Tanks in vs Japanese Theaters

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vincenzo, May 31, 2012.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #1 Vincenzo, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
    this a bit hard for me i've only limited info on this area
    i try

    Early operations
    Philippines 2 US light btl with Stuart
    Java 1 NEI coy with Vickers Carden Loyd light tanks and Marmon-Herrington T14 light tanks, 1 british squadron with Mk VI light tank
    Malaya 1 Indian squadron with light tank mk II and IV
    Burma 7th British armoured bde with 2 btl with Stuart

    idk at start of New Guinea and Solomon campaigns what tanks unit were available but there were only Stuart and M2 (at Guadalcanal)

    continue... hope in helps
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Most of the Japanese Army was on the Asian mainland. That's where most IJA tanks were deployed.

    IJA armored vehicles.
    AFV
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #3 Vincenzo, Jun 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
    little help, for clear i'm not talking of value of davebender link but that only him give a help, (i give info on japanese after "completed" allied side)
    i try to continue

    main and probably alone allied tank remain the Stuart after the spring of 42
    in the january-march '43 British used in Arakan a Valentine III-IV unit (was deployed a btl but only half squadron see battle)
    the US army used a plat of M3A5 Lee in the november '43, Makin battle
    the australian army used a squadron of Matilda II from the november '43 in New Guinea
    the british deployed th first btl in Burma/India with Grant in the december '43
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I hope they were armed with something besides the 2 pounder. Otherwise they would have been practically worthless for attacking dug in IJA infantry.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Actually they proved rather useful. Being small enough to get down some of the jungle tracks that would have stopped or required more tree clearing for larger vehicles. They also (like in the dessert) were immune to most anti-tank weapons or small artillery that the Japanese had. While the 2pdr wasn't much good for taking out infantry in numbers when dug into individual holes or slit trenches it did OK at silencing MG bunkers or nests. Even a dozen solid shot into/around the firing slit beat a 75mm shell a number of miles away. The Besa gun with several thousand rounds of ammo did a fair job of keeping heads down while the infantry move up also.

    The Australians tended to issue 3in howitzer versions on a ratio of about 2-3 2pdr tanks to one 3in howitzer vehicle in a platoon/section also instead of keeping 2-3 support vehicles at company/squadron HQ level.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's fine for North Africa. On New Guinea they should all have been the CS version. 75mm HE vs infanry in the open. 75mm HEAT vs infantry bunkers.
     
  7. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    why. the main challenge fightng the Japanese in the jungle was overpowering fortified strongpoints. Infantry and artillery units could bring ample HE support into these types of battles, and as pointed out ther was a high proportion of howitzer versions to achieve plunging fire advantages into these dug in positions. Direct fire non armour piercing fire generally was useless against these heavily defended positions. A plunging fire version could penetrate from the top (generally less well protected than the fronts and sides of these positions, whilst an armour piercing round could be used for "tin openers" to prise open the frontal defences of these bunkers.

    Australians found the valentines and matildas to be the best tanks in the jungke for the very reasons you are questioning their value. When using 75mm HE was not used all that often. not when the ranges might be less than 30 yards
     
  9. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Parsifal have you a source for australian Valentines in pacific?

    AFAIK NZ used a Valentine squadron in february '44
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. That's why you want 75mm HEAT which is far more effective vs log bunkers then 2 pounder AP.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    not far more effective, just somewhat more effective. Moreover, diverting HEAT resources away from main battlefields where HEAT really was essential, and where tanks like the matilda could no longer operate effectively would not have been an optimum use of resources.

    There were other reasons why apparently obsolete weapons were used in the Jungle. The Australian armoured formations of WWII were designed prior to 1940, at a time when HEAT was not well known or even adopted in the British and British CW armies. Australia in 1940 was developing its own tanks, which by 1943 were projected to be equiped with a 75mm armamanet. the testing of this equipment had been quite successful, but by 1943 ther was no longer the burning need for such advanced equipment in the TOs that the Australian army was operating. At the ranges that armour engaged in the jungle, Matildas and (I think) Valentines with their 2 pounder weaponary could do almost as good a job as the more capable 75mm weapons. Given that the Matildas were available, for almost no expenditure of funds, and readily available, the Australians used what would otherwise have been scrap to very good effect. The british heavy Infantry tanks had the added advantages of being fairly heavily armoured (and even though Japanese AT capability was poor, it was not something that could be enirely ignored) and were found to be quite relaible and easy to maintain.

    In the end, it was a matter of using what was availble, finding that the next best thing was still good enough, and not using armoured resources that could be useful elsewhere
     
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Someone must have been happy with the capabilities of the matilda, otherwise it wouldn't have been further deployed to Bougainville, Labuan and Borneo.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Your source for that is?

    Something to consider when comparing heat rounds to normal AP. A normal AP round makes a full diameter hole through the armor, a HEAT round does not. Not only does a 75mm HEAT round not make a 75mm hole in most thicknesses of of armor but the thicker the armor (or more stand off distance) the smaller the diameter of the hole gets.

    The Goal of penetrating armor is not just penetrating the armor but destroying what the armor is protecting. If you successfully punch a full caliber AP round through the armor you not only have the projectile but the material that used to occupy the hole flying about behind the armor. The HEAT round has no projectile and in some cases ( a close match between the actual armor the HEAT rounds penetration limit) a rather small diameter hole with a correspondingly small amount of material blown back into the personnel space. In order to be fairly lethal a HEAT round needs to over match the armor by a certain amount. This allows for a fair amount of blast, heat and pressure wave inside the protected space.

    Not all 75mm HEAT rounds were created equal.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I dont think there is conclusive proof either way. I have seen some photos somewhere captioned "Australian Valentines in Bougainville - 1945" and the Infantry supporting them certainly look like Australians, but there is no conclusive proof either way

    This website is about as honest as it gets....

    Australian Armor
     
  15. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #15 Vincenzo, Jun 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
    Parsifal i hope that a australian had some secret site, ;)

    back to tanks available for the allies

    in january '44 both US army and marines start to use in combat the Sherman (75), i'm not 100% sure but i think that the btls remain with a coy with Stuart.
    the british deployed the first btl with the Sherman (75) in Burma/India theater in august '44
    in the late winter/spring '44 chinese offensive in Burma were deployed Stuart and Sherman in 1st Prov. Tank Group
     
  16. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    last add for the allies side
    Soviet in August Storm deployed many models of tanks, the Far East command had 4841* operable tanks&tankettes the 5 august 1945, of this 1794 T-34, 1272 T-26, 797 BT-7, 304 T-38, 250 M4A2.


    * numbers from armchairgeneral.rkkaww2, commonly is reported that only ~75% of this in the attacking fronts
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #17 Vincenzo, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
    Japanese side*

    Malaya campaign 12/41-2/42 were deployed 3 tanks btl (like the british they called regiment their tank btl) with Type 97 medium tank (56) and/or** Type 95 light tank (74)
    Philippines campaign 12/41-5/42 were deployed 2 tanks btl one with the light Type 95 and one with light Type 95 and the medium Type 89 and 97 (total 52 Type 95, 34 Type 89, 2 Type 97)
    Burma campaign 12/41-5/41 was deployed a coy with 12 light Type 95
    NEI campaign 3/42 were deployed 2 btl with light Type 95 and Type 97 (31), and 5 captured Stuart
    Milne 8/42 2 light Type 95
    Guadalcanal 10/42 1 coy with 10 Type 97 and 2 light Type 95
    Tarawa 11/43 14 light Type 95
    Makin 11/43 3 light Type 95
    Kwajalein 1/44 9 tankettes Type 94 or 97 and 2 coys with Type 2 amphibius tank
    Eniwetok 2/44 1 coy 9 light Type 95
    Biak 5-6/44 1 coy with 9 light Type 95
    Marianas 6/44 a reduced army btl (31 Type 97, 4 Type 97 improved and 12 light Type 95) and a naval unit with light Type 95 and amphibius Type 2
    Tinian 7/44 9 light Type 95
    Guam 7-8/44 2 tank coy and a minor unit (29 light Type 95, 10 Type 97, 1 Improved Type 97)
    Sarmi 7/44-8/45 17 light Type 95
    Peleliu 9/44 17 light Type 95
    Ichi Go operation 4-12/44 3rd tank division (255 light Type 95, Type 97 and improved Type 97)
    Imphal operation 3-7/44 1 tank btl (66 light Type 95, improved Type 97, tankettes Type 97, SP Type 1, Stuart)
    Leyte 10-12/44 3 tank coy plus a small marine unit (20 light Type 95, 11 Type 89, 10 amphibius Type 2)
    Luzon 1-4/45 2nd tank division and 4 indipendent coy (~230 light Type 95, Type 89, Type 97, improved Type 97, 4 SP Type 1 and 2 SP Type 4)
    Iwo Jima 2-3/45 1 tank btl only 23 tanks (l ty 95 and 97/improved 97)
    Okinawa 5/45 1 tank btl only 26 tanks (l ty 95 and 97)
    Shimushu 8/45 1 tank btl (25 light Type 95, 20 Type 97, 19 improved Type 97)

    from an other source***
    Balikapan 1/42 8 tankettes Type 97
    Timor 3/42 11 tankettes Type 94
    Java Campaign 5 coy from 2 btls and 3 tankettes unit (40 tankettes Type 97, 30 light Type 95, 5 Stuart, 31 Type 97)

    from the orbat of Kwantung Army 9th august 1945
    there were the 1st and the 9th independent tank brigade


    * from TAKI
    **1 btl had only Type 95 light tank.
    ***Article List
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What does that have to do with infantry field fortifications constructed of dirt and logs?
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    What are the dirt and logs protecting?

    A 2pdr shot traversing the field fortification after penetration is going to take out anything in it's way. Any small rocks from the hole are going to act like shrapnel and even wood splinters can cause casualties. In the days of wooden sailing ships more crewmen were taken by wooden splinters than by cannon balls.

    If the HEAT round only makes a 10-15mm diameter hole on the inside of the field fortification and any occupants are several feet away from the point of penetration what is the likelihood of the occupants becoming causalities?

    The 2pdr might be able to blow 4-8 times as much 'junk' from the 'hole' back into the field fortification as the HEAT round unless the HEAT round has a significant amount of overmatch.
     
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