Type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha Japanese Medium Tank

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This is a Type 97 Shinhoto (new turret) Chi-Ha captured by US Marines on Iwo Jima, February 1945. Most Japanese armor on Iwo Jima was dug into defensive positions and camouflaged.
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The tank appears relatively intact, although the 47mm gun is at its maximum depression. The 47mm gun was only effective against the frontal armor of the US M4 Sherman tank at point-blank ranges, although it could penetrate the Sherman’s side armor more easily.
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The pioneer tools are still in place on this vehicle. The left front fender has some minor damage, and the screens protecting the mufflers are missing, exposing the support frames underneath.
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This is the Shinhoto Chi-Ha which was on display at the Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The museum closed in July 2017 following the passing of its owner, Fred Ropkey.
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Detail of the front of the Type 97. One unusual feature is the presence of narrow vision slits cut into the armor which can be seen on either side of the driver’s visor and outboard of the machine gun.
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The port fender on this Type 97 is also damaged and has the penetration associated with the dozer blade. This has lead several authors to claim that this is the same tank captured on Iwo Jima but this is not the case.
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One difference between this Type 97 and the Iwo Jima tank is this one has additional armor plate applied to the turret sides. The armor can be seen in the upper right of this photograph butted up against the gun mantlet and secured with four rivets.
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A view of the engine deck and rear of the turret.
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Muffler covers and stowage boxes at the back of the tank. There was almost no armor protection at the rear.  The head of restoration at the Ropkey Museum reported that Japanese armor plate was quite brittle compared to American armor.
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The 47mm gun which replaced the 57mm gun of the previous Chi-Ha series. While the bore diameter was smaller, the 47mm gun had a higher initial velocity and more penetrating power.