|15cm Type 96|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin:||Japan|
Imperial Japanese Army
|Debut in FHSW:||v0.4|
|Passengers:||1 or 2|
|Ammunition:|| ↑ HE|
|Rate of Fire:||4 rpm|
|Maximum Range:||11,900 m (13,014 yd)|
|Artillery battery:|| 3 guns|
|Mobile:||Yes (Type 1 Ho-Ki)|
|Used by vehicles / ships:||Type 5 Ho-Chi|
|Position 1:|| Not mobile: gunner|
The 15cm Type 96 Howitzer (九六式十五糎榴弾砲 Kyūroku-shiki Jyūgo-senchi Ryūdanhō?) was a 149.1 mm calibre howitzer used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. It was intended to replace the Type 4 15 cm howitzer in front line combat units from 1937, although it fired the same ammunition.
History and developmentEdit
Work on developing a new field howitzer for the Japanese Army began in 1920 and continued for over a decade. The Japanese Army sent numerous military attachés to Europe during World War I and observed the effectiveness of sustained artillery barrages against fixed defenses and opposing infantry. The final specifications to meet the Army's requirements called for a howitzer that could be elevated to 65 degrees, with a maximum range of about 12,000 yards, which could be transported by a team of six horses. The new design was ready by 1934, but Army Chief of Staff Kazushige Ugaki opposed its production until further tweaks were made. Production finally commenced in 1937. A total of 440 units were produced.
AP rounds do not explode so they are not good for killing an infantry. By contrast, AA rounds are not good for destroying armored vehicles. HEAT produces some blast at impact. SHRAPNEL is best for killing livingtarget like soldiers, horses or not well armored vehicles like jeeps and trucks.
The Type 96 15 cm howitzer was regarded by Allied military intelligence to be one of the most modern, well designed and effective weapons in the Japanese arsenal. Mounted on sturdy, rubber-shod, wooden wheels, the weapon was normally tractor drawn. One of its outstanding characteristics was its extreme elevation capability of 65° (which could only be used when a deep loading pit was dug beneath the breech. Ammunition used included high-explosive shells, as well as armor-piercing, Shrapnel, smoke and incendiary tracer shells.
The Type 96 15 cm howitzer was first used in combat in the Second Sino-Japanese War and was highly praised by its users. It was also used at the Nomonhan Incident in the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars. After the start of the Pacific War, it was assigned to Japanese units at the Battle of Bataan and Battle of Corregidor in the Philippines, as well as at the Battle of Guadalcanal. Many units were at the Battle of Okinawa. It continued to be used as the main howitzer of Japanese artillery units until the end of World War II. A surviving example is preserved at the Yushukan Museum at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. An additional example (complete with gun shield but without the breech block) is in a parking lot in Bellevue, Washington, just east of 124th Ave. NE on the Bel-Red Road.