Type 1 Chi-He

IJA tanks IJA (1944) Medium tank - 170 built

An improved Chi-Ha

The Type 1 Chi-He was an attempt by Mitsubishi to modernize the Type 97 Chi-Ha, the latter being later upgraded to the Shinhoto standard in 1942. The efforts of the engineers were aimed at increasing the protection level and improve the main gun range, speed and accuracy. The American M4 Sherman was especially in their minds. Unfortunately, production was delayed due to steel shortages, reserved in priority for warship construction. When the production run ended in early 1944, after 170 units built*, the model was desperately outdated.
*170 is the commonly accepted figure. Japanese Tanks 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, 2007, goes as far as 587, perhaps including part of the Shinhoto conversions

Design improvements

The all-welded armor was increased to 50 mm (1.97 in), with a straight flat plate to simplify production. It was also slightly longer and taller, and weighed 1.5 tons more. Fortunately, this was compensated by the Mitsubishi Type 100 diesel, which gave 70 hp more than the previous Type 97, with a 240 hp total. Its main Type 1 47 mm (1.85 in) high-velocity (810 m/s or 2,700 ft/s) gun had a barrel length of 2.25 m, and was found able to defeat 72 mm (2.83 in) at 200 m or 52 mm (2.05 in) at 1,000 m, almost double of the original Type 97 Chi-Ha. However, it needed an elevation gear, but this also lead to superior accuracy. Elevation/depression was +20 and -15 degrees. The three-man turret was a retrofit of the Chi-Ha Kai one. The Type 1 was also the first Japanese medium tank equipped with a radio as a standard.

The Chi-He in action

Fortunately (or unfortunately) for the Japanese, the Chi-He never left the Home Islands. They were kept here to defend against the projected Allied invasion (Operation Olympic), scheduled for October 1945. However, what-if prospects, if the invasion had took place, would have seen the Chi-He still inefficient against the upgraded, 1944 pattern Shermans, especially the new M4A3E8, later deployed in the Korean war. A single prototype was derived from it, the twin 37 mm (1.46 in) AA gun Ta-Ha SPAAG.

Links and sources

The Chi-He on Wikipedia

Type 1 Chi-He specifications

Dimensions 5.5 x 2.2 x 2.38 m (18.1 x 7.3 x 7.10 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 17 tons
Crew 5 (driver, commander, gunner, loader, machine-gunner/radio)
Propulsion Mitsubishi V12 Type 100 air-cooled diesel, 240 hp (179 kW)@2,000 rpm, 21,700 cc
Speed 44 km/h (27 mph)
Armor 8 to 50 mm (0.31-1.97 in)
Range (road/off road) 210 km (128 mi)
Total production 170
Type4 Ke Nu
Type 1 Chi-He, possibly in Kyushu, Home Islands, late 1944.

Type 1 Chi-He, unknown unit, Home Islands, 1945.


Official photo - at MitsubishiType 1 Chi-He in storageType 1 and Type 97 in storageRear view
Poster Imperial Japanese Army ww2
Get the Poster of the ww2 Imperial Japanese Army Tanks and support us !

WW2 Tanks

Argentinian tanks of ww2 Australian tanks of ww2 Blegian tanks of ww2 Bolivian armor in ww2 Bulgarian tanks of ww2 Canadian tanks of ww2 Chinese tanks and interwar AFVs Czech tanks of ww2 Finnish tanks of ww2 French Tanks of ww2 Hungarian tanks of ww2 Indian tanks of ww2 Irish armor in ww2 Italian tanks of ww2 Imperial Japanese Tanks of ww2 German tanks of ww2 New Zealand tanks of ww2 ww2 polish armor ww2 romanian armor ww2 south african armor ww2 soviet tanks ww2 spanish civil war AFVs ww2 swedish tanks Ducth ww2 tanks and afvs British ww2 Tanks American ww2 tanks Yugoslavian ww2 tanks

WW2 tanks posters

All Tiger tanks liveries.

Panther liveries and variants

WW2 Armour - All tanks

tanks posters - Soviet Armour 1941

Tanks aces and single tanks series

otto Skorzeny M10 Ersatz

Find more there

Museums, Movies, Books & Games
The Tanks and Armor in pop culture

Tanks and armored vehicles in general are only really grasped when seen first person: The mass, the scale, it's all there. Explore also the way tanks were covered in the movie industry, in books and in video games.

Best tanks movie on warhistoryonline.com
On imdb.com
On bestsimilar.com/

Video Games:


They go hand in hand.

Tanks had no tactical manual when first used. It was learned the hard way and perfected over decades, as well as weapons, countermeasures and accompanying vehicles.