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Japan's Type 2 Ka-Mi amphibious tank

Photos

Type 2 Ka-Mi:
Japan's Type 2 Amphibious Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum
Type 2 Ka-Mi:
Japan's Type 2 Amphibious Tank
Aberdeen Tank Museum

Design

The development of the Type 2 Ka-Mi began back in the 1930s. The Navy took over amphibious tank development from the army in 1940. Their first design was the Ka-Mi which appeared in 1942. These were virtually hand built and thus not enough were produced for demand.

The Type 2 Ka-Mi's chassis was based on the Type 95 Ha-Go. It retained the wheels, tracks, suspension, and tracks.

Amphibious Capabilities

It had two pontoons installed in the front and rear that were bolted on. They could be released from the inside of the Type 2.

The front sponson was divided into 8 compartments to minimize flooding from damage. All welded construction. Had 2 propellers and was steered by 2 rudders which were controlled by cables from the commander's position.

The Type 2 also had a bilge pump and the road wheels had drain holes. Often there were barriers placed around the grills on the top of the engine to help prevent water from entering.

Crew

There was also a radio and telephone intercom for the crew. There was a mechanic that looked after the power that went to the propellers.

Armament

The 37 mm gun could fire a 1.5 lb AP shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,300'/sec.

Production

  • Type 2 Ka-Mi: 180
    • Production: 1942, 1943 -

Usage

Used mostly for infantry support or used as pillboxes. Some could be launched from submarines.

Saipan

3 were with the 1st Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force at Saipan.

Leyte

In 1944 Type 2s were deployed to Leyte.

Specifications

  Type 2 Ka-Mi
Crew 6, 4 - 5, 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 24,915 lb, 27,500 lb
11,300 kg, 12,500 kg
12.3 tons
Weight - without pontoons 21,056 lb, 21,100 lb
9,571 kg
Weight - with pontoons 24,862 lb, 24,914 lb, 24,915 lb
12.5 tons
11,301 kg
Length 24' 6.75", 24' 4"
7.42 m
Length - without pontoons 15' 10"
4.826 m
Length - with pontoons 24.58', 24' 4"
7.417 m
Height 7.51', 7' 8"
2.34 m, 2.337 m
Width 9.16', 9' 1.8", 9' 2", 9' 3"
2.79 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 14"
Ground contact length 130"
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 37 mm
1: 37 mm Type 1
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.7 mm MG
MG - coaxial 1: 7.7 mm Type 97 MG
Mg - hull 1: 7.7 mm Type 97 MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 132
Secondary  
MG 3,500
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6 - 12, 12, 13
Hull Front, Upper 0.47"@0°
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.35"@0°
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front 0.52"@0°
Turret Sides 0.52"@0°
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Mitsubishi
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Air
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 110, 115, 120
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) High and low ranges
4 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Land: clutch-brake
Water: rudders
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Diesel
Octane  
Quantity 53 gallons
Road consumption 2.4 mpg
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 23 mph
37 kph
Speed - Water 6 mph
9.65 kph, 10 kph
Range - Road 124 miles, 125 miles
199.5 km, 200 km
Range - Water 93 miles, 94 miles
149.6 km, 150 km
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -11.5° to +5.5°
Fording depth Amphibious
Trench crossing 6' 7"
Vertical obstacle 2' 5"
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Bogie wheels mounted on bell cranks
Wheels each side 2 bogies with 2 wheels each
Return rollers each side 2
Tracks (Type) Steel, dry pin
Length  
Width 12"
Diameter  
Number of links 103
Pitch 3 5/16"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 96.25

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Japanese Tanks 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, 2007
  5. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  6. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site