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Type 3 Chi-Nu
Japanese Type 3 Chi-Nu tank 1.jpg
A Type 3 Chi-Nu at the JGSDF Ordnance School in Tsuchiura, Japan
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Production history
Designed 1944
Produced 1944–1945
Number built 144
Weight 19 t (21 tons)[1]
Length 5.64 m (18 ft 6 in)
Width 2.41 m (7 ft 11 in)
Height 2.68 m (8 ft 10 in)
Crew 5

Armor 12-50 mm
Type 3 75 mm Tank Gun
1 x 7.7 mm Type 97 machine gun
Engine Mitsubishi Type 100
21.7 L V-12 diesel
240 hp (179 kW) at 2,000 rpm
Suspension Bell crank
210 km (130 mi)
Speed 39 km/h (24 mph)

Type 3 Medium Tank Chi-Nu (三式中戦車 チヌ San-shiki chusensha Chi-nu?) was a medium tank of Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. It was an improved version of the Type 97 Chi-Ha line by giving it a Type 3 75 mm Tank Gun, one of the largest guns used on Japanese tanks during the war.

The Chi-Nu did not see combat during the war; they were retained for defence of the Japanese Home Islands in case of an Allied invasion.

History and development

Type 3 medium tank Chi-Nu was developed to cope with the American M4 Sherman [2] after it was clear that the Type 1 Chi-He design was still inadequate. The Army Technical Bureau had been working on the Type 4 Chi-To medium tank as the counter to the M4 Sherman, but there were problems and delays in the program, and as a result a stopgap tank was required. Development on the Type 3 Chi-Nu started in May 1943 and was finished by October, just six months later. The low priority given to tank production by 1943 meant that the Type 3 did not actually enter production until 1944, by which time raw materials were in very short supply, and much of Japan's industrial infrastructure had been destroyed by American strategic bombing.

A total of 144 units were produced (55 units in 1944, 89 units in 1945). The Type 3 Chi-Nu was the last tank that was fielded by the Imperial Japanese armed forces, and was still being produced at the end of the war.[3]


The Type 3 Chi-Nu retained the same chassis and suspension of the Type 97 but with a large new hexagonal gun turret.[4]

The main armament of the Type 3 Chi-Nu was the 75 mm caliber Type 3 Tank Gun. The gun could be elevated between -10 and +25 degrees. Firing a shell at a muzzle velocity of 680 metres per second (2,200 ft/s) it gave an armor penetration of 90 mm (3.5 in) at 100 m (110 yd) and 65 mm (2.6 in) at 1,000 m (1,100 yd).[4][5]

IJA4th Armored Division with Type 3 Chi-Nu

Service record

The Type 3 was allocated to the Japanese home islands to defend against the projected Allied Invasion. At least 6 tank regiments were equipped with Type 3 Chi-Nu tanks on Kyūshū and Honshū, including the 1st Tank Division and 4th Tank Division based around Tokyo. As the surrender of Japan occurred before that invasion, the Type 3 was never used in combat.[3]

One surviving Type 3 medium tank is on display at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Military Ordnance Training School at Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, Japan.


  • Type 3 Chi-Nu Kai prototype
One Chi-Nu was armed with the Type 5 75 mm Tank Gun.[citation needed]


  1. Hara, AFV Profile 49 (1972)
  2. Taki
  3. 3.0 3.1 Zaloga, Japanese Tanks 1939-45[page needed]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tomczyk, Andrzej, Japanese Armor Vol. 4, p. 3.
  5. History of War


  • Foss, Christopher (2003). Great Book of Tanks: The World's Most Important Tanks from World War I to the Present Day. Zenith Press. ISBN 0-7603-1475-6. 
  • Foss, Christopher (2003). Tanks: The 500. Crestline. ISBN 0-7603-1500-0. 
  • Tomczyk, Andrzej (2005). Japanese Armor Vol. 4. AJ Press. ISBN 83-7237-167-9.
  • Zaloga, Steven J. (2007). Japanese Tanks 1939–45. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-8460-3091-8. 

External links

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