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Moving back to Japan, here are four variants of Type 5 Chi-Ri. Their last & largest tank of WW2.

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Moving back to Japan, here are four variants of Type 5 Chi-Ri. Their last & largest tank of WW2.

Click of the unit names to visit their D-day wiki page for more information & pictures.

With the threat of invasion looming in 1945 the Japanese started work on the Type 5 Chi-Ri, a tank that could defeat anything the Americans world throw at them. However with limited time and resources it was decided to split the Chi-Ri project into two variants. Plan 1 would using the best of the current tank technology in order to start production as soon as possible and Plan 2 would instead explored a new experimental design. Soon after it was decided that Plan 1 would be dropped and work would concentrate on the Plan 2 design.

Japan's last and greatest tank design of the war. The Type 5 Chi-Ri was an experimental design fitted with a 75mm cannon and a new belt fed auto loading system, which would have given the Chi-Ri the ability to fire a shell every 2 seconds! To deal with such a high rate of fire the gun was placed in large turret which could also store 100 rounds of ammunition. An incomplete prototype was captured by the Americans after the war and taken back to America but sadly all trace of it was then lost.


Note:
It has been a long held belief that the Chi-Ri was planed to be fitted with a 88mm cannon but no mention of this can be found in Japanese documents. It is believed to be a presumption made by the Americans forces who captured it and has since been repeated in English history books.

During the development of the Type 5 Chi-Ri several different experimental wheel and suspension designs where proposed. In the end it was decided to use the same suspension used on previous designs to cut down on development time. The one seen here was designed by the Technical Research Institute, known as the Chidori suspension it used eight interwoven road wheels supported by torsion bars in a similar manner to German Panther and Tiger tanks.

During the development of the Type 5 Chi-Ri several different experimental wheel and suspension designs where proposed. In the end it was decided to use the same suspension used on previous designs to cut down on development time. The one seen here was designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, known as the Bugatti suspension it used six large road wheels paired to three coil springs.

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