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Type 45 240 mm howitzer
Japanese Type 45 240 mm howitzer.jpg
Japanese Type 45 240 mm howitzer
Type Heavy howitzer
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1912-1945
Used by War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svgImperial Japanese Army
Wars World War I
Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Production history
Number built 80
Weight 38,000 kg (83,776 lb) (emplaced)
Barrel length 3.892 m (12 ft 9.2 in) (L16.2) 24 caliber
Crew 9 + men

Shell 240 mm semi-fixed round
Caliber 240 mm
Breech Interrupted screw
Elevation -2 to +65 degrees
Traverse 240 degrees
Muzzle velocity 400 m/s (1,312 ft/s) approx
Maximum range 14 km (15,000 yd)

Another view, showing a shell on the loading trolley

The Type 45 240 mm howitzer (四五式二十四糎榴弾砲 Yongo-shiki Nijyūyon-senchi Ryūdanhō?) was a siege gun used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War I and World War II. The Type 45 designation was given to this gun as it was accepted in the 45th year of Emperor Meiji's reign (1912).[1] It was the first such weapon to be entirely designed in Japan.[2]

History and development

The Type 45 was developed after the Russo-Japanese War showed the value of heavy caliber howitzers and mortars when attacking strongly fortified enemy positions. The heavy weapons used by the Japanese Army at the Siege of Port Arthur were 28 cm Imperial Japanese army howitzers.[3] The Type 45 was the first such weapon designed and built entirely in Japan, and entered service in 1912. It was usually deployed as part of coastal artillery batteries.

The Type 45 240 mm howitzer is reported in use by Japanese heavy artillery units. The piece allegedly is disassembled into units which are transported in ten vehicles. Its maximum range is reputed to be about 11,000 yards, and it is believed to fire a semi-fixed round weighing approximately 400 pounds.[1]


The Type 45 was an extremely heavy weapon, weighing nearly 38,000 kilograms (84,000 lb) when emplaced. Setup of the weapon required considerable time, and the use of a crane to raise the heavy gun barrel onto the firing platform. The gun was normally used in static positions, either for siege or defense. For transport it could be broken into components, which were divided over a total of ten vehicles

The gun could fire a 440 pounds (200 kg) shell with a muzzle velocity of 1,300 feet per second (400 meters per second) to a range of 11,000 yards (10 km).[4] For reloading, the gun was lowered to the horizontal. The breech was an interrupted screw design.

Combat record

The Type 45 was first deployed in combat during the Battle of Tsingtao in World War I, where it was effectively used against German defenses. In the Second Sino-Japanese War, there were fewer opportunities to use the Type 45, as Japanese forces rarely had to assault a position so strongly fortified that lesser caliber field artillery could not be used instead.[5] However, with the start of World War II, the Type 45 was deployed in the Battle of Hong Kong against entrenched British landward defenses. It was also used in the Battle of Bataan and Battle of Corregidor in the invasion of the Philippines. Per United States Army records, the Japanese army used 1,047 rounds from their Type 45 240mm howitzers in the Battle of Bataan and another 2,915 rounds at the Battle of Corregidor.[6] In the final stages of the war, the Type 45 was also used in combat in Manchukuo against the invading Soviet Red Army during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 War Department Special Series No 25 Japanese Field Artillery October 1944
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1] Taki's Imperial Japanese Army page
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II
  4. [2] US Technical Manual E 30-480
  5. Meyer. The Rise and Fall of Imperial Japan. page 55


  • Bishop, Chris (eds)The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Barnes & Nobel. 1998. ISBN 0-7607-1022-8
  • Chant, Chris. Artillery of World War II, Zenith Press, 2001, ISBN 0-7603-1172-2
  • McLean, Donald B. Japanese Artillery; Weapons and Tactics. Wickenburg, Ariz.: Normount Technical Publications 1973. ISBN 0-87947-157-3.
  • Mayer, S.L. The Rise and Fall of Imperial Japan. The Military Press (1984) ISBN 0-517-42313-8
  • War Department Special Series No 25 Japanese Field Artillery October 1944
  • US Department of War, TM 30-480, Handbook on Japanese Military Forces, Louisiana State University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8071-2013-8

External links

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