The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was a self-propelled gun produced by fitting a 75mm Type 90 field gun on the chassis of the main Japanese medium tank of the Second World War, the Type 97 Chi-Ha. The Ho-Ni I was designed to operate as mobile artillery in the armoured divisions. The gun was carried in an open casemate with frontal and side armour only, and no machine guns, making the Ho-Ni I very vulnerable in close combat. Despite looking similar to early German tank destroyers, the Ho-Ni I was designed to operate at ranges of up to 12,000 meters.
The mounting for the 75mm Type 90 field gun allowed for ten degrees of traverse and a range of elevation from -5 to +25 degrees. This low upper limit reduced the maximum range of the gun. The Ho-Ni I carried 54 rounds of ammunition.
As the Type 1 designation indicates, the Ho-Ni I was accepted in 1941, and the first example was produced during that year. The remaining 26 were produced during 1942. After that production switched to the Ho-Ni II, which was armed with a 105mm Type 91 howitzer.
Names (see article on Japanese tank designations)
Type 1 Ho-Ni I (Gun Fourth I)
Number produced: 26
Length: 5.55m (J)
Hull Width: 2.33 (J)
Height: 2.39 (J)
Weight: 14.7 tons (J)
Engine: 170hp diesel
Max Speed: 38 km/h (J)
Armament: 75mm Type 90 field gun
Armour: 50mm thickest
|Japanese Tanks, 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, Osprey New Vanguard 137. A well written and illustrated look at the tanks produced for the Japanese army from the late 1920s to the end of the Second World War. This is a good overview of this neglected subject, looking at both the development of their tanks and their use in combat. [see more]|