Type 97 Chi-Ha

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General info

The Chi-Ha in the Garage.

The Type 97 Chi-Ha is a Rank I Japanese medium tank with a battle rating of 1.3. It was introduced in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai" along with the rest of the Japanese Ground Forces Tree.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


General play style

The Chi-Ha is the most interesting tank to play in Rank I Japanese tanks as it has little to no armour, a shot-put like muzzle velocity and looks like a bus in some sense as to how long it is. But there is a way to play this tank despite all the negatives to this tank, and to play it to the best to you can is to play supportive in every way (apart from long distance as the rounds drop like a brick after 500m). Stay close to teammates and always play sneaky as you can be easily one shotted by everything like all Japanese tanks in this Rank.

But if you find yourself facing a heavy tank or medium tank of early Rank 2 are very hard to verse from head on and the fact that your rounds lack penetration to destroy it from the front. So your best option is to go up behind it or attack from the side to destroy them. Another problem that shows itself strongly in close quarter fights is that the Chi-Ha has a hand-cranked turret and turning the tank is painful at best. So your best idea is to plan ahead before you attack, think where you believe the enemy may be and find a place to hide your bulky tank from the enemy and wait for the enemy to come to you. Now this is somewhat important "YOU don't look for the enemy, the ENEMY comes to you", but you can go look for the enemy but always be on alert and make sure you have a friend to support you.

Engine power is not that powerful, which then means that your acceleration will be slow to start up but you slowly get faster the faster you get. But reversing is like all British tanks when they reverse, It's going to be slow. But this is compensated for the turning speed of this tank as it is better to turn and run in some cases then reverse.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-Tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Improved sloped armour compared to the reserve vehicles
  • Quite fast (up to 44 km/h)
  • lovely climbing ability
  • due to it's slow velocity it can shoot behind cover without showing your tank to some degree

Cons:

  • 57 mm armament may be underpowered in frontal engagements
  • Thin armour that can be penetrated by even 20 mm SPAA

Specifications

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Armaments

1 x 57 mm Type 97 cannon (120 rounds)
1 x 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun (3,000 rounds)

Main armament

1 x 57 mm Type 97 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 120 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 9.0°/s (Stock), 12.5°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 4.3s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 57 mm Type 97 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 120 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 9.0°/s (Stock), 10.6°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 4.3s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 57 mm Type 97 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 120 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -15°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 9.0°/s (Stock), 10.6°/s (Upgraded), _._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), _._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), _._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reload Rate: 4.3s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay
in m:
Fuse sensitivity
in mm:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
Type 90 APHE 32 30 23 15 7 5 APHE 349 2.6 1.2 15 103 -1° 43° 30° 25°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks for the Chi-Ha
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
120 117 (+3) 113 (+7) 89 (+31) 69 (+51) (+129) Right side only: 69 (+51) no

Secondary armament

1 x 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun (Bow machine gun)

Crew

  • Commander/Loader
  • Gunner
  • Driver
  • Machine Gunner

Total: 4 Crew members

Armour

Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 25 mm (12-32°) Front plate
17 mm (63-81°) Front glacis
15 mm (37-59°) Lower glacis
25 mm (40°) Top Left
25 mm (25-27°) Top Right
20 mm Bottom
20 mm (4-58°) 12 mm
Turret 25 mm (9-41°) Turret front
25 mm Gun mantlet
25 mm (10-11°) 25 mm (12°) 10 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 17 mm 6 mm

Engine & mobility

Weight: 15.0 ton

Max Speed: 44 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 263 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 17.53 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 26°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 324 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 21.60 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 33°
Weight: 15.0 ton

Max Speed: 40 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 150 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.00 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 28°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 170 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.33 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 33°
Weight: 15.0 ton

Max Speed: 40 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 150 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 10.00 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 28°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: 170 hp @ 2000 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 11.33 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 33°

Modules and improvements

__MODIFICATIONS__

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The Imperial Japanese Army's main tank was the Type 89, adopted in 1929, but it was deemed obsolete as of 1935 and the IJA wanted something up to par with their battle style. The Type 89's main fault was its low overall road speed, which was unable to keep up with motorized infantry. Thus, the development of a new medium tank commenced with the goal of improved overall speed, low weight, and low cost.[1]

Two tank designs were developed with these specifications, both were produced by Mitsubishi. The first was the Chi-Ha which was powered by a 170hp diesel engine. The second was Chi-Ni, which was lighter, cheaper, and powered by a 135 hp diesel engine. The IJA chose at the time of 1937, when war with China broke out to the Second Sino-Japanese War. This war increased the IJA's budget and thus they decided to pick the better of the two design. This led to the finalization of the Type 97 Chi-Ha tank. Production started in 1938 all the way to 1942 for a total of 1162 tanks produced.[1][2]

Design

The Type 97 Chi-Ha was a medium tank constructed with rivets in the armour plates. It had a crew of four with a two-men turret. The turret held the same low-velocity 57 mm gun from the Type 89. Armour was relatively thin, but quite standard at the time of 1930s, but this would become very vulnerable past 1941 when the Japanese war expands to the world.[1]

The Type 97 Chi-Ha, like the standard tanks of other countries, was used in a multitude of roles by adapting its chassis to another purpose such as the Ho-Ni assault gun series. The Type 97 Chi-Ha design was also improved upon multiple times with better armour and better guns, resulting in tanks like the Shinhoto Chi-Ha, Type 1 Chi-He, Type 2 Ho-I, and the Type 3 Chi-Nu.[1]

Combat Usage

The Type 97 Chi-Ha would first see its main usage in the border conflict against the Soviet forces in the Battles of Khalkin-Gol. In the Japanese 1st Tank Group's total 85 tanks, there were four Type 97 mediums present in comparison to the 34 Type 89 I-Go, 35 Type 95 Ha-Go lights, and 13 tankettes.[2] Though the armoured units played a critical role in Japan's offensive against the Soviet Union, they were soon demolished by the Soviet armoured brigades, leading to their recall. The Japanese defeat at Khalkin-Gol did teach them a few lessons, first in that they were currently under-equipped for a fight against a large European force, which led to an enlargement of the Japanese armoured forces. Second was that the Japanese tanks were unsuitable for tank-to-tank fighting as the Soviet's main tank armament, the 45 mm cannon, was way more suitable than anything the Japanese had. This led to the development of a new anti-tank gun and tank gun for the Japanese Army, the Type 1 47 mm, though this would not see service until 1941.[1]

The next major usage of the Type 97 would be in Japan's conflict during World War II against the Allies. The Type 97 made up a good portion of the Japanese armoured forces when they invaded the Malay peninsula of British territory in Operation Centrifuge[2]. The Japanese tank's successes against Britain is attributed to the British belief that the terrain around Singapore made it very hard to use armoured forces, thus there was a lack of Allied armour available in the battle. In a span of three months, Japan managed to completely overcome the defenses of the Malay peninsula and the Allied forces there surrendered. The Burma campaign soon followed, but the fighting there would last most of the war's time.[1]

Japan then invaded the Americans in the Philippines. It was here that the Japanese armoured forces baptized the American tankers in their first tank-to-tank combat with M3 Stuarts against Type 95 Ha-Go. It was during this campaign that Colonel Seinosuke Sonoda of the 7th Tank Regiment advocated for the placement of the new Type 1 47 mm gun as the main armament of the Type 97 Chi-Ha. This would lead to the development and production of the next generation Type 97s, the Type 97-Kai (Improved) Shinhoto (New turret) Chi-Ha, which would eventually encompass the regular Type 97's production. Though now surpassed by the Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai, the regular Type 97 would still see usage alongside its improved variant in the Pacific campaign against the Allies.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the _____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

[Devblog] Type 97 Chi-Ha: Hope of the Army

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Zaloga Steven. Japanese Tanks 1939-1945 Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2007
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Zaloga Steven. M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945 Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2012

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