$18.99

1/700 Type 97 Chi-Ha Medium Tank (x5)
[Chi-ha-700]

The Type 97 Chi-Ha, with nearly 2100 units built (including the improved (Kai) version), was the second most produced tank in Japanese history, after the smaller Ha-Go. It was found everywhere in Asia, soldiering from the cold steppes of northern Manchuria and Mongolia to the jungles of New Guinea, Burma, the Eastern Indies, and all around the Pacific. During the battle of Malaya and of Singapore, Yamashita’s 3rd Tank Group comprised dozens of Type 97s. The 3rd Tank Company under First Lieutenant Yamane (Saeki Detachment) distinguished itself, spearheading the attack on the British defenses. The Chi-Ha proved capable of fending off thick jungle and seemingly impassable terrain and were key to Yamashita’s victory. The 2nd and 14th Tank Regiments, also largely composed of Chi-Has, participated in the Burma campaign. A dozen Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks of the 1st Independent Tank Company were landed on Guadalcanal to counter the small number of Sherman tanks operated by the US Marines there. These tanks spearheaded the attack across the Matanika River with most of them destroyed by Marine 37mm antitank guns midstream, putting an abrupt end to Japanese armor operations on Guadalcanal. The Type 97 continued, however, to be encountered virtually everywhere the Japanese fought with an especially notable force of the type used in the defense of Saipan in 1944.

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