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Japan's Tank Engines

Choosing Diesel

With Japan's limited resources it was decided, in 1932, to focus on developing diesel engines. Diesel was also safer and more efficient than gasoline. As the Japanese Army expected to work in extreme winter conditions it was decided to focus on air cooling than liquid.

Prototype

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was selected to develop the first diesel tank engine and completed a prototype in 1933. Once trials were conducted this engine was installed into the Type 89 Medium Tanks. In 1934 these were tested in northern China in the winter with good results. The engine was officially adopted in 1936.

  Cylinders Cooling Fuel Bore Stroke Displacement HP Usage Notes
Prototype I-6 Air   120 mm 160 mm 10.9 liters 150 Light tanks Had supercharger
Prototype V-12 Air   120 mm 160 mm 21.7 liters 300 Type 3 Medium Had supercharger
Prototype V-12 Air   145 mm 190 mm 37.7 liters 500   Had supercharger
3 liter 4 Water   95 mm 120 mm 3.4 liters 55 Truck  
5 liter 6 Water   95 mm 120 mm 6.1 liters 85 Truck  
8 liter 6 Water   110 mm 150 mm 8.5 liters 100 Truck  
Type 100 4 Air   120 mm 160 mm 7.2 liters 80    
Type 100 4 Water   120 mm 160 mm 7.2 liters 80    
Type 100 I-6 Air   120 mm 160 mm 10.9 liters 130, 150 Light tanks
Type 98 Light
 
Type 100 I-6 Water   120 mm 160 mm 10.9 liters 120 Prime mover  
Type 100 I-8 Air   120 mm 160 mm 14.5 liters 150    
Type 100 I-8 Water   120 mm 160 mm 14.5 liters 140    
Type 100 V-8 Air   120 mm 160 mm 14.5 liters 160    
Type 100 V-8 Water   120 mm 160 mm 14.5 liters 160 Prime mover  
Type 100 V-12 Air Diesel 120 mm 160 mm 21.7 liters 230, 240 Type 1 Medium
Type 2 Medium
Type 3 Medium
 
Type 100 V-12 Water   120 mm 160 mm 21.7 liters 200 Prime mover  
Type 4 V-12 Air   145 mm 190 mm 37.7 liters 400 Type 4 Medium  

 

Sources:

  1. Profile AFV Weapons #49 Japanese Medium Tanks, Lieutenant-General Tomio Hara, 1972
  2. 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
  3. Tanks of the World, 1915-1945, Peter Chamberlain, Chris Ellis, 1972
  4. Tanks of World War II, Duncan Crow, 1979
  5. Japanese Tanks 1939-45, Steven J. Zaloga, 2007
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