The Pacific War 1: Japanese Infantry Weapons -1 reply

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#1 10 years ago

In the tradition of Johannes, I'm making some educational threads about weapons used by the various armies of the Pacific War (which, I do not lie, I would dearly love to see in FH2)

Type 38 Arisaka Long Rifle arisaka-38-1.jpg The Type 38 was the standard rifle of the Japanese armed forces for both World Wars. Around 3.4 million were manufactured from 1905 to 1940. It replaced the earlier Type 30 rifle used in the Russo-Japanese War. The designation Type 38 means that it was adopted in the 38th year since the Meiji Restoration.

The rifle was 128cm (4 foot 2 inches) long and was usually fitted with a Type 30 Bayonet, allowing the Japanese soldier to outreach most other rifles of the war. It was also heavy, weighing 4.12 kg (9.4 lb)Clip load was 5 rounds which could be loaded either with stripper clips or one round at a time.

The rifle fired a 6.5x50mm round which gave it very light recoil but less power than other nation's rifles. However, the receiver was amazingly strong and could withstand much higher loads. Captured rifles used by Chinese Nationalist forces were often rechambered for 7.92mm Mauser rounds and after the war Type 38's chambered in 7.62x39mm saw service in Korea.

All Type 38 rifles had a sliding bolt cover to protect the inside of the rifle from the pacific climate. This rattled when the bolt was worked, which could give away a soldier's position and led to many troops removing the cover.

Thousands of Type 38 rifles were brought home by returining soldiers. They are not uncommon in the United States. All Arisaka rifles had a Royal Chrysanthemum stamp on the receiver. This has been ground off in all rifles that were surrendered, while battlefield captures often preserve the stamp. arisaka-38-2.jpgType 38 Arisaka Rifle without bolt cover. arisaka-38-4.jpgType 38 Arisaka Rifle with bolt cover still in place.

Rifle_Type97.jpgType 97 rifle with 2.5x scope.

Some Type 38 rifles were fitted with a bent bolt handle and a 2.5x magnification scope to create the Type 97 Sniper Rifle, which first entered service in 1937. The 6.5x50mm cartridge had the advantage of firing with little flash or smoke, aided by the long barrel of the rifle which acted as a flash hider. The long barrel gave the bullet very stable ballistics, however the low power of the round presented a drawback for Japanese snipers that was never overcome.

Type 99 Arisaka Rifle Arisaka_Type_99_full.jpg

Combat experience in China led to the Japanese discovering the weaknesses in the Type 38 rifle, namely its low power. The Type 99 was an attempt to correct these problems by using a 7.7x58mm cartridge. The Type 99 was first made in 1939, was first fielded by the Japanese Army in 1940 and would be manufactured until 1945. Oddly, the Type 99 designation indicates that the rifle was first fielded 2099 years after the creation of the world in Japanese mythology. An additional 3.5 million Type 99 rifles were manufactured from 1939 to 1945.

The Type 99 was slightly shorter than the Type 38, being only 115 cm (3 ft 8 in) in length and was also slightly lighter, weighing 3.8 kg (8.16 lb). It shared the strong receiver and bolt cover, which was once again often removed. The Type 99 was also the first rifle to use a chrome plated bore to ease cleaning in a salty, tropical environment. Ammo was loaded by stripper clip into a 5 round box magazine.

Many Type 99's made at the very end of the war in preparation to defend the Japanese home islands were rushed through the manufacturing process, made with low grade steel and were dangerous to fire.

The Type 99 came equipped with antiaircraft sights and a bipod for using the weapon as an AA gun. This supremely useless piece of kit (who is going to bring down a plane firing 7.7mm rounds from a bolt action rifle?) was usually discarded in the field, and it is very rare to find one today.

hb-228.jpgThe projections to the side of the rear sight are the antiaircraft sight for the Type 99 rifle.

As for the question of when to use the Type 99 or Type 38, the Type 38 should appear exclusively in maps before 1940. Afterwards, both should be present although the Type 99 should be more common in better units, and the Type 38 should be more common in second-line formations such as the Kwangtung Army in 1945.

Arisaka_Type_99_butt.jpgAll Arisaka rifles had a butt made of two pieces of wood joined together, allowing rifles to be constructed from smaller pieces of wood.

Type 1 Rifle Type_I_Rifle.jpg

The Type 1 was a rare rifle, used solely by Imperial Japanese Navy infantry forces. The Type 1 was manufactured in Italy as a sort of hybrid between the Type 38 Arisaka and the Carcano rifle. The wooden furniture and sights were from the Type 38, but the action was from the M1891 Carcano rifle, with a Mauser box magazine fed by stripper clips.

The rifle also fired the 6.5x50mm round and used a 5 round clip, and was similar in size and weight to the Type 38. 60,000 of these rifles were manufactured in Italy in 1939 and delivered to Japan.

Type 30 Bayonet Japan_bayonet_Type_30.jpg

The Type 30 was the standard bayonet for the Arisaka and Type 1 rifles. The weapon was a sword bayonet, fully 20 inches long with a 16 inch blade. This was far longer than any Allied bayonet and gave the Japanese soldier an advantage in hand to hand fighting.

The bayonet clipped on the end of the rifle, with a ring around the barrel.

Arisaka_Type_99_bayonet_attached.jpgRifle Grenades Firing a rifle grenade required attaching a special "spigot" attachment to the end of the rifle. Firing the grenade requiring used of a special cartridge tipped with a wooden bullet.

hb-175.gifSpigot type grenade launcher The above picture shows a Model 91 fragmentation round. The round was literally a Model 91 grenade from the Type 10 "knee mortar" fitted with a fin assembly. The pin in the neck of the grenade must be pulled before firing, otherwise the grenade would not explode. The fuse was set to 7-8 seconds.

The Japanese also had a hollow charge rifle grenade used as an antitank weapon. This grenade spun around in midair for greater accuracy and detonated on contact.

A smoke grenade was also available.

hb-176.gifHollow charge anti-tank grenade.

Another type of grenade launcher was the Type 100 "cup" launcher. This was clipped on the end of a rifle and a Model 99 hand grenade with the pin removed was placed inside. This system used standard ball ammunition and a gas trap system to fire the grenade, and the fuse started when the weapon was fired. Effective range was up to 100 yards. Armor penetration was 3.88 inches of steel.

hb-177.gifType 100 grenade launcher


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#2 10 years ago

Type 38 Cavalry Rifle arisaka6284.jpg A much rarer weapon, the Type 38 Cavalry Rifle was a shortened version of the Type 38 6.5x50mm rifle, also entering service in 1905. It was only 97 cm (38 in) long and weighed 3.3 kg (7.28 lb). This model was issued primarily to rear echelon troops, engineers and artillerymen. It was also use by Japanese horse cavalry units in China.

Type 44 Cavalry Rifle pix659863312.jpg The Type 44 was a development of the Type 38 Cavalry rifle, also chambered in 6.5x50mm. The gun was of the same basic dimensions as the Type 38 Cavalry Rifle. Improvements included a folding spike bayonet and a compartment inside the buttstock which held a 2-piece cleaning rod. The Type 44 entered service in 1912. Although production ran from 1912 to 1942, only around 92,000 were manufactured.

pix659863531.jpgHole in the buttstock used to house the cleaning rods. Type 02 Airborne Rifle arisaka-02para.jpgThis gun was a full-length version of the Type 99, but with a joint in the middle which allowed the gun to be taken apart into two pieces for airborne operations. The Japanese only created Airborne forces in September 1941. These rfiles were adopted by 1942.

The only combat drops made by Japanese airborne forces during the war were during the Dutch East Indies campaign, at Menado, Palembang and West Timor. Type 5 Rifle 33703.jpgOne of the rarest of all rifles of the Second World War, this didn't stop DICE from giving it to the Japanese Army in Battlefield: 1942. This rifle was a semi-automatic, copied from captured M1 Garands.

The rifle varied from the Garand by having a box magazine below the receiver which held 10 rounds fed from stripper clips. The rifle used the 7.7x58mm cartridge from the Type 99. The gun was 43 inches long and weighed 9.13 lbs. The barrel accepted the Type 30 bayonet like other Japanese rifles.

Only 250 Type 5 rifles were ever built, all made in 1945, and only 100-130 ever saw combat.

Type 100 Submachine Gun Submachine_gun_Type_100.jpg In WW2 video games, this gun is to Japan what the MAS-38 is to France. It was a rare gun, with only 30,000 being made. It was only produced from 1942 to 1945. The gun was based on the German MP-18 design and was designed to replace Swiss Bergmann copy of the MP-18 then in service with Japanese troops.

The gun fired the 8x20mm Nambu pistol round from a 30 round box magazine. The round was of low power but the gun had a high rate of fire, low recoil and high accuracy. While the barrel of the gun was only 9 inches long, the receiver and stock made the total length 90 cm (35 in).

Some models of the Type 100 featured a bipod and others featured a flash suppressor. All models had a bayonet lug in keeping with Japanese emphasis on the bayonet when in hand to hand combat. An extremely rare version with a folding wooden stock was designed for paratroopers, around 100 were built.

The gun was used in China and the Philippines. It was also issued to troops in the Dutch East Indies and Malaya, amongst other places. It was also used by the Thai military. Captured guns were used by the Filipino and Chinese resistance.

Type II Model A Machine Pistol nambu_pistolsII.jpg This 7.63mm SMG with a 50 round magazine was rejected by the Japanese Army in 1935. It was adopted by the Navy for naval infantry forces, and saw some combat in Shanghai and at other locations in China. Only found in very small numbers.

Type 11 Light Machine Gun Japanese_Type_11_LMG_from_1933_book.jpgBased on combat experience in the Russo-Japanese War and World War 1, the Type 11 was the first machine gun to be produced in Japan. It fired the 6.5x50mm Arisaka round, fed from a non-detachable 30 round hopper magazine. The hopper was fed with up to 6 5-round stripper clips from the Arisaka rifle, which were stacked on top of each other and fed through the side of the receiver. As one clip was fired, it was ejected out the botton and the next clip was loaded. This open system allowed interchangeability of ammunition with all members of a squad, however it also allowed dirt and debris to easily enter the gun and cause jams. This made the gun extremely unpopular with the troops.

First fielded in 1922, the Type 11 was still the primary light machine gun during the early stages of the war in China. Production ceased in 1941 and the gun was superseded by the Type 96 light machine gun, however, it remained in service until 1945. Type 96 Light Machine Gun type96.jpg

The most famous Japanese light machine gun, the Type 96 was based on the Czech ZB 26 design which had been captured in China. The Type 96 was a top-fed, air cooled light machine gun chambered in 6.5x50mm and fed from a 30 round box magazine. Improvements over the Type 11 included a rapid-change barrel and a box magazine. In true Japanese style, the Type 96 also mounted a bayonet lug.

Although it was far more reliable than the Type 11, the Type 96 suffered from firing cases becoming jammed in the chamber and not ejecting properly. To remedy this problem, an oil pump was placed in the magazine loading tool, however oiled greasy cartridges caused dust and sand to stick to them.

The Type 96 was produced from 1936 to 1945 and saw service in all areas where Japanese troops served.

Type 97 Light Machine Gun Type97LMG.jpg

The Type 97 grew from Japanese requirements for a heavier machine gun, firing the 7.7x58mm cartridge. Top fed from a 20 round box magazine, the gun barrel easily overheated. It was first fielded in 1937 and was produced until the end of the war, with 18,000 being manufactured.

The Type 97 weighed a hefty 12.4 kg (27 lb). Because of its weight, it was commonly mounted on armored vehicles but was rarer as an infatry weapon. When used as an infantry weapon it was equipped with a bipod.

Type_97_tank_machine_gun.jpg When mounted on vehicles, the Type 97 was often equipped with a 1.5x telescopic sight. The sight had rubbed padding around the eyepiece to prevent eye damage from the recoil.

Type 99 Light Machine Gun type99.jpg

The Type 99 was a variation of the Type 96, chambered in 7.7x58mm fed from a 30 round magazine. This gun was fielded as a counterpart to the Type 99 rifle, also firing 7.7x58mm rounds, to ensure interchangability of ammunition. The Type 99 was fielded in 1939 and produced until 1945.

Like most Japanese infantry weapons, the Type 99 featured a bayonet lug. The Type 99 could also be equipped with a 2.5x scope, and it was often used as a squad marksman or sniper weapon.

A version for paratroopers with a folding stock and a forwards pistol grip was manufactured. The stock and grip were detached from the gun for the jump and then assembled after landing.


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#3 10 years ago

Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun t92hmgleft.jpgType 92 without carrying poles. The famous "woodpecker" machine gun was based off of the French Hotchkiss M1914. The gun fired 7.7x58mm semi-rummed ammo out of a long 30 round feed tray (the Japanese never developed belt-fed machine guns). It was introduced in 1932 and saw service throughout the war. They Type 92 weighed a hefty 55 kg (122 lbs) including the tripod and was operated by a team of 20 men. The tripod had attachments for carrying poles so 2-4 men could carry the gun like a litter. hb-182.gifType 92 with carrying poles attached. The 20-man crew was split up into two teams. One team carried ammunition, with 8 pack horses used for this purpose. This team carried two types of ammunition boxes: The Otsu type with 25 strips/750 rounds and the Kou type with 18 strips/540 rounds. The ammo team was also tasked with carrying spare barrels and tools. The other team operated, loaded and moved the gun. They had two horses to facilitate carrying the disassembled weapon and tripod. The Type 92 could be equipped with an anti-aircraft sight and used as a light AA gun. It could also be fitted with telescopic or perescopic sights. hb-229.jpgType 92 in anti-aircraft configuration. The Type 92 replaced a forerunner called the Type 3, which fired 6.6x50mm ammunition. 3HMG.jpgType 3 heavy machine gun on an antiaircraft mount. A lighter version called the Type 1 began to appear in 1941. It was similar to the Type 92 but weighed only 36 kg. Type1HMG.jpgType 1 HMG. Type 10 and 89 50mm Grenade Launcher Japanese_Type_89_grenade_discharger.gifType 89 Grenade Launcher with ammunition pouches and carrying case Know to the Americans as the "knee mortar" due to the erronious belief that the curved baseplate was placed on the thigh, this weapon was a peculiar grenade launcher or light mortar weapon used by Japanese forces throughout the war. The baseplate was placed on the ground (attempts by American troops to hold captured weapons against their thigh resulted in several broken femurs). It was fired by removing the safety pin, dropping a round down the barrel and then pressing a trigger on the pedestal. The fuse did not begin until the weapon was fired. Japanese50mmGrenadeMortar.jpgJapanese infantryman with a Type 89 Grenade Launcher The "knee mortar" fired a variety of ammunition. The antipersonnel Type 91 fragmentation grenade was used. This round had a 7-8 second fuse and could also be used as a standard hand grenade. Also available was the Type 89 HE shell, which detonated on impact. Maximum range was 65-175 yards for the M91 grenade and 131-737 yards for the HE grenade. In addition, flares, smoke and pyrotechnic signals were used. Japanese_Type_91_50_mm_grenade.gifType 91 fragmentation round hb-186.gifType 89 50mm HE shell Type 91 Hand Grenade Already mentioned and pictured, the Model 91 could be used as a hand grenade in addition to its use as a rifle grenade or "knee mortar" round. The fuse was 7-8 seconds. Type 97 Hand Grenade Type_97_grenade.jpg The standard hand grenade, filled with 2.2 Oz of TNT and a 4-5 second fuse. This was almost identical to the Type 91 except with a shorter fuze and no rifle capability. Throwing the grenade required first screwing the firing pin into the holder. Then the safety pin was removed and the exposed fuse had to be struck against a hard surface such as a helmet in order to light the fuse. Type 99 "Kiska" Hand Grenade Type_99_Hand_Grenade.jpgAn improved grenade, the Type 99 was first discovered by the Allies after the Japanese evacuation of Kiska Island in August 1943. The Type 99 did not require that the firing pin be screwed into the body before throwing, however it still required that the fuse head be struck on a hard surface before throwing. Type 23 Hand Grenade hb-199.gif The Type 23 grenade featured a friction igniter fuze which ignited the fuze when a cord was pulled. The fuze was about 5 seconds. This grenade did not require that the fuze be struck against a hard object and was designed for use in booby traps, where the fuze would be attached to a tripwire. Special Hand Grenades hb-204.gifThe Japanese use a special grenade loaded with 1 pint of hydrogen cyanide. hb-205.gifBangalore torpedoes containing 10lbs of TNT/Cyclonite mixture, with a 6-7 second fuze, were used. hb-203.gifWhite Smoke Grenade


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#4 10 years ago

AT-grenade.jpgType 3 shaped charge grenade, capable of destroying 70mm of armor. Prick-mine.jpg "Lunge Mine" shaped charge suicide weapon. The used would put it on the end of a pole, and then run up to a tank and stick it on the side, detonating the mine. In addition, molotov cocktails were often improvised. hb-275.jpg Japanese gas grenade used in China. Type 93 Antipersonnel Mine hb-206.gif The Type 93 was used both as an anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mine, depending on the fuse installed. Fuses could be used which would take between 7 and 250lbs of pressure to detonate. Type 99 Magnetic Mine hb-207.gif The Type 99 was about 4 3/4 inches in diameter and contained 1 1/2 lbs of TNT. It contained four magnets used to attach it to a tank or armored door by hand. The mine was armed by instering the firing pin and giving a sharp blow to the fuse cap, arming the 5-6 second fuse. Type 96 Land/Water Mine hb-208.gif The Type 96 was a large mine 20 inches in diameter and weighing 106.5 lbs with a 46 pound charge. The two "horns" of the mind contained glass vials of an electrolytic fluid. Pressure on the horns would break one of the vials, activating a chemical fuze which detonated the mine. This allowed the mine to be emplaced underwater along landing beaches. Type 20 20mm Antitank Rifle tipo97tj0.jpgA large gun, the type 97 weighed 150 lbs and was operated by a crew of two. The gun fired a massive 20x124mm armor piercing round from a 7-round box magazine. With a massive 2500 fps muzzle velocity, the gun could pierce 30mm of steel at 350m and 20mm and 700m distance. The gun was a full six feet long. The weapon was capable of both semi-automatic and full automatic fire, although it had a massive recoil. Only 400 Type 20 rifles were built, beginning in 1937. A lack of infantry antitank weapons was a serious problem for the Japanese Imperial Army throughout the war. Type 4 70mm Antitank Rocket Launcher r1.jpg The Japanese version of the Bazooka, the Type 4 was built at the end of the war. Although 3,500 were made, they were all reserved for the defense of the Home Islands and never saw combat. The weapon could penetrate 80mm of steel and had a range of 700m. The Japanese also developed the Type 5 recoilless rifle, however it was never developed past the experimental stage. Type 93 and Type 100 Flamethrowers Type_93_flamethrower.jpgType 93 Flamethrower in use First fielded in 1932, the Japanese first used flamethrowers in China. They were commonly used during Japan's initial conquests in Burma, the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines, but were not as common after that. The Type 93 ingited fuel using a hot wire. This proved unreliable in cold weather, so the Type 100 was developed which used a blank cartridge fired from a revolver mechanism to ingnite the fuel. The mechanism held 10 shots. hb-282.jpgType 100 Flamethrower Both the Type 93 and Type 100 had a maximum range of 25-30 yards (22-27m) and carried 3.25 gallons (12.3 ltrs) of fuel, enough for 10-12 seconds of continuous discharge. Flamethrowers were issued to to engineering regiments with a division, typically about 6-20 flamethrowers per regiment. The Type 100 was also used by paratrooper units at the Battle of Palembang in 1942. In the later stages of the war, flamethrowers were sometimes used as antitank weapons. Type 14 Nambu Pistol Nambupistol2465.jpgThe standard Japanese pistol, the Nambu fired 8x22mm ammunition from an 8 round magazine. Production began in 1906 and continued through 1945. The cartridge used had low power compared to other handguns of the era but it gave the pistol high accuracy. The pistol was recoil operated with the bolt being a cylinder in the back of the pistol. Type 94 Pistol Type_94_1835.jpg The Type 94 was first produced in 1934 as a commercial venture. It failed completely in this capacity, due to the fact that the gun lacked a safety and striking a certain point on the left side of the receiver could cause the gun to discharge. This did not stop 72,000 of them being produced for the military, where several stories originate of Japanese officers tripping, falling, landing on their gun and shooting themselves. Type 26 Revolver Type_26_1539.jpg First adopted in 1893, some 9mm Type 26 double action revolvers survived to see service in the Second World War.


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#5 10 years ago

Other Infantry Equipment The Japanese deployed chemical weapons in China on several occasions, and to protect themselves Japanese troops were issued gas masks and chemical protection gear. hb-259.jpgJapanese Army Type 99 Gas Mask. hb-261.jpgJapanese Navy Type 93 Gas Mask. hb-269.jpgChemical protection suit to protect against blister agents. japanese-photo-4.jpgModern Day Re-enactor in Imperial Japanese Army Uniform. soldier-jap-snlf_lander.jpg Marine of the Imperial Japanese Navy Special Landing Force. hb-410.jpg Japanese Infantry Backpack Color Plates of Imperial Japanese uniforms from the US War Department's 1944 Handbook of Japanese Military Forces:

hb-11-1.jpg Japanese Army Officers

hb-11-2.jpg Japanese Army Enlisted Men, Standard Dress ' hb-11-3.jpg Japanese Army Tropical and Winter Uniforms

hb-11-4.jpg Tanker, Rain Gear, Pilot and Chemical Uniforms

hb-11-5.jpg Imperial Japanese Navy Officers, including Special Naval Landing Force

hb-11-6.jpg Imperial Japanese Navy Enlisted Personnel, including Special Naval Landing Force


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#6 10 years ago

Headgear JapM30a.jpg 1930s Japanese helmet sometimes found early in the war in China. MJ1015-4.jpg Standard M30-32 "Tetsu-Bo" helmet used by Japanese forces throughout the war. JapT90JLNa.jpg M30-32 with Naval Landing Force insignia. army_sun_hat_front.jpg Japanese "Sun Hat" (unarmored) A number of other caps were used, which have already been pictured.


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#7 10 years ago

Damn, that Nambu pistol

It looks so special, but still, in a kind of weird way, it looks good



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3rd October 2003

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#8 10 years ago

I love japanese weapons because they all have bayonet lugs.

but you forgot...



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#9 10 years ago

ok that`s rather epic... I want the second smg.


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#10 10 years ago

The Japanese loved to make little attachments for their weapons. I mean come on.. an AA sight for the Arisaka...