Chi-Ha (China)

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Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
This page is about the medium tank Chi-Ha (China). For other versions, see Chi-Ha (Family).
GarageImage Chi-Ha (China).jpg
ArtImage Chi-Ha (China).png
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The Type 97 Chi-Ha (九七式中戦車「チハ」) is a medium tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army primarily in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Battles of Khalkhin Gol against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was also the most widely manufactured Japanese medium tank throughout the war. The Chinese People's Liberation Army acquired around 300 Type 97 tanks from the USSR after Japan surrendered in 1945. The Northeast Tank Brigade, the Chinese People's Army's first tank unit founded on December 1, 1945, was equipped with this tank. However, it was discovered that the Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank's reliability was poor, since it frequently broke down, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army nicknamed it the "Old Man Tank." Despite its inherent flaws, the "Old Man Tank" served as the foundation for the Chinese People's Liberation Army's armoured troops. Following World War II, it took part in bandit suppression activities, campaigns in the Yangtze River's south, the Battle of Jinzhou, and the Battle of Tianjin.

Introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision", the Chi-Ha served as the Chinese Army's first medium tank. It acquired many fundamental traits of Japanese tanks due to its origins in Japan during World War II, including inadequate armour, an inferior main gun, and good gun depression. It is mounted with a low-velocity 57 mm anti-tank gun designed for infantry support. The overall tank design is not intended to combat other tanks in the first place, as most of the countries that the Japanese invaded during WWII lacked credible tanks. Overall, it is a medium tank with a lot of weaknesses and must be played carefully in battles to achieve good results.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull25 / 25 / 20
Turret32 / 25 / 25
Crew4 people
Visibility75 %

The armour of the Chi-Ha is light (35 mm max) but its complex layout makes it effective against weak guns (i.e. early French), weak shells (low-calibre HE), and in long-range engagements.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret, cupola)
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°) 11 mm
Turret 25 mm (9-41°) Turret front
35 mm Gun mantlet
25 mm (10-11°) 25 mm (12°) 11 mm
Cupola 25 mm (cylindrical) 10 mm


Speedforward / back
AB45 / 7 km/h
RB and SB40 / 6 km/h
Number of gears4 forward
1 back
Weight14.8 t
Engine power
AB324 hp
RB and SB170 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB21.9 hp/t
RB and SB11.5 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 45 7 14.8 263 324 17.77 21.89
Realistic 40 6 150 170 10.14 11.49

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB132 → 169 Sl icon.png
RB110 → 141 Sl icon.png
SB120 → 154 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 970 Rp icon.png
890 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces20 Ge icon.png
Research Aces96 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
10 / 10 / 20 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement cn.png
Crew Replenishment
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
200 Rp icon.png
60 Sl icon.png
50 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
165 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
250 Rp icon.png
75 Sl icon.png
65 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
320 Rp icon.png
95 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png


Main armament

Shoulder stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in one plane while moving
Ammunition120 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
4.3 → 3.3 s
Vertical guidance-15° / 20°
Main article: Type 97 (57 mm)

Armed with a low-velocity gun that requires good leading, the Chi-Ha nevertheless has a fast reload, and a great gun depression angle that allows it to fire from ridges, and its shoulder-stock stabilizer allows it to fire on the move, or more importantly keep the gun on target when braking, which is especially useful due to the low penetration of the shells.

The Type 3 HEAT shell should be the main shell for tank combat, It has more penetration that is kept over longer ranges and has a higher explosive mass.

57 mm Type 97 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 120 -15°/+20° ±180° Shoulder 14.5 20.0 24.3 26.9 28.6 4.29 3.80 3.50 3.30
Realistic 9.0 10.6 12.9 14.3 15.2


Penetration statistics
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 92 APHE APHE 21 21 19 16 14 13
Type 3 HEAT HEAT 55 55 55 55 55 55
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
Type 92 APHE APHE 349 2.58 1.2 9 103 47° 60° 65°
Type 3 HEAT HEAT 380 1.8 0.05 0.1 303.36 62° 69° 73°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Chi-Ha (identical).
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
120 116 (+4) 112 (+8) 88 (+32) 68 (+52) (+120) No


  • Racks disappear after you've fired all shells in the rack.
  • Right side only: 68 (+52) shells.

Machine guns

Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity20 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.9 → 3.0 s
Fire rate499 shots/min
Ammunition1 000 rounds
Belt capacity20 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
3.9 → 3.0 s
Fire rate499 shots/min
Main article: Type 97 (7.7 mm)

The Chi-Ha has a 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun mounted on the left side of the hull, and another on the turret roof, though they cannot be used if the there are only 2 crew remaining. While they have a lot of ammunition, this machine gun is just simply not good enough. The rate of fire is below average, the penetration is bad, and there are only about 25 bullets in each magazine, making it impossible to provide a continuous machine-gun fire. The one things these machine guns can do is to incapacitate the fully exposed crews on some vehicles, as even a bit of armour might block out the weak bullets. The roof mounted gun can ward off some low-flying strafing planes but it is still inferior comparing to other machine guns like the American M1919 or M2HB.

7.7 mm Type 97
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Hull 3,000 (20) 499 ±10° ±15°
Pintle 1,000 (20) 499 0°/+60° -80°/+10°

Usage in battles

The Chi-Ha is one of the most interesting Rank I Chinese tanks to play 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.

However, there is a way to play this tank despite all the negatives to this tank and to play it to the best of its abilities, one can play it as a support tank in every way (apart from long distance as the rounds drop like a brick after 500 m). Stay close to teammates and always play sneaky as the Chi-Ha can be easily knocked out with a single shot by common opponents like all Japanese tanks in this Rank.

But if facing a heavy tank or medium tank of early Rank II are very hard to versus from head-on and the fact that the 57 mm APHE rounds lack penetration to destroy it from the front. So the 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 it is best to plan ahead before attacking, think where the enemy may be and find a place to hide the bulky tank from the enemy and wait for the enemy to come to the firing range. The Type 3 HEAT shell changes this. With 55 mm of penetration, the tank is capable of penetrating tanks that it previously couldn't - which is most tanks at rank I and II. In addition to this, the Type 3 HEAT has the potential to destroy lightly armoured and open-topped vehicles like LVTs or the Sturmpanzer with overpressure. Use the protection analysis feature to figure out which tanks you can and can't get through, and adapt your playstyle accordingly when those vehicles are encountered. Now, this is somewhat important "Don't look for the enemy, let the enemy look for the Chi-Ha." Of course, the Chi-Ha could still go look for the enemy, but always be on alert and make sure to have a friend for firing support.

Engine power is not that powerful, which then means that the acceleration will be slow to start up, but it will slowly get faster over time. 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.

Pros and cons


  • Improved armour compared to the preceding reserve
  • Quite fast (up to 44 km/h), allowing it to get to position somewhat quickly
  • Lovely climbing ability combined with the amazing -15° gun depression, it is great at mountain combat
  • The vertical stabiliser is a big advantage in a sudden encounter, as most tanks it faces don't have stabilisers, and therefore need to wait longer to fire
  • Due to its curved 57 mm shell trajectory, it can shoot from behind cover without showing the tank to some degree
  • Type 3 HEAT is powerful, it can frontally penetrate common targets like M3 Lee, and destroy tanks like the LVT(A)(1) with overpressure
  • Great turning ability in low gear


  • 57 mm armament may be underpowered in an uptier, especially in frontal engagements
  • Although fast, it still gets outran by M3 and M5 Stuarts and the Sd.Kfz.234 series
  • Thin armour gets penetrated by lots of guns. Beware of any tank with the PzGr.40 shells (Pz.II, FlakPz 38)
  • Abysmal penetration on stock APHE, will struggle to penetrate most low-tier tanks like M3A1 Stuart and T-70


Japanese tanks like the Chi-Ha, captured by Soviet troops during the Manchurian campaign, given to the Chinese Communists, and others captured from the surrendering Japanese by the Chinese Nationalists, were used in the Chinese Civil War by both sides. After the war, the victorious Chinese Communists kept the Japanese tanks in their inventory, where they were used in the 1950 victory parade, until they were phased out with more modern Soviet tanks during the 1950s.



See also

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.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (三菱重工業株式会社)
Light Tanks 
Type 95  Ha-Go · Ha-Go Commander
Medium Tanks 
Type 89  I-Go Ko
Type 97  Chi-Ha · Chi-Ha Kai
Type 1  Chi-He · Chi-He (5th Regiment)
Type 3  Chi-Nu · Chi-Nu II
Type 4  Chi-To · Chi-To Late
Type 5  Chi-Ri II
Chi-Ha Derived  Ho-Ro
Chi-He Derived  Ho-I
Chi-Ri Derived  Ho-Ri Prototype · Ho-Ri Production
Other  Na-To · Ro-Go Exp.
Captured  ␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai
Note  Most tank designs would be contracted by the Army Technical Bureau to Mitsubishi
See also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (Post-War)

China medium tanks
ZTZ59  Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1
ZTZ69  Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G
ZTZ88/96  ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B
  ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)
ZTZ99A  ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT
Export series  MBT-2000 · VT4A1
Other  Т-34-85 Gai · Object 122MT "MC"
Japan  ␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai
USA  ␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS
USSR  ␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545