Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:49 pm

The Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank was basically a larger version of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tank with a a two-man turret that held two men.

The Chi-Ha medium tank entered mass production in 1937 and was used during all of World War II. It weighed almost 15 tons and had a helical suspension system with clutch and break steering. The tank was powered by a 170 horsepower air-cooled diesel engine.

The Chi-Ha’s armament consisted of a 2.24 inch (57mm) short-barreled machine gun as well as two machine guns.

It was operated by a four man crew.
Australian officers with a surrendered Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank in September 1945
Although the Chi-Ha was a medium tank by Japanese standards, it was very small compared to Allied medium tanks, such as America’s Sherman tank. During World War II, the Japanese began to realize how much better the Allied tanks were, so they tried to make their tanks more powerful. 

In 1942, Japan built a modified version of the Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank, which was known as the Shinhoto Chi-Ha. This had a new turret with a long-barreled high velocity 1.85 inch (47mm) gun. Shinhoto means new turret.


Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium

Active: 1937
Crew: 4
Weight: 14.8 (15,000kg)
Length: 18ft 0.5in (5.5m)
Height: 7ft 4in (2.23m)
Width: 7ft 7.5in (2.33m)
Weapons: Main – 2.24in (5.7mm) gun, Secondary – 2 x 0.303in (7.7mm) machineguns
Armor Maximum – 0.98in (25mm)
Engine: Mitsubishi 97 V12 diesel, 170hp
Speed: 24.2mph (39kph)
Range: 124.3 miles (200 km)