The Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank is rightly considered the best series-produced Japanese tank of World War II. It was created as the last line of defense in the case of an enemy invasion in Japan.
By looking at this tank’s design, one can immediately recognize the Type 3 Chi-Nu’s predecessor – the Type 97 Chi-Ha, already familiar to us. Although numerous modifications and upgrades noticeably improved the tank’s armor, changed its turret significantly, and gave it a cannon that inspires respect even from the side, the tank’s chassis did not undergo radical changes. The engine and basic suspension and transmission joints were passed on to the Type 3 almost unchanged.
In 1943, this tank went into production and was based on the Chi-He tanks, which, in their turn, were a fundamentally modernized version of the Chi-Ha. The Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank did not participate in military operations against the USA or the USSR. The tank was deployed in units intended to defend Japan from a ground invasion, meaning that the Chi-Nu was literally entrusted with protecting the homeland and the Imperial family. However, Japan surrendered before the allies reached the capital, and the tank continued its service in the post-war era, forming part of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The Type 3 Chi-Nu was kept in service until the 60s, when the Japanese army received brand new tanks.
In War Thunder, the Type 3 Chi-Nu will be a medium tank that will sit in the medium ranks in the Japanese ground forces tech tree. The tank is decently armored at the front end and on its turret, its 75 mm cannon with its high post-penetration effect allows you to confidently go up against the tank’s contemporaries such as the T-34, Shermans, and the later series of the German Panzer IV. The tank also has some obvious weaknesses. The hull’s side armor is only 20mm thick, meaning that any opponent met side-on will be capable of disabling or even destroying the tank with just one shot as long as they know where the engine or the ammo rack are located.
The Japanese failed to adopt series production of cast turrets before the end of the war, so the Type 3 Chi-Nu’s turret is welded and octagonal, meaning that ricochets happen significantly less than on the T-34. It also means that the Japanese tank lacks a thick gun mantlet like that of the Shermans. Because of this, the correct strategy on the Chi-Nu would be to use it as heavy tank support, in medium tank rushes, or in duels where the hull’s front is directly facing the enemy. Knowing the vulnerable spots on enemy hulls would also help a lot, as the Japanese APHE charges traditionally have a powerful post-penetration effect, and they won’t let you down as long as you land a good hit.
The Type 3 Chi-Nu will be added to the Japanese armored vehicle tech tree very soon – keep an eye out!