A couple of nice prototype engineering pictures I discovered:
Japanese Tank Sort 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 Kyugoshiki keisensha Ha-Gō). 1935. Японский танк Тип 95 “Ха-Го”.
Image by Peer.Gynt
Poklonnaya Gora WWII Museum. Moscow.
Поклонная гора. Москва.
Weight – 7,400 kilograms
Length – four.38 m
Width – 2.06 meters
Height- two.18 meters
Crew – 3
Main armament Type 94 37 mm gun
Secondary armament Type 91 six.5 mm machine gun or 2 x Type 97 7.7 mm machine gun
Engine Mitsubishi NVD 6120 air-cooled diesel 120 hp (89 kW)
Suspension Bell crank
Operational range250 kilometers
Speed 45 km/h (road)
The Kind 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 Kyugoshiki keisensha Ha-Gō?) (also recognized as the Type 97 Ke-Go) was a light tank employed by the Imperial Japanese Army in combat operations of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second Globe War. Despite the fact that it was quite slow for a light tank, it proved sufficient against opposing infantry in campaigns in Manchuria and China, as the Chinese National Revolutionary Army had very handful of tanks or anti-tank weapons to oppose them. However, the Kind 95 lacked the armor or armament of contemporary Allied tanks, and was regarded as obsolete by the begin of World War II. Much more than 2,000 units were produced. It was also employed by Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF detachments in Pacific locations during conflict.
History and improvement
From early 1930s, the Japanese army began experimenting on a mechanized warfare unit combining infantry with tanks. Nevertheless, the Variety 89 Medium tank could not maintain pace with the motorized infantry, which could move at 40 km/h by truck. To resolve this issue, the Army Technical Bureau proposed a new light tank at 40 km/h speed and began development in 1933. The prototype of the new tank was completed in 1934 at the Army’s Sagami Arsenal. It was a higher-speed and lightly-armored tank comparable to the British cruiser tank or Soviet BT tank. Its code name was "Ha-Gō" (ハ号) designated that it was the "third variety" of tank developed.[three]
In 1935, a meeting was held at the Army Technical Bureau, at which time, the Sort 95 was presented as a potential principal battle tank for mechanized infantry units. The infantry had issues that the armor was not thick sufficient for sufficient infantry support nonetheless, the cavalry indicated that the improved speed and armaments compensated for this thin armor. In the end, the infantry agreed, as the Kind 95 was nevertheless superior to the only offered option, which was the armored car.
Production was started in 1935 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. By 1939, 100 units had been constructed. Mitsubishi would go on to create a total of 853 in their personal factories, with yet another 1250 units constructed by the Sagami Arsenal, Hitachi Industries, Niigata Tekkoshō, Kobe Seikoshō, and Kokura Arsenal.[two]
Type 95 Ha-Go tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender
Variety 95 on show at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, front view
Correct side view.
Type 95 at Tarawa
The Type 95 was a major improvement more than the Japanese Army’s prior light tanks and tankettes, but was soon involved in an intensive plan to make enhanced variants such as the Manshū model (Type M), the Ha-Gō’s direct descendant. Sort M was technically identical but created for use in the Kwantung Army’s tank schools in Manchukuo and it was planned to be provided in far far more numbers to future Manchukuo Imperial Army armored units and was projected to be manufactured in that country.
One more improvement was the Kind 98 Ke-Ni light tank that entered production in 1942 of which 200 autos had been constructed. This derivitative was better armored and carried an armament comprising one particular Variety 100 37 mm gun and two 7.7 mm machine guns.
The Kind 95 also served as the basis of the Type 2 Ka-Mi amphibious tank which gave good service in Japan’s early campaigns of Globe War II.
Design and style
The Type 95 was a 7.4-ton vehicle with a complement of 3 crewmen (normally a commander/gunner/loader, mechanic/bow machine gunner, and a driver).
The main armament was one particular Sort 94 37 mm Tank Gun with 37 mm caliber, barrel length of 1.3585 meters (L36.7) (early model), 1.358 meters (L36.7) (late model), el angle of fire -15 to +20 degrees (early model), -15 to +20 degrees (late model), AZ angle of fire of 20 degrees (early model) 20 degrees (late model), muzzle velocity: 600 m/s (early model), 700 m/s (late model), penetration: 45 mm/300 m (early model) 25 mm/500 m (late model) utilized by the Kind 95 Light Tank. The commander was accountable for loading, aiming, and firing the primary gun, The Kind 95 tank carried two sorts of ammunition, Kind 94 high-explosive and Type 94 armor-piercing.
Secondary armament consisted as two Type 91 six.5mm machine guns, 1 mounted in the hull and the other in the turret facing to the rear. Trial use in Manchukuo and China confirmed that much better armament was desirable and the 6.5mm machine guns had been exchanged for more powerful 7.7mm Sort 97 light machine guns on the appropriate hand side, for use by the currently overworked commander/gunner in 1941. The original Type 94 major gun was also replaced with a Kind 98 weapon of the identical caliber but with a larger muzzle velocity.
The hand-operated turret was little and very cramped for even the one particular crewman normally located there (the commander), and was only becoming able to rotate in a 45 degree forward arc, leaving the back to be covered by the rear-facing machine gun which failed to compensate for this significant disadvantage.
The most characteristic feature of the Kind 95 tank was its simple suspension system. The tracks had been driven through the front sprocket. Two bogie wheels have been suspended on a single bell crank with two bell cranks per side. There had been two return wheels. The suspension had troubles early on with a tendency to pitch so badly on rough ground that the crew at times located it impossible to drive at any speed, and so it was modified with a brace to connect the pairs of bogies. Despite this, the tank continued to give its users a rough ride across any uneven ground, and was provided with an interior layer of asbestos, valuable in reducing interior heat and defending the crew from injury when the tank moved at high speed across rough terrain.
This initial production models employed one particular 110 hp (82 kW) Mitsubishi air cooled diesel engine with a leading speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). This was the exact same engine that equipped the Kind 89 I-Go medium tank. Later the much more potent engine Mitsubishi NVD 6120 with 120 hp (89.five kW) was installed. Some Variety 95 had been fitted with two reflectors in the front of the automobile for night operations.
Type 95 tank in Bovington tank museum, Dorset
Type 95 on show at the Battery Randolf US Army Museum, Honolulu, top rear view
Kind 95 Ha-Go tanks destroyed by an Australian two pounder gun in the Battle of Muar
A single of six Ha-Go tanks destroyed by an Australian 2 pounder gun in the Battle of Muar. The escaping crew had been killed by allied infantry covering the artillery
Kind three Ke-Ri
This was a proposed model with a Type 97 57 mm gun as the principal armament. This design in no way got previous testing in 1943.
Variety 4 Ke-Nu
The Variety 4 Ke-Nu was intended to address one of the most widespread complaints about the Kind 95 from its customers – the cramped turret. The current Sort 95 turret was replaced by the turret of a Kind 97 Medium tank for more space. About 100 units had been made.
Sort 95 Manshū
The Kind 95 Manshū was an operational and training tank derived from and really comparable to the Kind 95 Ha-Gō. These tanks were detached to Manchukuo and belonged to the instruction unit of the Kwantung Army tank college.
Variety 95 "Ta-Se" Anti-Aircraft Tank
An experimental car known as "Ta-Se" was built in November 1941, utilizing the chassis of Sort 95 Ha-Gō with a 20 mm anti-aircraft gun taken from the Type 98 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. Another version utilised a Type two 20 mm anti-aircraft gun. Neither model went into production.
Sort 2 Ka-Mi Amphibious Tank
This was the 1st amphibious tank created in Japan, and was intended for use by the Navy’s SNLF. The pontoons could be detached after landing by a fourth crewman from inside the tank. The chassis was primarily based on the Variety 95 Light Tank. The Type 2 Ka-Mi was encountered by the United States Marine Corps in the Marshall Islands and Mariana Islands, especially on Guam, exactly where it was utilized in static defense positions.
Variety 95 "Ri-Ki" Crane Car
The Sort 95 Ri-Ki was an engineering car for field functions. It had a 3-ton 4.five meter boomed crane.
120 mm self-propelled gun "Ho-To"
The Kind 95 Ho-To was a Sort 38 120 mm howitzer mounted on the Sort 95 Ha-Go chassis. The gun was low-velocity but the HEAT shell enabled it to destroy the American M4 Sherman tank. This self-propelled gun was developed along with the Ho-Ru self-propelled gun.
Sort five Ho-Ru 47 mm self-propelled gun
The Ho-Ru was a light tank destroyer equivalent to the German Hetzer. The improvement of the Sort five Ho-Ru started in February 1945. The Variety five Ho-Ru utilized the chassis of the Variety 95 Light Tank, but its suspension was enlarged to 350 mm track hyperlink width. The wheel guide pins had been set in two rows to hold a road wheel among them. The sprocket of the driving wheel was the grating variety to gear with the wheel guide pins like on the Soviet T-34. It was armed with one particular 47 mm primary gun.
Variety 98 Ke-Ni light tank
This final modification was somewhat lighter than the original Variety 95, even with its heavier (.62 inch) armor. It entered production in 1942, but only about 200 were manufactured.
When the Kind 95 entered service in 1935 it was a capable machine and comparable to any contemporary light tank in the globe. It was the very best car of its category offered to the Japanese forces in any numbers from the 1930s to World War II, and was utilised mostly to assistance infantry or as cavalry reconnaissance and, to a lesser extent, as raiding cars. It could compete with the American M3 light tanks on the Philippines, while the British had really couple of tanks of any kind in Malaya or Burma in December 1941. 
The Variety 95 Ha-Gō proved moderately successful for the duration of the early campaigns of late 1941 and early 1942, when Japanese forces overran British Malaya and seized the fortress city of Singapore. A single important to the Japanese good results in Malaya was the unexpected presence of their tanks in places exactly where the British did not believe tanks could be employed. The wet jungle terrain did not turn out to be an obstacle twelve Kind 95s took part in the attack which broke the Jitra line on 11 December 1941.
The very first tank-vs-tank battles of the war was on 22 December 1941 for the duration of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Variety 95s of the 4th Tank Regiment clashed with M3s of the American 192nd Tank Battalion. Both tanks had been armed with a 37 mm gun, and the M3 was better armored nevertheless, the inexperienced American commanders failed to make good use of their tanks.
Two Variety 95 tanks were deployed to assistance the Japanese landing at Milne Bay, late August 1942. Initially, the tanks proved successful against the lightly armed Australian infantry, whose ‘sticky bombs’ failed to stick due to the humidity. Even though the tanks had proved trustworthy in the tropical circumstances of Malaya, they could not deal with the volume of mud brought on by intense, virtually everyday rainfall at Milne Bay. Each tanks had been bogged down and abandoned a handful of days right after the landing.
The Sort 95 very first began to show its vulnerability in the course of later battles against British/Commonwealth forces, where the tank’s 37mm gun could not penetrate the armor of the British Matilda tanks which have been deployed against them. The thin armor of the Variety 95 made it increasingly vulnerable as Allied forces realized that common infantry weapons have been capable of penetrating the minimal armor about the engine block, and even its thickest armor could not withstand anything above rifle caliber. Its firepower was insufficient to take on other tanks such as the medium M4 Sherman or the M3 Stuart light tanks. 
As the tide of the war turned against Japan, the Sort 95s had been escalating expended in banzai charges or were dug-in as pillboxes in static defense positions in the Japanese-occupied islands. During the Battle of Tarawa, seven entrenched Type 95th opposed American landings. More have been destroyed on Parry Island and on Eniwetok. On Saipan, Sort 95s attacked the American Marine beachhead on 16 June 1944 and much more were utilized in the largest tank battle in the Pacific the following day.
In the Battle of Guam on 21 July, ten Kind 95 had been lost to bazooka fire or M4 tanks. Seven a lot more had been destroyed on Tinian on 24 July, and 15 much more on Battle of Peleliu on 15 September. Likewise, in the Philippines, at least ten Variety 95s have been destroyed in various engagements on Leyte, and yet another 19 on Luzon. At the Battle of Okinawa, 13 Type 95s and 14 Type 97 Shihoto medium tanks of the 27th Tank Regiment faced 800 American tanks.
When the war ended hundreds of Type 95s have been left in China. They had been used for the duration of the Chinese Civil War and by the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China throughout the Korean War.
Soviet Higher-Speed Tank BT-two. Советский быстроходный танк БТ-two.
Image by Peer.Gynt
The BT tanks (Russian: Быстроходный танк (БТ), Bystrokhodny tank, lit. "fast tank" or "high-speed tank") were a series of Soviet cavalry tanks produced in big numbers in between 1932 and 1941. They have been lightly armoured, but reasonably nicely-armed for their time, and had the best mobility of all modern tanks of the planet. The BT tanks have been known by the nickname Betka from the acronym, or its diminutive Betushka.
The direct successor of the BT tanks would be the well-known T-34 medium tank, introduced in 1940, which would replace all of the Soviet quick tanks, infantry tanks, and medium tanks in service.
Design and style
The BT tanks had been "convertible tanks". This was a function made by J. Walter Christie to decrease put on of the unreliable tank tracks of the 1930s. In about thirty minutes the crew could get rid of the tracks and engage a chain drive to the rearmost road wheel on each side, enabling the tank to travel at very higher speeds on roads. In wheeled mode the tank was steered by pivoting the front road wheels. Even so, Soviet tank forces soon discovered the convertible selection of little practical use in a country with handful of paved roads, and it consumed space and added needless complexity and weight. The feature was dropped from later Soviet styles.
Christie, a race vehicle mechanic from New Jersey, had tried unsuccessfully to convince the U.S. Army Ordnance Bureau to adopt his Christie tank style. In 1930, Soviet agents at Amtorg, ostensibly a Soviet trade organization, utilized their New York political contacts to persuade U.S. military and civilian officials to give plans and specifications of the Christie tank to the Soviet Union. At least two of Christie’s M1931 tanks (without having turrets) had been later bought in the United States and sent to the Soviet Union below false documentation in which they have been described as "agricultural tractors."[citation necessary] Both tanks were effectively delivered to the Kharkov Komintern Locomotive Plant (KhPZ). The original Christie tanks have been designated quick tanks by the Soviets, abbreviated BT (later referred to as BT-1). Based both on them and on previously obtained plans, three unarmed BT-two prototypes have been completed in October 1931 and mass production started in 1932. Most BT-2s have been equipped with a 37 mm gun and a machine gun, but shortages of 37 mm guns led to some early examples getting fitted with three machine guns.
The sloping front hull (glacis plate) armor design and style of the Christie M1931 prototype was retained in later Soviet tank hull styles, later adopted for side armor as properly.
The BT-five and later models were equipped with a 45 mm gun.
BT-1: Christie prototype with no turret.
BT-two Model 1932: M-five-400 engine (copy of U.S. Liberty engine), 3 modifications of turret produced: with single 37 mm gun 37 mm gun and 1 DT machine gun twin DP machine guns mount and a single machine gun. In late 1932 modified to BT-three but created beneath identical designation.
BT-3: exact same as BT-2, developed according to metric program (rather of Imperial system as employed for BT-two). In official documentation referred to as BT-2.
BT-four: was a design and style with welded hull and minor modifications in the suspension. 3 prototypes made (with partially riveted hull)
BT-five: bigger cylindrical turret, 45 mm gun, coaxial DT machine gun. BT-five Model 1933: new turret with twin hatches and larger bustle.
BT-5PKh: snorkelling variant (prototypes only).
BT-5A: artillery assistance version with 76.two mm howitzer (few made).
BT-five flamethrower tank: (prototypes only).
PT-1A: amphibious variant with new hull (couple of made).
BT-7 Model 1935: welded hull, redesigned hull front, new Mikulin M-17T engine (licensed copy of a BMW engine), enclosed muffler. BT-7 Model 1937: new turret with sloping armour.
BT-7TU: command version, with whip antenna rather of earlier frame antenna.
BT-7A: artillery assistance version with 76.2 mm howitzer.
OP-7: flame-thrower version with external fuel panniers (prototype only).
BT-7M (1938, prototypes designated A-eight sometimes referred to as BT-8): new V-two diesel engine replacing earlier gasoline engines, 3 DT machine guns: coaxial, in P-40 AA mount on roof and in a ball-mount on turret rear.
BT-42: Finnish assault gun captured BT-7s had been equipped with British 114 mm howitzers.
BT-43: Finnish armoured personnel carrier captured BT-7s equipped with troop accommodation.
BT-IS: Prototype/proof-of-idea platform with heavily sloped armor forerunner of the armor style on the T-34.
BT-SW-2 Cherepakha ("turtle"): Yet another prototype, which took the armour sloping to an intense.
A-20: Prototype for a new BT tank, with 20 mm armour, 45mm gun, model V-2 diesel engine, and 8×6-wheel convertible drive. Lost out in trials to the A-32, which was further enhanced and produced as the T-34 medium tank.
TTBT-five, TTBT-7: teletanks, remote-controlled tanks.
BT tanks saw service in the Spanish Civil War, Battle of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan), the Winter War in Finland, the Polish campaign, and in the whole Globe War II.
They first saw action in the Spanish Civil War. A battalion of BT-5s fought on the Republican side, and their 45 mm guns could easily knock out the opposing German and Italian light tanks
Battle of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan)
See also: Soviet–Japanese Border Wars
For the duration of the Battles of Khalkhin Gol (also identified as the Nomonhan Incident), which lasted from May possibly to September in 1939, BT tanks have been simply attacked by Japanese "close quarter" teams (tank killer squads) which had been armed with petrol bottles (later named "Molotov Cocktails"). The Soviet BT-five and BT-7 light tanks, which had been operating in temperatures higher than 100F on the Mongolian plains, effortlessly caught fire when a molotov cocktail ignited their gasoline engines.Basic Georgy Zhukov produced it a single of his "points" when briefing Joseph Stalin, that his "…BT tanks were a bit fireprone…." Conversely, numerous Japanese tankers held the Soviet 45mm anti-tank/tank guns in high esteem, noting, "…no sooner did they see the flash from a Russian gun, than they’d notice a hole in their tank, adding that the Soviet gunners were accurate as well!"
Right after the Khalkhin Gol War in 1939, the Soviet military had broken into two camps one particular side was represented by Spanish Civil War veterans Common P. V. Rychagov of the Soviet Air Force, Soviet armour expert Common Dimitry Pavlov, and Stalin’s favourite, Marshal Grigory Kulik, Chief of Artillery Administration. The other side consisted of the Khalkhin Gol veterans led by Generals Zhukov and G.P. Kravchenko of the Soviet Air Force. Beneath this cloud of division, the lessons of Russia’s "first real war on a huge scale using tanks, artillery, and airplanes" at Nomonhan (Khalkhin Gol) went unheeded. Consequently, for the duration of the Finland War (Winter War) the BT-two and BT-5 tanks were less profitable, and it took the Soviet Union 3 and a half months, and more than a million males to do what Zhukov did in just ten days at Nomonhan.
Following the German war broke out, the Spanish Civil War faction fell in disfavor, with Marshal Kulik in specific getting court-martialed and demoted. Gen. Zhukov and the majority of his surviving Nomonhan veterans were appointed to commands throughout European Russia, in time to engage the German armies.
Globe War II
Throughout the Second World War, BT-5 and BT-7 tanks have been utilized in the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, and in large numbers in the battles of 1941 – in the course of which thousands had been abandoned or destroyed. A handful of remained in use in 1942, but were uncommon following that time. The Red Army planned to replace the BT tank series with the T-34, and had just begun doing so when the German invasion (Operation Barbarossa) took location.
In the course of the final weeks of World War II, a significant quantity of BT-7 tanks took element in the invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria, in August 1945. This was the last combat action of BT tanks.
The BT tank series was several, forming the cavalry tank arm of the Red Army in the 1930s, and had significantly better mobility than other contemporary tank designs. For these reasons, there had been several experiments and derivatives of the design and style, largely carried out at the KhPZ factory in Kharkov.
The most important legacy of the BT tank was the T-34 medium tank, arguably the most essential tank of the entire World War II. In 1937, a new design and style team was formed at the KhPZ to create the subsequent generation of BT tanks. Initially, the chief designer was Mikhail Koshkin and, following his death, Morozov. The group constructed two prototypes. The light one particular was called the A-20. The much more heavily armed and armoured BT derivative, the A-32, was a "universal tank" to replace all the T-26 infantry tank, BT cavalry tanks, and the T-28 medium tanks. Such plan was controversial, but issues about tank overall performance beneath the threat of German blitzkrieg led to the approval for production of a nevertheless more heavily-armoured version, the T-34 medium tank.
Along the way, an essential technical development was the BT-IS and BT-SW-2 testbed automobiles, concentrating on sloped armour. This proof-of-concept led straight to the armour layout of the T-34.
BT tank chassis have been also used as the basis for engineering assistance autos and mobility testbeds. A bridgelayer variant had a T-38 turret and launched a bridge across modest gaps. Normal tanks have been fitted as fascine carriers. The RBT-5 hosted a pair of large artillery rocket launchers, a single on every single side of the turret. Many designs for incredibly wide tracks, like, oddly, wooden ‘snowshoes’ had been attempted on BT tanks.
The KBT-7 was a completely modern day armoured command automobile that was in the prototype stage when Planet War II broke out. The design and style was not pursued for the duration of the war.
In the Kiev maneuvers of 1936, foreign military observers have been shown hundreds of BT tanks roll by a reviewing stand. In the audience had been British Army representatives, who returned residence to advocate for use of Christie suspension on British cruiser tanks which they incorporated from the Cruiser Mk III onwards. Interestingly, the pointed shape of the hull front armor on the BT tank also influenced the design of the British Matilda tank.