Japanese Self-Propelled Power

Craig Moore examines a very rare example of Japanese World War Two armour now kept at Fort Sill, USA

What is this vehicle? I was confused as I looked at the images. A friend in the US Army had said he was visiting Fort Sill and I asked him to take photographs of the captured German and Italian artillery self-propelled howitzers preserved in the Fort Sill US Army Artillery School Museum, Oklahoma, United States.

And initially, I could not identify the very strange-looking vehicle parked next to the World War Two German vehicles. I think it was the juxtaposition among the captured German artillery SPGs that was confusing me. Then I realised it was a Japanese vehicle and a very rare one. It was a Type 1 Ho-Ni I 75mm Artillery Self-Propelled Howitzer. What a rare beast. It is the only known survivor of World War Two.

It was issued to the Imperial Japanese Army’s 2nd Tank Division, 2nd Armoured Artillery Regiment, and was captured on April 6, 1945, by the US Army 37th Infantry Division in Luzon.

The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was manufactured using the Type 97 tank hull and engine.

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