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#41 TTK Ciar

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1350 PM

Do these unit numbers seem a bit low to anyone else, given Japan's wealth and industry?

I understand there's an agreement for the United States to assist in Japan's defense, but such agreements haven't worked very well for some other countries lately.

#42 shep854

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1415 PM

 

This might seem a silly question but still. How do the external sensors stand up to punishment in an urban setting? I realise that they wouldn't have been put on the vehicle if they weren't hardened sufficiently but the question, in my mind still arises. Does the Merkava 4 have comparable system? If so how has it stood up? The question could be posed for any modern vehicle in a urban scenario. Have they been shown to be robust enough

Judging by the condition of the Syrian T-72 and other accounts I have read about urban fighting, none of it will last long and nowwhere enough spares will be in stock.

 

I read that during the fighting for Seoul in 1950, Marine M26s had their exteriors scoured clean by North Korean machine gun fire; antennae, lights, periscopes--everything!


Edited by shep854, 11 January 2015 - 1417 PM.


#43 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1441 PM

Do these unit numbers seem a bit low to anyone else, given Japan's wealth and industry?

I understand there's an agreement for the United States to assist in Japan's defense, but such agreements haven't worked very well for some other countries lately.

 

I do agree they do seem quite low.  Then again, with only 560 Type 61's having been produced (not sure on the production numbers of Type 74's or 90's), maybe there's other factors at play here rather than sheer numbers.

 

Just how much of Japan's surface area is viable for MBT operation?  I've never been there myself so couldn't say how extensive the road networks are around the maintainous regions etc.  Perhaps a total MBT count of 300, being a mix of Type 10 and Type 90, is enough for their geography and how they're deployed?
 



#44 FlyingCanOpener

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1547 PM

Do these unit numbers seem a bit low to anyone else, given Japan's wealth and industry?

I understand there's an agreement for the United States to assist in Japan's defense, but such agreements haven't worked very well for some other countries lately.

 

Not really considering the JGSDF's sole mission is based on defence of the home islands. Japanese doctrine depends on the armoured being easily transportable (The dimensions of Type 61, 74, and I think 10s are constrained by rail tunnels) to where they are needed for rapid deployment to maximize numbers. Considering the fact that if the enemy lands on Japan in large numbers, the battle is pretty desperate as the navy and air force have failed in their mission, you'd have to admit that armour is lower on the totem pole than for most countries.

 

Apart from the Kanto plain (Tokyo area) and Hokkaido (Where the bulk of the Type 90s are based), very little of Japan is tank country, so the need for large amounts of armour is moot. 



#45 FlyingCanOpener

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1549 PM

Speaking of Japanese armour, I have to wonder what they were thinking with the Type 61. It was undergunned and had no armour even while it was being designed. I know they wanted to kickstart their defence industries with the design and building of the Type 61, but geez, at least try to put an L7 on it instead of that puny 90mm.



#46 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1601 PM

Speaking of Japanese armour, I have to wonder what they were thinking with the Type 61. It was undergunned and had no armour even while it was being designed. I know they wanted to kickstart their defence industries with the design and building of the Type 61, but geez, at least try to put an L7 on it instead of that puny 90mm.

 

Well quoting what I've read from the always 100% accurate Wikipedia:

 

"The final constraint was due to the light body build of Japanese people at that time, after examining the M36 Jackson, 90 millimeter ammunition was felt to be the upper limit of what the average Japanese tanker could handle effectively.  Additionally due to the mountainous landscape of Japan, it was unlikely that long range engagements would occur frequently and it was thought that a 90 milimeter gun would be sufficient."

 

This mention of an M36 is curious.  I'd always heard previous to this that the Type 61 was actually modelled (somewhat) on the M47 Patton, a tank which the JGSDF was offered.  If the same article is accurate, neither the M46 or M47 purchase offer was taken up and the firm of Mitsubishi designed their own vehicle, culiminating in the Type 61.  I am not entirely sure if an L7 would have fitted in the turret? 

 

Did they ever receive any M24 Chaffee light tanks?



#47 TonyE

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1615 PM

They did get a fair number of M24s, featured in Godzilla movies too. ;)



#48 swerve

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1724 PM

Apart from the Kanto plain (Tokyo area) and Hokkaido (Where the bulk of the Type 90s are based), very little of Japan is tank country, so the need for large amounts of armour is moot. 

I've seen quite a lot of the Kanto plain, & I think it's lousy tank country. Most of it is taken up by Greater Tokyo, & there's not much open land left.



#49 Ken Estes

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1728 PM

M24s also kicked Rodan's ass.

 

Do not belittle the 90mm. It handled all the threat armor until T-64. The fielding of reliable HEAT ammo remained problematic past the 1962 inserve date, but APC was fine and if desired APDS and HVAP could be bought or produced. As noted above, the terrain meant that tk-tk engagement ranges would be short, so engineering prep of the battle would make a big difference.

 

The lack of suitable bridges, tunnels and roads played both ways, so T-10s were not likely to show up, even if the navies and air support failed.



#50 JasonJ

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1843 PM

Between 1974 and 1989, 873 Type 74s were made. And later 341 Type 90s were made.

The Japanese discussed the idea of doing either up gunning the Type 61 to the 105 or to just design a whole new tank. They went with the new tank route.

Edited by JasonJ, 11 January 2015 - 1845 PM.


#51 EvanDP

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1851 PM

Do these unit numbers seem a bit low to anyone else, given Japan's wealth and industry?
I understand there's an agreement for the United States to assist in Japan's defense, but such agreements haven't worked very well for some other countries lately.

 
Not really considering the JGSDF's sole mission is based on defence of the home islands. Japanese doctrine depends on the armoured being easily transportable (The dimensions of Type 61, 74, and I think 10s are constrained by rail tunnels) to where they are needed for rapid deployment to maximize numbers. Considering the fact that if the enemy lands on Japan in large numbers, the battle is pretty desperate as the navy and air force have failed in their mission, you'd have to admit that armour is lower on the totem pole than for most countries.
 
Apart from the Kanto plain (Tokyo area) and Hokkaido (Where the bulk of the Typeu 90s are based), very little of Japan is tank country, so the need for large amounts of armour is moot.

A conversation I had with someone who was in the JGSDF in the 70's was they were afraid of (in order of importance) was:
1. Getting nuked
2. Spetnaz
3. Airborne forces
4. Naval Infantry

#52 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 1956 PM

Remember that the US occupation divisions in Japan in the late '40s replaced their M4E8 mediums with M24 lights because of bridge and highway limitations.  That is why the first US divisions to reach Korea had M24 in their div tk bns and their regt tk cos.



#53 FlyingCanOpener

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 2114 PM

 

Apart from the Kanto plain (Tokyo area) and Hokkaido (Where the bulk of the Type 90s are based), very little of Japan is tank country, so the need for large amounts of armour is moot. 

I've seen quite a lot of the Kanto plain, & I think it's lousy tank country. Most of it is taken up by Greater Tokyo, & there's not much open land left.

 

 

I was just thinking plain old (*ahem*) topography. ;)

 

Ken,

 

What could the Soviets bring across considering commitments in, say, late 1960-75ish? Would it be essentially just T-55s and later T-62s? I did read that by the time the Type 74 came out if the Russians brought T-72s to the party it might be a trickier proposition for the them.

 

It would be interesting to get hands on design documents that led to the decision for the 90mm. For all I know, they were never even offered the 105mm in designing the Type 61 and it was the only gun they had access to. *shrugs*



#54 bojan

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 2214 PM

90mm AP was hopeless vs T-54/55 frontally. HVAP only slightly less so. From a flanks both would work fine.



#55 Panzermann

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0215 AM

What could have been landed in Japan anyway? Some jeeps, maybe light tanks and some APC the rest light infantry mostly. Landed by air or sea. Against such a 90 mm is fine.

#56 Gman

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0357 AM

90mm AP was hopeless vs T-54/55 frontally. HVAP only slightly less so. From a flanks both would work fine.

 

Except in the middle east where IDF M48s reported no problems with Arab T55's?



#57 JasonJ

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0405 AM

What could have been landed in Japan anyway? Some jeeps, maybe light tanks and some APC the rest light infantry mostly. Landed by air or sea. Against such a 90 mm is fine.


That may be the case in many areas but the 800+ Type 74s were meant for soviet tank hordes. And the Type 90s were meant for T-72s. If the US could land M4 Shermans, surely a serious SU could land many T-54s/T-55s on some areas and establish a foot hold with the tanks.

#58 JW Collins

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0426 AM

 

90mm AP was hopeless vs T-54/55 frontally. HVAP only slightly less so. From a flanks both would work fine.

 

Except in the middle east where IDF M48s reported no problems with Arab T55's?

 

Did they have APDS by then?



#59 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0554 AM

Well even their M4's managed to do okay.

Even the non-upgraded 76mm shermans were able to slug it out at close range and kick goals against T55/62 even in '73.



#60 swerve

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 0630 AM

Did they have any of those left in 1973?

 

Remember that the US occupation divisions in Japan in the late '40s replaced their M4E8 mediums with M24 lights because of bridge and highway limitations.  That is why the first US divisions to reach Korea had M24 in their div tk bns and their regt tk cos.

Yebbut that was over 60 years ago. Japan's built a lot of roads & bridges since then, & those I've seen don't look fragile. It was relevant to the design of the Type 61, but no longer.


Edited by swerve, 12 January 2015 - 0632 AM.





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