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The Type 1 Chi-He is a rank II Japanese medium tank with a battle rating of 2.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai" along with the initial Japanese Ground Forces Tree. Featuring a better armour, slightly better mobility with the same 47 mm Type 1 gun as its Chi-Ha Kai predecessor, the Chi-He is an enjoyable tank to play in the early ranks of the game.
This tank is the middle-range Japanese traditional design: there is no surprise but it gets just a bit better every time, as does the enemy. Do not change tactics and play just like with earlier vehicles: stick to allies and use mobility to get to the point with other fast vehicles. Use its good gun depression to hide behind hills and snipe enemies. With its good reverse speed, it can easily get out of nasty situations or hide quickly.
Survivability and armour
There is nothing impressive here in terms of armour, the Chi-He features 50 mm, poorly angled, frontal armour. This is not the kind of plate that can take any punishment at the battle-rating, it will only bounce poorly aimed shots. The five-man crew inside makes the tank very survivable, leaving some room for mistakes. Side armour is vulnerable to heavy machine gun and auto-cannon fire, so beware flanking fast tanks.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Machine gun ports)
|Hull|| 50 mm (15°) Front plate
12 mm (76°) Front glacis
50 mm (20°) Joint plate
8.5 mm (65°) Lower glacis
| 20 mm (15-30°) Top
25 mm Bottom
| 20 mm (0-20°) Top
8.5 mm (63°) Bottom
|Turret|| 25 + 25 mm (10°) Turret front
50 mm (0-10°) Gun mantlet
|25 mm (10°)|| 25 mm Turret rear
50 mm (0-57°) Machine gun port
|Cupola||50 mm||12 mm|
- Suspension wheels both 15 mm thick
- Tracks are 20 mm thick.
- Front of turret has bolted on 25 mm armor to total up to 50 mm thick as the rest of the front.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
This is one of the main feature of the Chi-He, it enables it to do anything a commander want with it. Want to be first on the spot? With some skill/luck, the Chi-He can! Want to flank? follow other light tanks in the move, provide them with enhanced firepower! The enemy team is coming over? Hit the gas (in a rearward position) and fire while retreating.
Comparatively to other light/medium tanks at this battle-rating, the 47 mm Type 1 gun is quite surprising with 77 mm of penetration at point-blank range and has a good reload speed. Plus, this fires APHE shells, which do great post-penetration damage. Comparatively, the 20-K (45 mm) gun on Russian BR 1.0-2.7 tanks has only 62 mm of penetration in similar conditions. A top-mounted MG is really useful when dealing with unarmored SPG and SPAA one might encounter at the battle-rating.
One thing to keep in mind compared to Chi-Ha Kai is that it still retains the same hand-cranked turret with additional 25 mm plates to improve the frontal armor to a max of 50 mm. This however slows down the turret rotations speeds due the added weight.
|47 mm Type 1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Type 1 APHE||APHE||77||75||67||58||50||44|
|Type 1 HE||HE||4||4||4||4||4||4|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Type 1 APHE||APHE||808||1.49||1.2||9||22.4||47°||60°||65°|
|Type 1 HE||HE||822||1.4||2||0.1||85.26||79°||80°||81°|
|120||91 (+29)||76 (+44)||73 (+47)||62 (+58)||51 (+69)||40 (+80)||29 (+91)||21 (+99)||15 (+105)||9 (+111)||1 (+119)||No|
Turret empty: 73 (+47)
|7.7 mm Type 97|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
As the successor of the Chi-Ha, the Chi-He has a redesigned hull with thicker armor, a more powerful engine and an up-armored turret from the Chi-Ha Kai, so the front is overall at 50 mm effective. This will result in a very similar play style as the Chi-Ha Kai with the added benefits of being an upgrade.
Unlike the Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai, the Type 1 Chi-He has some more armor and a stronger engine to rely on and it is able to brawl on its own with the fast fire rate. But as previously mentioned on Main armament, the Chi-He retains the same hand-cranked turret with additional armor, slowing down the already mediocre turning time by a slight amount.
Literally on top of armor and engine upgrades, the Chi-He gets an additional pintle point anti-aircraft machine gun, even though the Type 97 7.7 mm has a low clip capacity, it can prove useful for pinning enemy units and even getting hits to down enemy planes.
The best practice for the Chi-He (and other WWII-era Japanese tanks) is to always point forward, the front armor has pre-angled sides, so angling only hurts your pre-angles and weaker side armor. It's not worth trying to get more out of the 50 mm frontal effective protection.
|II||Suspension||Brake System||FPE||Adjustment of Fire|
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism|
Pros and cons
- 47 mm cannon can do some decent damage
- Small profile
- Gunner supported stabilization, can take accurate shots at low speeds
- Top-mounted MG
- Fast reverse speed (2 reverse gears)
- Fast in forward motion
- Frontal transmission
- Awesome gun depression of -15°
- Fast reloading rate
- Thin side armour means angling front armour could expose weak armour
- 47 mm is not accurate in long distance fights
- Packed 5-men crew can lead to an easy knock out if penetrated
- 50 mm front armour, poorly angled
- Big ammo racks in the turret (carry only half-ammo load)
- Long and narrow hull: hard to turn on the spot
The Imperial Japanese Army's main tank, the Type 97 Chi-Ha, was becoming rather outdated by the turn of the decade in 1940. The 30 mm front plate armour was vulnerable to standard anti-tank weaponry and the riveted design post a hazard to the tank crew by spalling. In 1941, work began on modernizing the design up to new industrial standards.
The first step in the modernizing design was to go towards a welded design rather than rivveted. The front glacis plate was also simplified into a large flat 50 mm armour plate rather than the curved one. The increased armour meant an increased weight, so the Japanese added the improved Type 100 diesel engine, capable of pumping out 240 hp to propel the tank. This new tank was accepted as the Type 1 Chi-He.
During the tank's preparation for mass-production, a request by the commander of the 7th Tank Regiment calling for an improved armament on the Type 97 Chi-Ha was received by the Mitsubishi factory. With the Type 1 Chi-He still needing time to enter production levels, let alone the resources needed to manufacture completely new tanks, it was placed on hold and priority was placed on improving the Type 97. This lead to the cheaper method of adapting the Type 97 to using the Type 1 turret with the 47 mm cannon, producing to the Type 97 Chi-Ha Kai. This delayed the mass-production of the Type 1 Chi-He until February 1944, resulting in only 170 tanks produced before the end of the war.
Despite its relatively early production life over late-war Japanese tanks and its improved characteristics, the Type 1 Chi-He would see its combat life held in reserves in the Japanese home islands. They would never see use in the battlefield before Japan surrendered in August 1945.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- Zaloga Steven. Japanese Tanks 1939-1945 Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2007
- Zaloga Steven. M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945 Great Britain: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2012
|Japan medium tanks|
|Chassis Chi-Ha||Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai · Chi-Ha Short Gun|
|Chassis Chi-He||Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment) · Ho-I · Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II|
|Chassis Chi-To||Chi-To · Chi-To Late|
|Chassis Chi-Ri||Chi-Ri II|
|Type 61 MBT||ST-A1* · ST-A2* · Type 61|
|Type 74 MBT||ST-B1* · Type 74 · Type 74G|
|Type 90 MBT||Type 90 · Type 90 (B)|
|USA||▅M4A3 (76) W|
|*ST-X Is prototype stage for said MBT|