail: 19.2'5
Length w/o gun  
Height 8.7'5
Width 7.1'5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 19"5
Ground contact length 132"5
Ground pressure 8.2 psi5
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 57 mm Type 90, L/18.55
Secondary  
MG  
MG - rear turret 1: 6.5 mm Type 91 MG5
MG - hull 1: 6.5 mm Type 91 MG5
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1005
Secondary  
MG 2,7505
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Front: 0.67"5
Side: 0.43"5
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 0.5"5
Mantlet: 0.75"5
Turret Sides 0.25"5
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Mitsubishi5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air5
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP 1605
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse5
Steering Clutch brake5
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Compression ratio  
Fuel (Type) Diesel5
Octane  
Quantity 211 gallons5
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 28 mph5
Speed - Cross Country 18 - 20 mph5
Range - Road 100 miles5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 39"5
Trench crossing 9'5
Vertical obstacle 33"5
Climbing ability 34° (67%) slope5
Suspension (Type) Spring5
Wheels each side 85, 1 roller5
Return rollers each side 45
Tracks (Type) Dry pin5
Length  
Width 12.75"5
Diameter  
Number of links 805
Pitch 5.5"5
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. Profile AFV Weapons #49 Japanese Medium Tanks, Lieutenant-General Tomio Hara, 1972
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  5. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  6. Japanese Tanks 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, 2007
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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