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R-type
03-16-2009, 11:09 PM
I have recently Purchased some type 97 chi-ha tanks for wargaming in the 15mm scale. I try to get things as accurate as I can, But there are some questions I have about them.

What was thier platoon structure
How were they used with infantry
What were thier batallion Markings or any Kind of marking period
And did the tank crews name thier tanks as many european crews did ex: jawbreaker, Ol' bessie and label them on the sides?


Any help with this would be great as japanese info is not a plentiful as european info is ..:confused:

tom!
03-17-2009, 12:07 PM
Hi.

1. IJA tank company consisted of

- command section: 2 light tanks 1 medium tank
- 1. - 3. Platoon: 3 medium tanks each
- company train: several trucks


2. Until 1941 IJA attached tank units of company to regiment size to infantry units of battalion to army size depending on the planned operations. The tank units were directly under control of the infantry unit.

The tanks were attached to the forward infantry units to support their attacks. Light tank companies and tankette companies were also used for recon and fast advance.
The tanks advanced right behind the forward infantry lines providing cover by taking out enemy gun- and MG-emplacements and bunkers. But they could not be used as cover as tanks are primary targets for all enemy heavy weapons.

During enemy attacks on defensive lines tank were used to make fast attacks on enemy heavy weapons with immediate retreat after success or as pillboxes.

From 1942 on IJA changed the armoured warfare tactics. This lead to armoured divisions which were also allowed to operate independent (As done during Operation Ichi-Go in China 1944 and during the 1944/45 Philippines defence operations.)

There are some nice tactics drawings in Gakken series issue 25.


3. Regarding battalion/regimental markings see

Taki´s insignia site (http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/insignia.htm)


4. IJA tankers used such personal insignias but not in the same commonness.

Yours

tom! ;)