❁ Japan ground vehicles

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Japan Army Image.png

With Update 1.65: Way of The Samurai the Japanese ground forces comes to War Thunder! Being mostly a sea-based nation with multiple islands in the Pacific, Japanese tank development was delayed as planes and ships were better suited for the context. Being the first Oriental nation added to the game, Japanese tanks offer a mind switch from more "Western" tank designs: there is no need for high penetration if what you face is barely bulletproof. This specific context makes for tanks where mobility and explosive fillers were emphasized as armour was kept low in order to ease transportation. This mindset worked against their enemies with little to no armoured force, but this emphasis on light armour and weaponry put them behind the tanks being developed in the European Theater and soon had 1938 designs like the Chi-Ha fighting better 1942 tanks like the M4 Sherman. This led to catch up attempts that upgrade the chassis and turret with better firepower and armour for a fighting chance. After World War II ended, the Americans realized Japan's neglected tank industry and provided them with their designs in order to protect them from the rising USSR, this is why many rank 3-4 tanks are actually exported American tanks. Japan also has tanks of their own with foreign guns in their higher ranks.

Class specifics

Japan Light Tanks offer poor performance in early ranks: being as mobile as they could be makes them quite vulnerable while their gun offer similar penetration values to their medium counterparts. This line only gets interesting when American light tanks come into play to fulfill the actual light tank role of zipping through the battlefield, scouting targets of the run while firing high-penetration APDS shells from their sub-par gun. Japanese light tanks vanishes at rank IV with the last one being the American M41A1 Walker Bulldog.

Japan Medium Tanks update themselves as ranks goes up: better armour, better guns while keeping decent mobility (~40 km/h max speed). This specific line illustrates very well the traditional and conservative tank doctrine as every tank from rank 1 to 3 has the same silhouette: flat armour to the front, hull-mounted machine-gun, fully-rotating turret with flat plates all around, cupola to the right hand side, good post-penetration damage, average penetration, etc. The fact that most of the medium tanks in these ranks share the same Chi-Ha chassis doesn't help matters. Playing this line feels like always driving the same tank while it evolves to match its foes. This routine is only broken by a lone Sherman in the middle of rank 3 and returns back to Japanese designs in rank 4. Beyond that point, Japanese medium tanks are well-rounded machines with large ammo loadouts and good mobility. Those later ground vehicles use license-made guns and ammo while introducing new features such as hydraulic suspension.

Japan Heavy Tanks are virtually absent from the game as of update 1.75 aside from only two vehicles being the rare Ro-Go and the Heavy Tank No. 6, which in essence is a German Tiger H1.

Japan Tank Destroyers of early ranks share the same gun as their medium counterparts on a fixed casemate chassis of 1.0 BR lower. These tanks bring rank 2-3 guns to rank 1 games, being able to penetrate most target while having impressive post-penetration damage. These tanks are very fun to play as their one-shot potential is high. Before reaching these average vehicles, there is the Ho-Ro, a foe to be reckoned with as it can be taken out even in higher-ranking games. In the later ranks of this line, Japanese ground forces keep up, bringing an antitank wall with the Ho-Ri, an original two-barreled light SPG (Type 60 SPRG) and an average ATGM launcher (Type 60 ATM ), both based off the same chassis.

Japan Anti-Aircraft Vehicles of later ranks are quite common: high rate of fire, good anti-air capacity while having no chance against tanks of their ranks. The fun part of this line lies in the early ranks, with their Type 98 guns: while being average in their SPAA role, their high penetrating gun and fast rotating turret may be used in close-quarter urban combat for fans of high-risk challenges.

Japan Ground Vehicle Matrix

Rank Japan Light Tanks Japan Medium Tanks Japan Heavy Tanks Japan Tank Destroyers Japan Anti-Aircraft Vehicles
Rang1.png Type 2 Ka-Mi
Type 89 I-Go Ko
Type 95 Ha-Go
Type 95 Ha-Go Commander 
Type 98 Ke-Ni
Chi-Ha Kai
Type 4 Ho-Ro
Isuzu Type 94
Rang2.png Chi-Ha (Short Gun) 
Type 1 Ho-Ni I
Type 3 Ho-Ni III
Rang3.png Nation-jp.png M24 SDF
Chi-Nu II 
Chi-To Late
Chi-Ri II
Nation-jp.png M4A3 (76) W Sherman
Heavy Tank No.6  Type 5 Na-To
Rang4.png Nation-jp.png M41 SDF
Type 61
Type 5 Ho-Ri Prototype 
Type 5 Ho-Ri Production
Type 60 SPRG
Twin 40 mm M42 Duster SDF
Rang5.png STB-1 Type 60 Anti-Tank Missile
Type 75 MLRS 
Rang6.png Type 74
Type 90
Twin 35 mm Type 87 SPAAG

War Thunder: Way of The Samurai