|Type 1 Ho-Ni I|
Type 1 Ho-Ni I tank destroyer
|Place of origin||Empire of Japan|
|Length||5.9 m (19 ft 4 in)|
|Width||2.29 m (7 ft 6 in)|
|Height||2.39 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|Armor||25 - 51 mm|
|75mm Type 90 gun|
|Engine|| Mitsubishi SA12200VD air-cooled V-12 diesel (21.7 litres)|
170 hp at 2000 rpm
|200 km (120 mi)|
|Speed||38 km/h (24 mph)|
History and developmentEdit
After the start of the Pacific War, units of the Imperial Japanese Army began to encounter advanced Allied medium tanks, such as the M4 Sherman. The Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank lacked sufficient armor or armament to deal with this threat, and work was begun on a tank destroyer version.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was developed by using the existing Type 97 chassis and engine, and replacing the gun turret with a 75 mm Type 90 Field Gun mounted in an open casemate with frontal and side armour only. (similar to early German Panzerjäger tank destroyers). The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was designed to operate as self-propelled artillery in the armored divisions at ranges of up to 12,000 metres (7.5 mi). The design had no provision for a defensive machine gun, which together with the open structure made it very vulnerable in close combat.
The Type 97 chassis, suspension and diesel engine were used unchanged. The 75 mm Type 90 Field Gun, was protected on three sides by 50 mm thick armored plate. Armor overall (one of the weak points of the Type 97) was increased by an additional 16 mm of armor plate. The gun mounting gave ten degrees of traverse and -5 to +25 degrees of elevation. The Type 1 Ho-Ni I carried 54 rounds of ammunition.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was first deployed in combat at the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines in 1944, with limited success, but it was not available in any numbers to make an impact on the Battle of the Philippines.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was produced in small quantities between 1941 and November 1943, until superseded by the Type 2 Ho-Ni II with its Type 91 105mm howitzer. The total number produced was only 124 units.
A Type 1 Ho-Ni I from the IJA 2nd Armored Division, 2nd Armored Artillery Regiment was captured by the US Army 37th Infantry Division on Luzon on April 6, 1945 as is currently preserved at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen, Maryland.
- Foss, Christopher (2003). Great Book of Tanks: The World's Most Important Tanks from World War I to the Present Day. Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-1475-6.
- Foss, Christopher (2003). Tanks: The 500. Crestline. ISBN 0-7603-1500-0.
- Zaloga, Steven J. (2007). Japanese Tanks 1939-45. Osprey. ISBN 1-84603-091-8.
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