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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.1 Diesel was also safer and more efficient than gasoline.1 As the Japanese Army expected to work in extreme winter conditions it was decided to focus on air cooling than liquid.1

Prototype

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was selected to develop the first diesel tank engine and completed a prototype in 1933.1 Once trials were conducted this engine was installed into the Type 89 Medium Tanks.1 In 1934 these were tested in northern China in the winter with good results.1 The engine was officially adopted in 1936.1

  Cylinders Cooling Fuel Bore Stroke Displacement HP Usage Notes
Prototype I-61 Air1   120 mm1 160 mm1 10.9 liters1 1501 Light tanks1 Had supercharger1
Prototype V-121 Air1   120 mm1 160 mm1 21.7 liters1 3001 Type 3 Medium1 Had supercharger1
Prototype V-121 Air1   145 mm1 190 mm1 37.7 liters1 5001   Had supercharger1
3 liter 41 Water1   95 mm1 120 mm1 3.4 liters1 551 Truck1  
5 liter 61 Water1   95 mm1 120 mm1 6.1 liters1 851 Truck1  
8 liter 61 Water1   110 mm1 150 mm1 8.5 liters1 1001 Truck1  
Type 100 41 Air1   120 mm1 160 mm1 7.2 liters1 801    
Type 100 41 Water1   120 mm1 160 mm1 7.2 liters1 801    
Type 100 I-61,2,4 Air1,3   120 mm1 160 mm1 10.9 liters1 1301,2,4, 1503 Light tanks1
Type 98 Light2,4
 
Type 100 I-61 Water1   120 mm1 160 mm1 10.9 liters1 1201 Prime mover1  
Type 100 I-81 Air1   120 mm1 160 mm1 14.5 liters1 1501    
Type 100 I-81 Water1   120 mm1 160 mm1 14.5 liters1 1401    
Type 100 V-81 Air1   120 mm1 160 mm1 14.5 liters1 1601    
Type 100 V-81 Water1   120 mm1 160 mm1 14.5 liters1 1601 Prime mover1  
Type 100 V-121,2,3 Air1,2 Diesel2,3,4 120 mm1 160 mm1 21.7 liters1 2305, 2401,2,4 Type 1 Medium1,2,3,4,5
Type 2 Medium2,3
Type 3 Medium2,3
 
Type 100 V-121 Water1   120 mm1 160 mm1 21.7 liters1 2001 Prime mover1  
Type 4 V-121 Air1   145 mm1 190 mm1 37.7 liters1 4001 Type 4 Medium1  

 

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site