Type 91 Heavy Tank (Japan)

The Type 91 Heavy Tank was one of a series of experimental multi-turreted heavy tanks designed in Japan between 1925 and the end of the 1930s, none of which entered production.

The Type 91 Heavy Tank was developed from the Tank Number 1 of 1927 (Dai-chi Osaka Sensha, First Osaka Tank). It carried its guns in three independent turrets, all on the centre line. The main turret carried one 70mm L/18.2 cannon and a 6.5mm machine gun, while two more machine guns were carried in front and rear turrets, giving the Type 91 a total of three machine guns. The rear turret was located behind the engine compartment.

The Type 91 had either seventeen or eighteen road wheels on each side, carried in pairs and supported by a two-stage leaf spring suspension system. The Type 91 was completed in 1932, and as a result was sometimes known as the Type 92. Work on the Type 91 continued until 1933, before it was replaced by the Type 95 heavy tank.

Type 91 Heavy Tank

Number produced: 
Crew: 5
Weight: 18 tons
Engine: 224hp BMW gasoline aircraft engine
Max Speed: 16mph/ 25 km/h
Range: 160km
Armament: 70mm gun and 6.5mm machine gun in main turret, 6.5mm machine gun in each of front and rear machine gun turrets.

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]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 August 2008), Type 91 Heavy Tank (Japan) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_type_91_heavy_tank.html

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