The Type 89 I-Go is also know as the Chi-Ro was the mainstay “medium” tank of the Japanese military for roughly a decade from 1931 onward. Designed in 1928, it had a maximum armor thickness of 17mm, which while fine for an “interwar” tank, and comparable to a Soviet BT-7 light tank designed 6 years later in 1935, was light by WW2 standards. The American M2A4 Light Tank, which saw battle in Guadalcanal by the US Marines, by comparison was designed in 1935 and had an armor thickness of 6–25 mm. The armor of the Type 89 was more than sufficient to protect it from rifles, older machine guns, and small arms available to the Chinese and other opponents at the time, and it was also an instrumental tank in the charge of the 4th Tank Regiment under General Yasuoka that broke Soviet lines (despite far superior numbers on the Soviet side) in the Battle of Khalkin Gol.
The Type 89 was deployed for infantry support operations in the Second Sino-Japanese War. It served with Japanese infantry divisions before that, during the Japanese invasion of Manchuria (September 1931), and during the First Battle of Shanghai in 1932, as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Special Naval Landing Force. The following year, the Japanese Army formed its first independent armor force by creating three regiments armed with the Type 89 I-Go, each consisting of two companies with ten tanks each. Three more regiments were formed in 1934. Type 89s were used widely in various campaigns throughout China after 1937.
By 1942 the Type 89 was gradually being withdrawn from front-line combat service, but many units saw action in the Battle of the Philippines, Battle of Malaya and during the Burma campaign, and continued to be used in China. They were also often used in static defense positions in the Japanese-occupied islands of the Netherlands East Indies and in the South Pacific Mandate, but with their weak armor and small main gun they were a poor match for the American M4 Sherman.
Type 89 w/ Ex.37mmEdit
|Type 89 w/ Ex.37m|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Designer||Osaka Technical Arsenal|
|Manufacturer||Osaka Technical Arsenal|
|Produced In||1931 - 1942|
|Debut in FHSW||v0.55|
|Main armament|| 37mm Exp.37MM T.K.G (75 Rounds)|
|Coaxial weapon|| 6.5mm Type 91 (45 rounds)|
|General Ingame Information|
|Seat 3||6.5mm Type 91 (45 rounds)|
|Seat 4||Passenger Seat|
|Seat 5||Passenger Seat|
Very early examples of the tank were armed with a modified 37mm "Sogekiho" infantry gun, but it was dropped in favor of the more powerful 57 mm gun. Five tanks participated in Shanghai Incident.