The Chi-Ha Short Gun is a medium fire support tank designed by Japan near the end of the war. Equipped with an uncharacteristically large (for Japanese tanks) 120 mm ship cannon, this ‘shorty’ is sure to amaze you with its ‘naval’ caliber!
The Chi-Ha Short Gun is a medium fire support tank designed by Japan by the end of World War II. Land-based ground forces required a fire-support tank to fight against long-term fortifications and firing positions, and the Type 2 Ho-I developed in 1942 partially fulfilled this demand. Nonetheless, in the opinion of several military figures, its 75 mm howitzer was insufficiently powerful on the battlefield, so Japanese tank designers went on to try multiple times to create a tank with more solid armament. The result of one such attempt was the Chi-Ha Kai 12 cm Short Gun.
Developed by order of the Imperial Japanese Navy to strengthen naval infantry divisions, the Chi-Ha Short Gun was an ordinary Chi-Ha Kai rearmed with a 120 mm short-barreled naval cannon. The weapon itself, which American experts imaginatively dubbed the 12 cm Short Gun in post-war documents, was borrowed from the merchant fleet arsenal. At sea, merchant and transport vessels often came under attack from enemy submarines, against which high-caliber short-barreled cannons with high-explosive shells were often used. It was exactly this kind of weapon that was used to rearm the seriously outdated Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai tank at the end of 1944.
The standard 47 mm cannon was demounted from the spacious Chi-Ha Kai turret and the 120 mm naval short-barreled gun was installed in its place. Naturally, the recoil from a gun of such caliber required the installation of powerful anti-recoil cylinders, the strength of which was still not enough. A massive muzzle brake was later also placed on the gun barrel. The tank continued to be crewed by 5, but the significantly ‘fattened’ ammunition complement was now housed not only within the hull, but also in a side turret box outside the tank. In all other respects, the vehicle remained unchanged in comparison to the base version of the Chi-Ha Kai.
It isn’t known exactly how many tanks were rearmed in such a manner, and whether they participated in real military conflicts or not. However, after the war, the Americans observed over 14 Chi-Ha Short Guns at Japanese naval bases.
In the game, this tank will make an excellent gift for any tanker – after all, a weapon of such a caliber is encountered on a Japanese military vehicle rarely, to say the least. The 120 mm naval cannon will force your opponent to think twice before exposing themselves to a crushing strike from a ‘lightly armed’ Japanese tank. The Chi-Ha Short Gun’s ammunition complement includes one powerful high-explosive shell, full to bursting with explosives with a total power of 2.65 kg TNT equivalent, which exceeds by 700 grams the power of the 105 mm high-explosive shell from the long-barreled cannon of the not unknown German tank destroyer Dicker Max. Such an imposing explosive shell represents a real threat not only for enemy tanks at the same rank, but for vehicles at a much higher rank. This shell is equipped with the well known instant contact explosive that leaves the opponent with no chance whatsoever on a successful hit. Of course, you’ll still have to select your target and pull the trigger with care – the 120 mm cannon requires quite some time to reload. The unusual location of the ammunition complement also demands special care from the tanker. Some of the ammo is housed in a side basket outside the Chi-Ha Short Gun’s turret, and that means that this precise point is the most vulnerable on the tank, and a priority target even for enemy SPAAGs. The large crew of 5 in this relatively small vehicle allows the tank to remain in the fray for longer even after taking painful piercing shots. Nonetheless, it’s better not to take fire when wielding the Chi-Ha Short Gun – its armor can protect the crew only from bullets or shrapnel, but not from an armor-piercing anti-tank shell. However, this is true of almost any Japanese tank. All Chi-Ha tanks possess traditionally good mobility, so the Chi-Ha Short Gun shouldn’t have serious problems taking up a good artillery position.
Developed by naval order, for naval needs and armed with a powerful naval cannon, this tank will allow anyone waiting in anticipation for the release of War Thunder’s navy to feel like a real ship’s captain. The Chi-Ha Short Gun is a premium tank on the initial ranks of the Japanese ground vehicle tech tree. Don’t miss your chance to obtain this exciting new addition right now!