This is NOT the Worst Tank in WWII – The Japanese “Ha-Go” Type 95 tank in 28 PHOTOS

One of the most numerous tanks of the Japanese Empire was Type 95. The producers of this tank called it “Ha-Go.” The figure 95 in the name denoted the 95th year of the reign of the empire.

Placed into service in 1935, the Type 95 was one of the weakest and most obsolete tanks that saw the end of World War II.

During severe battles, it became clear that Type 95 was not strong enough and that there were several design miscalculations. In particular, the armor of the tank did not fulfill its role well.

Its thickness ranged from 6 to 12 mm, so armor-piercing shells easily punched through the Type 95. In addition to this, the armor could not always protect the crew of 3 people even from small arms fire.

Front view of captured Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank
Front view of captured Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank

The tank commander was located in the tower of the tank, which turned only 45 degrees. There was no seating in the tower for the commander. A 6.5 mm machine gun was installed at the rear of the tower, and a second 6.5 mm machine gun was located on the left side of the hull. The tank’s main weapon was a 37 mm cannon.

Thanks to the six-cylinder Mitsubishi diesel engine NVD 6120, which had a maximum output of 120 horsepower, the lightweight 7.4 ton Type 95 could develop a maximum speed of nearly 28 miles per hour on the highway and 16 miles per hour on rough terrain.

Disabled Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank left in Biak, due to Allied advance. The battle of Biak was one of the most important offensives during the Western New Guinea campaign, in which both Japanese commanders died. Photo Cassowary Colorizations CC BY 2.0
Disabled Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank left in Biak, due to Allied advance. The battle of Biak was one of the most important offensives during the Western New Guinea campaign, in which both Japanese commanders died. Photo Cassowary Colorizations CC BY 2.0

In order to take the Type 95 out of action, one could simply throw a Molotov cocktail into the air intake. And all it took to jam the rotation of the tower was a normal infantry knife.

In addition, only one of the four tanks in each platoon was equipped with radio communication. If the tank with the radio was destroyed, the platoon became completely devoid of communication and lost combat effectiveness.

However, despite numerous shortcomings, the Type 95 tank proved itself in the second Sino-Chinese war as a deterrent against the local population in the territories of Manchuria. In addition, “Ha-Go” was involved in patrolling the jungle in the Philippines and Burma.

During the years of production from 1936 to 1943, 2,348 Type 95 tanks were built.

Imperial Japanese Army Type 95 light tank “Ha-Go” 1st Prototype, before the weight reduction modification
Imperial Japanese Army Type 95 light tank “Ha-Go” 1st Prototype, before the weight reduction modification

During the Second World War, it became clear that Type 95 was hopelessly outdated and did not pose a serious threat. However, the shortage of armored vehicles forced the Japanese to use it until the very end of the war.

In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. The Soviet T-34 tanks that entered the confrontation easily destroyed the Japanese tank units, which failed to provide worthy resistance.

At present, about 15 Type 95 tanks are preserved in museums around the world.

Japanese 9th Tank Regiment Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank destroyed on Tinian Island 1944
Japanese 9th Tank Regiment Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank destroyed on Tinian Island 1944

 

Japanese 14th Infantry Division Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank, Peleliu, September 1944
Japanese 14th Infantry Division Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank, Peleliu, September 1944

 

Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank in Marshall Islands 1944
Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank in Marshall Islands 1944

 

Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank. Photo Raita Futo CC BY 2.0
Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank. Photo Raita Futo CC BY 2.0

 

Japanese Type 95 tank wrecks and artillery in Japan 1945
Japanese Type 95 tank wrecks and artillery in Japan 1945

 

Left side view. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5
Left side view. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5

 

Marine General Thomas Watson and Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank, Saipan 1944
Marine General Thomas Watson and Japanese Type 95 “Ha-Go” tank, Saipan 1944

 

Marines use captured Japanese truck to tow Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank, Saipan 1944
Marines use captured Japanese truck to tow Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank, Saipan 1944

 

One of six “Ha-Go” tanks destroyed by an Australian OQF 2-pounder anti-tank gun in the Battle of Muar. The escaping tank crew were killed by Allied infantry.
One of six “Ha-Go” tanks destroyed by an Australian OQF 2-pounder anti-tank gun in the Battle of Muar. The escaping tank crew were killed by Allied infantry.

 

Rear-side angle view of IJA Type 95 “Ha-Go” of the Manchuria Tank School with inverted suspension components.
Rear-side angle view of IJA Type 95 “Ha-Go” of the Manchuria Tank School with inverted suspension components.

 

The Australian War Memorial’s Type 95 during restoration in 2012. Photo Nick-D CC BY-SA 3.0
The Australian War Memorial’s Type 95 during restoration in 2012. Photo Nick-D CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks in the background while California National Guardsman sweeps for mines, Leyte 1944
Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks in the background while California National Guardsman sweeps for mines, Leyte 1944

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” in Victory Park, Moscow. Photo Alan Wilson CC BY-SA 2.0
Type 95 “Ha-Go” in Victory Park, Moscow. Photo Alan Wilson CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank detracked and wrecked in Saipan, July 1944.
Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank detracked and wrecked in Saipan, July 1944.

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank knocked out by 32nd Infantry Division, Leyte 1944
Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank knocked out by 32nd Infantry Division, Leyte 1944

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank. Photo Marc Palumbo CC BY 2.0
Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tank. Photo Marc Palumbo CC BY 2.0

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tanks burning on Guam, 1944
Type 95 “Ha-Go” light tanks burning on Guam, 1944

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” on display at the now-defunct United States Army Ordnance Museum. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5
Type 95 “Ha-Go” on display at the now-defunct United States Army Ordnance Museum. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” showing a flag signal during maneuvers
Type 95 “Ha-Go” showing a flag signal during maneuvers

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks destroyed by an Australian 2-pounder anti-tank gun during the Battle of Muar in the Malayan Campaign
Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks destroyed by an Australian 2-pounder anti-tank gun during the Battle of Muar in the Malayan Campaign

 

Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender, 1945
Type 95 “Ha-Go” tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender, 1945

 

Type 95 light tank “Ha-Go” Prototype, after the weight reduction modification, 1934
Type 95 light tank “Ha-Go” Prototype, after the weight reduction modification, 1934

 

Type 95 on display at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, front view. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5
Type 95 on display at the United States Army Ordnance Museum, front view. Photo Mark Pellegrini CC BY-SA 2.5

 

Type 95 tank displays in front of Surasakmontree Army Camp, Lampang, Thailand. Photo Z3144228 CC BY-SA 3.0
Type 95 tank displays in front of Surasakmontree Army Camp, Lampang, Thailand. Photo Z3144228 CC BY-SA 3.0

Read another story from us: Private Dirk J. Vlug: the Bane of Japanese Tanks

WWII Japanese tank Type 95 Ha-Go on Palau Island.Photo ペ有家音 – 自身で撮影 CC BY-SA 3.0
WWII Japanese tank Type 95 Ha-Go on Palau Island.Photo ペ有家音 – 自身で撮影 CC BY-SA 3.0