The Type 4 Ke-Nu light tank combined the chassis of the standard Japanese Type 95 light tank with turrets that had been removed from the original version of the Type 97 Chi-ha medium tank. The Chi-ha had originally been armed with a low velocity 57mm. The series of border clashes with Russia during 1939 revealed that this gun was inadequate, and a new higher velocity 47mm tank gun was developed. This was then installed in the Chi-ha to produce the Type 97-Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha.
This left a number of Chi-ha turrets spare. During 1942 work began in fitting these turrets to the chassis of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tank, which was armed with a 37mm gun. This added nearly a ton to the weight of the tank, and reduced its top speed to 25mph. Around 100 Ke-Nus were produced late in the Second World War, but like most late Japanese tanks they saw little or no combat.
Stats (see article on Japanese tank designations)
Number produced: 100?
Produced: after 1942
Weight: 8.4 tons
Engine: 120hp diesel
Max Speed: 25mph/ 40 km/hr
Armament: One Type 1 37mm gun and one 7.7mm machine gun
|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]|