Artillery: Note: An asterisk next to the entry means that Chinese use of the artillery piece in question is unconfirmed.
37mm: Skoda 3.7cm M.15 infantry gun. Some sources have reported that China was supplied a quantity of these infantry guns, possibly after the First World War.
37mm: Japanese Type 11 (Model of 1922) infantry gun. This light artillery piece was used by the Japanese for close support, and its design was largely based on that of the French Puteaux Mle. 1916 T.R.P. infantry gun. Any captured by the Chinese were likely re-employed by them against their former owners. It is reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that both the Hanyang Arsenal in Wu Han and the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang manufactured direct copies, designated as the Type 14, of this useful little infantry gun.
47mm: Japanese Naval Landing Gun. This weapon was based on the Hotchkiss-Nordenfeldt system of quick-firing naval guns used by numerous countries’ navies around the world (other calibers were 37mm, 42mm, 57mm and 65mm; the Krupp-Gruson Werke in Germany produced similar guns in 37mm, 53mm and 57mm). This gun was used by Japanese naval infantry on a field carriage for close support, and some likely fell into Chinese hands during the Sino-Japanese War.
*70mm: Krupp 7cm GebK-98 L/14. Krupp sold an undisclosed quantity of this commercial type of mountain gun to China ca. 1900. This was a non-recoil system rigid carriage gun similar to models sold during the 1890s to Argentina (M-1896 and M-1898 in 75mm), Bolivia (M-1898 in 75mm), Chile (M-1891 in 75mm), Colombia (70mm), El Salvador (M-1895 in 75mm), Paraguay (75mm), Peru (M-1894 in 75mm), Spain (M-1896 in 75mm), and Venezuela (L/13 in 80mm).
37mm/70mm: Skoda M-1930 mountain gun (Model AB-1/BA-1). Details of this weapon are extremely limited, but it is possible that it was very similar to the larger 75mm/90mm M-1928 (Model CD/DC) mountain gun exported to Afghanistan, Colombia, Greece and Yugoslavia. The ordnance would have been interchangeable between 37mm and 70mm barrels just as on the heavier 75mm/90mm weapon. These guns were also apparently exported to Bulgaria (which used only the 37mm version) and Latvia (which used only the 70mm version). China is said to have used only the 70mm version of this gun.
37mm/75mm: Bofors M-1933 dual purpose gun. These unusual weapons had a 37mm barrel for anti-tank work and a 75mm barrel for use as an infantry gun mounted in an over-under fashion with the 37mm gun on top. They were used as direct infantry support weapons. China took delivery of 13 of these guns in 1933-1934. See Siam below.
65mm: Canon de 65 M mle. 1906 mountain gun. This unusual gun was designed by Deport, and employed differential recoil. Some of these guns seem to have been provided to China during the 1920s by France. Some were also likely employed by Long Yun, the warlord in Yunnan Province who was supported by the French in Indo-China. The gun was also exported to Greece, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia; some were also apparently employed by Albania. An example of one of these small mountain guns is in the collection of the Beijing Military Museum.
70mm: Japanese Type 92 (Model of 1932) battalion gun. This was probably the most common of Japanese artillery pieces, and was produced by the thousands. Many were captured by the Chinese and turned against their erstwhile owners. They were handy little guns which were light and easy to maneuver.
72.5mm: Skoda M-1907 mountain gun. China purchased an unknown quantity of these guns prior to the First World War. It would later be produced by Skoda for the Austro-Hungarian army as the 7cm GebK. M. 9, of which six batteries would be delivered.
75mm: Krupp commercial field gun. This weapon was a new recoil carriage field gun design sold by Krupp to several countries including: Argentina (M-1909), Belgium (Canon de 75 mle. 1905 TR), Brazil (M-1904 L/28), Denmark (7.5cm M-1902 L/30), Guatemala, Italy (Cannone da 75/27 modello 1906 [which see below]), Japan (Type 38 [Model of 1905], and Type 38 Improved), the Netherlands (7 veld M. 02/04), Romania (M-1903), Sweden (7.5cm M/02), Switzerland (7.5cm FK. 03), Turkey (7.5cm/30 M. 03), and Uruguay (M-1909) in the years before the First World War. China seems to have acquired several batteries of these guns prior to the 1911 Revolution. Chinese guns seem to have been designated the M-1903/06 field gun. It has been reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that direct copies of these field guns were produced at both the Hanyang Arsenal and Jiang Nan Manufacturing Bureau in Shanghai as the “L/29” field gun.
*75mm: Italian Cannone da 75/27 modello 1906. China is reported to have acquired an unknown quantity of these field guns after the First World War to supplement their standard Krupp M-1903/06 field guns. The Cannone da 75/27 was an Italian licensed copy of the original Krupp commercial design built by Ansaldo and Armstrong Pozzuoli. The origin of the Chinese guns is unclear, but some of them may have been acquired as surplus from Poland as well as from Italy directly.
75mm: Japanese Type 38 and Type 38 Improved (Model of 1905) field guns. This was a Japanese licensed production version of the Krupp commercial field gun listed above, and was the most important Japanese field gun until the appearance of the Schneider designed Type 90 (Model of 1930) field gun during the early 1930s. Many of these weapons were captured during the Sino-Japanese War and employed against their former owners or were subsequently acquired from abandoned stocks after 1945 and used during the Civil War. Smaller quantities of Japanese 75mm Type 41 (Model of 1908) cavalry field guns, Schneider designed 75mm Type 90 (Model of 1930) and 75mm Type 95 (Model of 1935) field guns were also captured. It has been reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang manufactured a copy of the Type 38 field gun as the Type 13 (Model of 1924) field gun.
75mm: Krupp M-1904 mountain gun. China’s use of this weapon is confirmed by the existence of a photo of a captured Nationalist battery of these guns in use by Manchukuoan collaborationist troops during the early 1930s. This was a commercial type Krupp mountain gun similar to guns sold to several other countries including Bulgaria (7.5cm M. 05), Chile (M-1913), Guatemala, Japan (Type 41 [Model of 1908], and Type 41 (Improved), Mexico, Paraguay (M-1907), Turkey (7.5cm/14 M. 04), and Switzerland (7.5cm GebK. 06). Captured Japanese Type 41 mountain guns (later designated a “regimental gun” by the Japanese) were employed in large quantities by the Chinese, and some served into the early 1970s with the PLA. It has been reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that direct copies of the Krupp M-1904 mountain gun were built at the Shansi Province Arsenal controlled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan and the Jiang Nan Manufacturing Bureau in Shanghai. It is reported that the Shansi Arsenal manufactured gun was designated as the Type 12 (Model 1923) mountain gun, and that the Jiang Nan Manufacturing Bureau produced 494 of these guns from 1907 to 1928. Copies of the Japanese Type 41 mountain gun were manufactured at the Shansi Province Arsenal controlled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan as the Type 13 (Model of 1924) mountain gun; Shansi Province Arsenal also manufactured a copy of the Type 41 (Improved) mountain gun as the Type 17 (Model of 1928) mountain gun. The Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang also built copies of the Type 41 as the Type 14 (Model of 1925). A total of 72 of these guns were made at Shenyang by 1931.
*75mm: Schneider M-1907 (Model MD) mountain gun. It has been reported that China purchased some Schneider mountain guns before the 1911 revolution, the most likely candidate being its Model of 1907/M-1908 Model MD commercial mountain gun which was also built for Bulgaria and Turkey in 75mm, and in 70mm for Italy (M-1908), Portugal, Serbia and Spain (M-1908).
75mm: Skoda M-1911 field gun. China purchased 48 of these field guns ca. 1912 from Skoda, but 24 of the order were seized by the Austro-Hungarian army in 1914 for use during the First World War. Some of the surviving guns would later serve with the Czech army from 1919.
75mm: Skoda M-1913 mountain gun. This was the precursor to the more common and better-known Skoda M. 15 7.5cm mountain gun [which see below], and was characterized by its lighter barrel construction as opposed to that of its successor. The weapon was sold to China (as the M-1914 “China” Mountain Gun, and of whose order Austria-Hungary seized 52 guns in 1914), Costa Rica, Ecuador (which acquired a few batteries in 1913-1914), and Uruguay.
75mm: Rheinmetall (formerly Ehrhardt) M-1914 mountain gun (7.5cm GebK. L/16 “China” M-1914). China ordered this weapon just before the First World War, and reports state that the German government seized all 18 of the guns for its own use, later passing these and some newly built weapons on to the Austro-Hungarian army and Ottoman Turkey. Nine batteries of a very similar weapon had been sold to Norway as the 7.5cm Mountain Howitzer M. 11, and photographic evidence indicates that Siam may have purchased a few.
*75mm: Skoda 7.5cm M.15 mountain gun. This weapon has been reported by one source to have been used by China. It seems likely that the weapons were acquired from Skoda in Czechoslovakia after 1920. Another possible source for these guns was Italy, where the weapon was known as the Obice da 75/13 and was the preferred mountain gun in Italian service after 1919 as the Italians had captured some 1,200 examples during the First World War, so any surplus guns may have been sold off. The 7.5cm M.15 mountain gun was very widely used, serving with the armies of Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany (as the GebK-15 after 1938), Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
75mm: Canon de campagne de 75 mle. 1897 field gun (Puteaux). This was the ubiquitous “French 75” field gun; it has been reported that China took delivery of an undisclosed quantity of these field guns after the First World War, probably from France via French Indo-China. The weapon was probably also employed by the warlord Long Yun’s army in Yunnan Province. The Mle. 1897 was used by over twenty countries, and some served on into the 1970s with former French African colonies. Countries to which France supplied these field guns included not only China, but also to Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon (post colonial period), Cambodia (post colonial period), Czechoslovakia (lekhỳ kanon vz. 1897), Cuba (probably of U.S. origin), the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy (cannone da 75/34 modello 1897 P.B. [di preda bellica ie. captured] both supplied by France to Italy during the First World War, and captured or ceded stocks after the Fall of France in 1940), Laos (post colonial period), Lebanon (post colonial period), Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco (post colonial period), Poland (armata polowa wz. 1897/17), Portugal, Romania, Syria (post colonial period), Spain (Civil War use by the Republicans), the United States and Uruguay. An example of this weapon can be seen in the collection of the Beijing Military Museum.
*75mm: Schneider M-1912 (Model PD-13) field gun. This was the last variant of a widely exported Schneider commercial field gun design (Models LD and PD), variants of which were acquired as well by Bolivia (Model PD), Bulgaria (M-1905), Greece (M-1906), Peru (M-1906), Portugal (M-1903), Spain (M-1906), Serbia (M-1906 [Model PDM]), and Uruguay (M-1909 [Model PD-2]). The M-1912 version (Model PD-13) was exported to Belgium and Serbia, and was adopted as a cavalry gun by France in 1912, which they designated the “canon de campagne de 75 Mle. 1912S”. It is not clear how many of these field guns China acquired, nor whether or not the guns were delivered before 1914 or post-war as surplus.
*75mm: Schneider Mle. 1919 (Model MPC-2) mountain gun. Schneider originally developed this gun commercially (to which Schneider gave the commercial designations “MPC- Maroc” or “MPC-2”) ca. 1910 for export, since prior to the First World War the French army preferred to develop her own artillery pieces through France’s state run arsenals at Bourges, Puteaux and Tarbes instead of buying an off the shelf item. The French army eventually adopted the weapon in 1919 as the “Canon de 75 de Montagne Mle. 1919”, and later in 1928 adopted an improved version designated “Canon de 75 de Montagne Mle. 1928”. The Mle. 1928 fired a heavier shell and had a modified shield; some mle. 1928s are reported to have been exported to Poland. Versions of this weapon were exported to Argentina (Mle. 1919), Bolivia (Mle. 1919?), Brazil (Mle. 1919), Chile (Mle. 1919), Greece (Mle. 1919), Montenegro, Paraguay, Peru (Mle. 1928?), Poland (Mle. 1919), Romania (Mle. 1919), Russia, Serbia and Yugoslavia (Mle. 1919). China is reported to have taken delivery of an unknown quantity of Mle.1919 mountain guns during the 1920s. Some guns of this type, apparently of Bolivian origin, later ended up being used during the Spanish Civil War.
75mm: Rheinmetall 7.5cm le.IG. L/13. This infantry gun is somewhat mysterious, and seems to have been contemporaneous to or even pre-dated the standard German army 7.5cm le.IG 18, however using a conventional ordnance and breech ring. It was characterized by its distinctive angled shield, tubular trails, and unusual disk wheels, with steel tires cushioned by solid rubber belts in the rims. The weapon is reported to have been used in small quantities by the Germans, but in fact may have originally been intended for export, apparently to China. There is a photo of this weapon in Chinese service during the 1930s. At least 12 of these weapons were delivered during the period of the German advisory mission between ca. 1932 and 1938. One report states that these guns were actually built by HIH Siderius (which was partially owned by Rheinmetall) in the Netherlands, and were delivered as early as 1930. There also seems to have been a 47mm barrel interchangeable with the 75mm ordnance for use as an anti-tank gun, but this does not seem to have figured amongst the Chinese deliveries. There also seems to have been a 65mm/37mm version of this weapon, of which one is reported to have been delivered to China.
75mm: 7.5cm le.IG 18 infantry gun. Some of these weapons have been reported to have been supplied to the Nationalist Chinese army during the period of the German military mission from ca. 1932 to 1938. An example of one of these small guns is in the military museum in Beijing.
75mm: Bofors M-1930 mountain gun. Bofors exported this weapon in large numbers not only to China, but also to Argentina (M-1936), Bulgaria (M-1936), the Netherlands East Indies (7.5cm berg), Siam, Switzerland (7.5cm GebK. 33), and Turkey (7.5cm/20 M. 30). Even the Germans purchased some, which they designated the 7.5 cm GebH. 34. Ets. John Cockerill in Belgium made the gun under license as the “Canon de 75mm mle. 1934”. Between 1933 and 1934, China was sold 72 guns taken from the combined 1928 and 1932 Turkish orders for 232 guns due to a default on payment.
75mm: Bofors M-1935 field gun. This new field gun has been reported to have been acquired by China prior to 1937. This weapon was a new Bofors design, with the hydro-pneumatic buffer in the cradle and a hydraulic recuperator on top, somewhat reminiscent of the German 10.5 cm leFH-18 in appearance. Argentina had taken delivery of 200 pieces out of 224 ordered (the balance of 24 was seized by Sweden to arm her own army; eight of the weapons were passed on to Finland in 1940). These guns were also purchased by Belgium (20) and Siam (52), and China is said to have purchased a few of these guns as well. Sweden used a slightly modified version designated M/40. Argentina passed on several of these guns to Bolivia in 1971, as well as to Paraguay around the same time. Argentina also supplied Uruguay a battery of the guns in 1979. Some 70 of these weapons were still in service or in reserve in Argentina as late as 2005.
75mm: Japanese Type 94 (model of 1934) mountain gun. This gun was designed to replace the earlier Type 41 mountain gun, and was captured and used in some quantity by the Chinese. It was capable of being broken down into eleven pieces for transport by mules.
75mm: U.S. M-1A1 pack howitzer. The U.S. Lend Lease program supplied 637 of these howitzers to China from 1942, and it quickly became the most common artillery piece in use by Nationalist Chinese forces. Most of these weapons were supplied to China with the older wooden artillery wheel shod M-1 carriage instead of the later pneumatic tired M-8 carriage. Many of these weapons would later be used by the PLA against U.N forces during the Korean War.
75mm: U.S. M-1A1 field howitzer. The U.S. Lend Lease program supplied 125 of these howitzers to the Chinese. They used the same ordnance as the M-1A1 pack howitzer, however they were characterized by their split trails and pneumatic tires on rotatable stub axles capable of being lifted clear of the ground, with the weapon pivoting on a firing pedestal.
*76.2mm: various Russian and Soviet field guns, mountain guns and infantry support guns, including unknown quantities of modified Putilov M-1902/30 field guns; Putilov M-1910 (76-10g) infantry guns; M-1927 (76-27g) infantry guns; and the Schneider-Danglis M-1909 (76-09g) mountain gun. These weapons would have been provided by the Soviets during their advisory period in the 1930s, and some sources have indicated that the Soviets provided as many as 1,600 artillery pieces of all types, including the above mentioned 45mm M-1932 AT guns and small quantities of 122mm M-1910/30 field howitzers mentioned below.
76.5mm: Böhler 8cm M.18 field gun. This weapon is reported to have been copied by the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang and as such was designated the Type 14 (Model of 1925) field gun. It is also possible, even likely, that surplus guns were acquired from Czechoslovakia (which only used these guns briefly after 1919) and even possibly Poland (very few would have been available there, however, due to the gun’s relatively recent design), as well as from Austria itself where the guns were built. An example of this field gun is in the collection of the Beijing Military Museum.
*77mm: 7.7cm FK-96nA. China is reported to have taken delivery of an undisclosed quantity of these field guns as surplus after the First World War. Likely sources for these guns were Belgium, Poland and possibly the Soviet Union, all countries which would have wanted to profit from the sale of surplus First World War vintage weapons. FK-96nA field guns were also retained in service by Bulgaria and Turkey.
*77mm: 7.7cm FK-16. China is also reported to have acquired a number of these more modern field guns after the First World War. Again, the most likely sources were Belgium, Poland and the Soviet Union. The FK-16 was employed post-war by Belgium- these guns were re-barreled or re-bored by Ets. John Cockerill to 75mm and designated Canon de 75 GP-1, GP-11 or GP-111, depending on the nature of the conversion; and by Bulgaria, Finland, Germany and Turkey.
84mm: Vickers 18 pounder field gun Mk. IV on Gun Carriage Mk. III. This was the British army’s 18 Pounder (of which the actual caliber was 84mm) Mk. IV field gun, introduced into British service just after the First World War. The 18 Pounder Mk. IV field gun was also exported by Vickers to Estonia, Ireland and Latvia.
87mm: Krupp 9cm heavy field gun. This field gun was based on the German export pattern of their own C/73/88 and C73/91 heavy field guns. Similar guns were sold to Russia (4 pounder M-1867), Spain (M-1877) and Turkey. The gun was rigidly mounted without a recoil system. These weapons, although totally obsolete by the late 1920s, have been reported to have been copied at the Shansi Province Arsenal controlled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan as the Type 18 (Model of 1929) field gun.
87mm: British 25 pounder field gun Mk. II on Gun Carriage Mk. I. The U.S. Lend Lease program supplied 62 Canadian built 25 pounders to the Chinese forces in the Burma-India Theater.
105mm: Skoda M-1914 “China” field howitzer. Only a small quantity of these field howitzers were actually delivered to China before the balance was seized by the Austro-Hungarian army. The weapons were re-bored to the standard Austrian 10.4cm (104mm), and were directly related to the much more common Skoda 10cm (100mm) M. 14 field howitzer, which was used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire as its standard field howitzer. This weapon was then later employed by Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Turkey employed a similar weapon in 10.5cm designated M-1912. It is reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang manufactured a direct copy of this weapon; this source indicated that the weapon was only of 100mm caliber, but this is unlikely due to the original Skoda equipments being chambered for 105mm caliber.
*105mm: 10.5cm leFH-16 field howitzer. Some sources have reported that China took delivery of an undisclosed quantity of these field howitzers after the First World War. The most likely sources for these weapons would have been Belgium and possibly Poland via their SEPEWE arms export house, which would have sold them off as surplus. HIH Siderius in the Netherlands may have also provided refurbished leFH-16s acquired as surplus after the First World War (the Dutch Army itself never used the weapon). The Germans may have provided a few of these howitzers as well during their advisory mission between 1932 and 1938. It is also possible that the Soviet Union delivered a few surplus captured leFH-16s as well. These howitzers were also used post-war by Belgium (Obusier de 105 GP), Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.
*105mm: Schneider M-1919 mountain gun. China acquired an undisclosed quantity of these mountain guns after 1920 from France. The weapon was adopted by the French army as the “Canon de Montagne de 105 Mle. 1919”, and was exported to Argentina, Greece, Paraguay, Spain and Yugoslavia as well as to China.
105mm: Rheinmetall commercial 10.5cm L/15 mountain howitzer. It has been reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that Rheinmetall delivered an undisclosed quantity of a newly designed mountain howitzer to China from ca. 1926, and that a copy of this weapon was manufactured at the Shansi Province Arsenal controlled by the warlord Yen Hsi-shan as the Type 16 (Model of 1927) mountain howitzer.
105mm: 10.5cm leFH-18 field howitzer. It has been reported that China took delivery of 48 of these guns during the German advisory period ca. 1936-1938. At the time of their delivery these weapons were the most modern field pieces in service in China. The Japanese reported having captured some of these guns in 1937/1938.
*105mm: 10.5cm L/30 field gun. This was a field gun designed by Rheinmetall during the late 1920s as a commercial export venture, and as such it was exported to Turkey (12 guns) and to Bulgaria (22 pieces); some of these modern field guns may have been exported to China as well ca. 1930, but this is entirely unconfirmed.
105mm: Japanese Type 91 (Model of 1931) field howitzer. This Schneider designed weapon became the standard Japanese field howitzer from ca. 1932, replacing the older Krupp designed 120mm Type 38 field howitzer (which see below) as the standard divisional howitzer. The weapon was essentially a Japanese licensed copy of a commercial Schneider product sold to Argentina, Chile, Lithuania, Peru and Turkey as the Model 1928; later France adopted the piece for its own army as the “Canon de 105 court mle. 1934 S”. It is likely that some of these howitzers were captured from the Japanese, and many more would have been acquired when the Japanese left China in 1945, abandoning much equipment as they did so.
105mm: Various Japanese 105mm field guns. The Chinese captured relatively smaller quantities of the various types of Japanese 105mm counter-battery guns; most would have been seized from stocks abandoned in 1945. The guns in question would have included the Type 38 (Model of 1905) 105mm field gun; the Type 14 (Model of 1925) field gun, of which very few indeed would have been captured (only 64 were ever built; however one example is in the Chinese military museum collection in Beijing); and finally the Schneider designed Type 92 field gun, which would have probably been more numerous than the other types. According to “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang built a direct copy of the Type 14 105mm field gun designated as the “L/29” gun. It is unclear how many of these guns they manufactured.
105mm: U.S. M-2A1 (later M-101A1) field howitzer. The U.S. Lend Lease program supplied China 476 of these howitzers from ca. 1943. Many of these weapons would later be used by the PLA against U.N. forces during the Korean War.
114mm: British BL 4.5 inch howitzer Mk. I. During the 1930s the Soviet Union is reported to have supplied as surplus to China a few batteries of these field howitzers, which had originally been supplied to Tzarist Russia during the First World War by Great Britain.
*120mm: Krupp commercial field howitzer. This weapon was similar to other Krupp field howitzers of this caliber provided to Tsarist Russia (M-1909 122mm field howitzer), Switzerland (12cm FH.12), the Netherlands (12 houwitser L/12 M-1908), Japan (Type 38 [Model of 1905]), Bulgaria, and Turkey (M-1905). Chinese howitzers seem to have been designated M-1903/10, and complemented the Krupp 75mm commercial field guns in service.
120mm: Japanese Type 38 (Model of 1905) field howitzer. This was a Krupp design license built in Japan from French supplied steel. The gun had an interrupted screw breech with case obturation instead of the more usual Krupp horizontal sliding wedge. The Chinese captured a small quantity of these weapons during the Sino-Japanese war, and more were abandoned by the Japanese in China after 1945. An example of one of these howitzers is in the collection of the Beijing Military Museum near the Forbidden City.
120mm: 12cm Krupp M-1895 gun (12cm sRK-95?). This was a typical Krupp export heavy “Ringkanone” similar to weapons exported to Belgium, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey and other countries. The Imperial Chinese Government acquired an unknown quantity of these rigidly mounted heavy siege and garrison guns during the late 1890s.
*122mm: Soviet M-1910/30 field howitzer. This weapon was a French Schneider design of commercial field howitzer adopted by Tzarist Russia in 1910, and was similar to the 120mm M-1907 field howitzer used by Bulgaria, the later 120mm M-1911 field howitzer used by Belgium, Bulgaria, and Serbia, as well as the French Matériel de 120 court mle. 1915 Schneider (aka. canon de 120 C15S). The howitzer was slightly modified during the early 1930s (incorporating a strengthened carriage which was sometimes fitted with steel disk wheels with sponge rubber tires to permit tractor towing). Most of the weapons were built at the Obuchov arsenal between 1912 and 1917. The Soviet Union is reported to have supplied China with a small quantity of these howitzers during the 1930s.
*149mm: 15cm sFH-02. One of the standard heavy field howitzers of the Imperial German Army at the beginning of the First World War, this Krupp designed field howitzer has been reported to have been acquired by China, but it is unclear whether or not the weapons were acquired before 1914 or after the First World War as surplus from countries like Belgium, Poland and the Soviet Union.
149mm: Japanese 150mm Type 38 (Model of 1905) field howitzer. This was based on a commercial Krupp design very similar to the 15cm sFH-02, and was the companion piece to the 120mm Type 38 howitzer listed above. Some of these weapons would have undoubtedly figured among the captured pieces the Chinese turned upon the Japanese. More would have been acquired from abandoned stocks. Other Japanese 150mm field howitzers would have been the Type 4 (Model of 1915), which was used by the Chinese in relatively large numbers from either being captured during the Sino-Japanese War, or later seized from abandoned stocks in 1945. Indeed, several Type 4 field howitzers were captured from the PLA during the Korean War. Relatively smaller quantities of the more modern Schneider patterned Type 96 (Model of 1936) 150mm field howitzer were also acquired from captured or seized Japanese stocks; some of these weapons would also later show up in Korea. The heavy 150mm Type 89 (Model of 1929) field gun was unlikely to have figured amongst the pieces captured as there were so few of them in China to begin with. A Type 4 (Model of 1915) 150mm field howitzer is in the collection of the Beijing military museum. It has been reported in “Early 1900’s Chinese Ammunition Manufacture” that the Manchurian Arsenal in Shenyang manufactured direct copies of both the Type 38 and Type 4 150mm field howitzers; they were designated respectively the Type 14 (Model of 1925) and Type 19 (Model of 1930) field howitzers.
149mm: Rheinmetall commercial 15cm L/32 and 15cm sFH-18 field howitzers. It has been reported in several sources that China took delivery of a total of 44 15cm field howitzers out of an original order for 48 of these guns during the German advisory period from 1934-1938, of which 24 were of a previously unknown Rheinmetall L/32 commercial type. Other reports have stated that the Chinese indeed took delivery of all 48 guns ordered. Japanese records indicate that they captured several “Rheinmetall 15cm L/30 (sic.) howitzers” in 1937 and 1938. A photo of one of these guns taken by Japanese technical evaluators indicates that the weapon was very similar to, but not exactly identical to, the standard German service 15cm sFH-18, differing from it in several ways; first was the form of the equilibrators, which were long and narrow as opposed to the short and wide ones seen on the sFH-18; the recuperator cylinder is long and narrow as opposed to being short and wide as on the sFH-18; the end cap on the recuperator cylinder has distinctive flat places along its outer edge, presumably to aid in its removal during maintenance, and it lacks the eccentric plug for the recuperator rod assembly seen on the sFH-18 recuperator cylinder; the form of the cradle and buffer assembly is of narrower and shallower profile, with a longer, relatively narrower buffer cylinder than that seen on the sFH-18; the placement and form of the traverse hand wheel, and the form of the breech ring are also different from those of the sFH-18; the breech ring greatly resembles the long rectangular type used on the Rheinmetall 15cm K-18 field gun, instead of the square type associated with the sFH-18. The wheel rims are also distinctive in that they extend past the outer edge of the dual solid rubber tires approximately 8 to 10 centimeters, presumably in order to better distribute the weight of the weapon on soft ground. The weapon is reported to have had a maximum range of 15kms, as opposed to the 13.2kms of the sFH-18. In fact, in many respects this obscure commercial Rheinmetall 15cm L/32 field howitzer closely resembles the prototype of the abortive 15cm sFH-40, save for the lack of the latter models’ multi-baffle muzzle brake. The weapon may in fact have been entirely based on Rheinmetall’s prototype of the sFH-18, rather than upon the final production version of that weapon. Several reports refer to this Rheinmetall weapon as the “L/32 15cm field howitzer”. Several reports also indicate that half of the eventual 48 guns delivered to China were of this rare commercial Rheinmetall design, with deliveries commencing as early as 1934, and that the balance of the deliveries were made up of standard German army 15cm sFH-18s from 1936. Two examples of the Rheinmetall commercial 15cm L/32 field howitzer are in the collection of the Beijing Military Museum, and a standard sFH-18 can be found in rather poor condition in the collection of the Battle of Liao Shen museum in Jin Zhou. The guns were towed by Henschel Model 33D1 6x4 trucks equipped with personnel type body work (one report stated that the towing vehicles were the diesel powered Model 33G1, but this is unlikely as this model did not appear until 1937).
149mm: 15cm Krupp M-1895 gun (15cm sRK-95?). These heavy siege and garrison guns were acquired by China along with their 120mm companion pieces mentioned above during the late 1890s. Guns similar to this were used by Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Turkey. They were among the heaviest artillery pieces available in China before the mid-1930s.
155mm: U.S. M-1917 and M-1918 field howitzers. The M-1917 was the French Schneider C 17 S acquired by the U.S. from France during the First World War, and the M-1918 was the U.S. made copy that differed only in small details (modified firing lock, straight as opposed to curved shield). The U.S. Lend Lease program supplied China 36 M-1918 field howitzers on the M-1918A3 carriage (which had disk wheels and pneumatic tires) from ca. 1943; they were among the heaviest artillery pieces in Chinese service prior to the 1950s.
Various Japanese super heavy artillery pieces: Extremely limited quantities of Japanese super heavy artillery weapons would have fallen into the hands of the Chinese, as there were few instances when these guns were employed by the Japanese in China. The most common and likely type to have fallen into Chinese hands would have been the 240mm Type 45 (Model of 1912) howitzer, which was the most common of the Japanese super heavy guns. Other heavy Japanese ordnance was the 240mm Type 90 (Model of 1930) railroad gun, another Schneider product of which 30 examples were purchased from 1929. It was a modern pivoting mount design, designated “Matériel de 240 TAZ (tous azimuts) mle. 1929 S” in French; however, France herself never used this gun. It is unclear if Japan ever used these guns on China’s extensive railroad network. Weapons like the old Krupp M-1879 280mm howitzer used during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (this same weapon was employed by Imperial Russia as well) were long obsolete, and it is unlikely that any of the even heavier 305mm Type 7 (Model of 1918) short (L/16) and 305mm Type 7 (Model of 1918) long (L/24) howitzers, nor the truly massive 410mm (L/33) siege howitzer were ever used in China, much less captured by the Chinese.
Chinese naval guns included Armstrong 70 pounder (148mm), and 9 inch 12 ton (228mm) RMLs mounted in the Hai An class frigates (1872-1873), Armstrong 10 inch (254mm) 25 ton RBLs mounted in the protected cruisers Jiao Yung and Yang Wei (1880-1881), Armstrong 8.2 inch (210mm) and 4.7 inch 40 pounder (120mm) BL guns in the Nan Thin class unprotected cruisers (1883), and Armstrong 7 inch (178mm) and 4.7 inch 40 pounder (120mm) BL guns mounted in the cruisers King Ch’ing and Huan Ta’i (1882-1886). At the same time China purchased naval ordnance from Krupp, including 12cm, 15cm, 17cm, 21cm, 26cm, and 30.5cm guns; for example the Ting Yuan (1881) class of turret ships mounted 30.5cm and 15cm Krupp guns; the Ping Yuan (1888), an armored cruiser, mounted 26cm and 15cm Krupp weapons. Other naval ordnance in use in China included 32 pounder (127mm) and 64 pounder (163mm) Whitworth RMLs, 4 inch (102mm) 20 pounder Armstrong BL guns, Vavasseur 102mm, 120mm and 127mm BL guns, an 11 inch (281mm) 26.5 ton Armstrong RML in the Alpha class gunboats (1876), and a 12.5 inch (318mm) 38 ton RML in the Gamma (1876) class of gunboats. Later, during the 1930s, China took delivery of some Rheinmetall 15cm L/55 naval guns (the SK C/28?) which were singly mounted in schirmlafette at the Jiang Yin coast defense fort near Shanghai.
20 x 70mmRB: Becker-SEMAG Oerlikon L/70 light anti-aircraft gun (Type L). This was the precursor to the well-known series of Oerlikon guns, and was mounted on a light wheeled tripod, and was aimed and fired manually by the gunner gripping a pair of spade grips and aiming the weapon like a heavy machinegun. Production of these weapons began in 1921 at the Seebach Machinenbau AG (SEMAG) factory in Seebach, Switzerland, and they were based on a late First World War German design from the Stahlwerke Becker in Berlin, which was subsequently improved upon at the SEMAG works. Oerlikon took the SEMAG works over in 1924, and continued to produce the gun as the Type L and to improve upon it. An unknown quantity of these guns was sold to China, however one source claims a total of 56 Oerlikon L type guns were sold to China during the 1920s. These weapons were also exported to Bolivia, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Finland, Mexico, Peru and Spain.
20 x 110mmRB: Oerlikon M-1928 L/70 light anti-aircraft gun: The Oerlikon S series anti-aircraft gun on J LaS mount. This was the short-barreled 1S version rather than the later, longer barreled 3S (M-1929) version distinguished by its ventilated jacket that encased about half of the barrel and through the perforations of which was visible a distinctive coiled recoil spring against which the barrel recoiled. The 1S was usually fed via a 20 round box magazine, and the 3S was usually fed via a distinctive 60 round drum. China acquired 120 of these guns between 1928 and 1930. Oerlikon guns were also used by Argentina, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United States.
*20 x 110mmRB: British Polsten cannon. One Chinese source mentions a “British 20mm AA” cannon. The only weapon which would fit this description was the Polish designed but British built Polsten cannon, essentially a simplified and lightened Oerlikon. It is possible that a number of these guns were supplied to Chinese forces in the China-Burma Theater, but necessarily rather late in the war (the end of 1944 or early 1945) as the weapon did not actually reach British units until March of 1944.
20 x 120mm Madsen: Madsen M-1935 light AA gun. China acquired an undisclosed quantity of these weapons from Madsen in Denmark during the late 1930s. It would become one of their most common anti-aircraft weapons.
20 x 138mmB: Solothurn/Rheinmetall-Borsig 2cm S-5-100 and S-5-106 light anti-aircraft guns. These weapons were the precursors to the Wehrmacht’s 2cm FlaK-30 anti-aircraft gun; they have in the past, due to confusion, often been erroneously reported to be the FlaK-30. The S-5-106 was an improvement upon the earlier S-5-100 automatic cannon, and was introduced in 1933. The Chinese were reportedly sold both the S-5-100 (65 examples) and the modified S-5-106 cannon-the quantity of these actually delivered is unclear, but apparently the total Chinese order for 20mm Solothurn S series cannon was for 130 guns, so this type may have made up the balance of 65 guns- mounted on the S-9-201 anti-aircraft carriage from 1932 to 1933. This weapon, in its KwK. 30 form, also armed the Sd. Kfz. 222 armored cars sold to China ca. 1936.
20mm: 20 x 138mmB: Solothurn/Rheinmetall-Borsig 2cm FlaK-30 light anti-aircraft gun. 100 of these LAAGs have been reported in several sources to have been sold to China ca. 1936-1938; one of these weapons is on display at the Chinese military museum in Beijing.
20 x 138mmB: Breda M-1935 light anti-aircraft gun. China is reported to have acquired a limited quantity (40-50?) of these weapons from Italy during the late 1930s. These guns were also acquired by Brazil, Costa Rica (four guns), Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland (48 guns in 1939), Honduras (three guns), Nicaragua (four guns), and Yugoslavia (80 in 1939).
20 x 138mmB: Isotta-Fraschini Scotti light anti-aircraft gun. China is reported to have acquired a quantity of these weapons from Italy in addition to the rival Breda gun during the late 1930s. Some of the Chinese weapons may have been produced by the Swiss licensee Oerlikon rather than by Isotta-Fraschini. Scotti guns were exported to the Netherlands (35 examples), as well as to various undisclosed Latin American countries.
20 x 142mm: Japanese Type 98 (Model 1938) light anti-aircraft gun. Chinese forces likely captured a good quantity of these LAAGs during the Sino-Japanese War, and more were seized after 1945. It was the Japanese Imperial Army’s standard light anti-aircraft gun.
25 x 163mm: Imperial Japanese Navy Type 96 (Model of 1936) light anti-aircraft gun. This was based on a 1932 Hotchkiss design, which later became the French army’s own Mle. 1938 and Mle. 1939 LAAGs (the two differed in their type of mounting). The Mle. 1938 was also used by Romania (35 equipments were supplied by Germany after 1943); the naval version was purchased by Japan and Mexico (this last country in very small quantities). The Japanese Navy frequently used these weapons on land to support naval infantry units. The guns were mounted on several types of mount, including a single barrel mobile version on a towed wheeled carriage; a single barrel version on a naval pedestal mount bolted to an improvised wooden sledge; and double and triple barrel versions taken from warships and mounted on improvised sledges. These sledge mounted weapons were often emplaced in bunkers or other defensive positions for use against ground targets. Some of these 25mm weapons were captured by the Chinese, or later seized from abandoned Japanese stocks.
37 x 263mmB: 3.7cm FlaK-18 anti-aircraft gun. This weapon was developed by Rheinmetall-Borsig from the Solothurn S-10-100 automatic cannon, which itself derived from an earlier Rheinmetall design, the ST-10. Germany sold China an undisclosed quantity- a few dozen at most, however one report states specifically that sixty of these guns were supplied- of these guns from ca. 1936 during their advisory mission to China. There is a famous 1949 photo of Chairman Mao reviewing PLA troops from a captured Nationalist jeep in which a handful of these guns figure in the background.
40mm: Vickers 2 pounder Pom-Pom. This weapon was purchased from Vickers during the 1930s for use on certain Chinese navy gunboats in single mountings similar to the British naval service O.Q.F. 2 pdr. Mk. VIII.
40mm: Bofors M-1936 L/60 anti-aircraft gun. China is reported to have acquired an unknown quantity of this revolutionary anti-aircraft gun from the Hungarian licensee MAVAG during the late 1930s. It is possible that a quantity was acquired from Bofors in Sweden as well. The U.S. may have also provided some of its M-1 version of the gun via Lend Lease after 1942.
75mm: Vickers Model 1931 anti-aircraft gun. China acquired an undisclosed quantity of these guns during the 1930s, and it became one of the most important anti-aircraft guns in Chinese service prior to 1937. Vickers exported these weapons to Belgium, Denmark (M-1932), Lithuania, the Netherlands (M.35), Portugal, Romania (M-1936) and Turkey.
75mm: Bofors M-1929 anti-aircraft gun. China acquired an unknown quantity of these guns from Bofors during the 1930s, and as well as being used in two versions by Sweden itself (M/29 in 75mm and M/30 in 80mm), they were exported to Argentina (for tests only, apparently), Finland, Greece, Hungary (in 80mm as the 8cm 29M), Iran, the Netherlands East Indies (in 80mm as the kanon van 8 ld) and Siam. These weapons were used alongside the Vickers 75mm guns by Chinese air defense units.
76.2mm: Soviet M-1931 (3K) anti-aircraft gun. The Soviet Union is reported to have supplied the Nationalists with five batteries (20 guns) of these heavy anti-aircraft guns in early 1938. The Soviets also supplied a number of these weapons to the Spanish Republicans during the Spanish Civil War.
*88mm: German 8.8cm FlaK-18 anti-aircraft gun. It has been reported in several sources that China took delivery of twelve of these heavy AA guns ca. 1936 to 1938 during the time of the German military mission. They would have been delivered around the same time as the other German artillery pieces (10.5cm leFH-18 etc…). One source reports that these guns may have been the more modern FlaK-36. These reports are unconfirmed, however.
88mm: German 8.8cm SK L/45 C/30 anti-aircraft gun. A Chinese source maintains that China took delivery of twelve 8.8cm SK L/45 C/30 dual purpose naval guns in 1936. They were mounted in armored shields (schirmlafette) and were statically emplaced on the coast, apparently around Shanghai.
90mm: Skoda 9cm vz.12/20 anti-aircraft gun. These early heavy anti-aircraft guns were passed on to the Chinese in small quantities by Czechoslovakia during the 1930s. The weapons were also sold off to Romania, Yugoslavia, and even to the Soviet Union.
Armored Fighting Vehicles:
Renault FT-1918 light tank: The warlord Chiang Tso-Lin acquired a small (less than ten?) quantity of ex-French army FT-18s ca. 1920-1921 via Vladivostok in the Soviet Union; then in 1924 and 1925 he acquired fourteen more of these tanks; most, if not all of the vehicles were equipped with the Hotchkiss M-1914 HMG. In 1929, any remaining tanks were passed over to the Guomindang by Chiang Tso-Lin’s son after he was assassinated by the Japanese. By 1930 the Guomindang is said to have acquired some 35 to 40 FT-17s by various methods. Some of these vehicles were later captured by the Japanese who added them to their small fleet of FT-17s (Type 79 Ko-Gata) and Renault NC-27s.
Fiat 3000 M-1921 light tank: It has been reported that the warlord Chiang Tso-Lin acquired a small quantity of Fiat 3000 light tanks to supplement his FT-18s, and that some were later taken over by the Japanese after his assassination in 1929. It is unclear what these tanks were armed with, but they may have been twin 7.92mm Madsen guns.
Vickers Carden Loyd Mk. VI carrier: China acquired 24 of these vehicles in 1929, and then in 1936 bought 29 additional vehicles. They were used to carry the Vickers Class “C” heavy machine guns China had purchased around the same time.
Vickers Carden Loyd M-1931 light amphibious tank: China acquired 29 of these light tanks in 1935. The vehicle was armed with a single Vickers gun.
Vickers Carden Loyd M-1936 light tank: China purchased four of these radio equipped light tanks in 1936; they were armed with a single Vickers gun.
Renault UE carrier: the warlord of Yunnan Province, Long Yun, acquired ten of these vehicles during the late 1930s (1936-1937) via French Indo-China. They were subsequently ceded to the central government. The vehicles were armed, but with what is unclear.
Renault AMR ZB light tank: this vehicle was originally an alternative prototype vehicle leading to the development of the French army’s AMR ZT mle. 1935 light tank; the ZB itself was never adopted by France; Renault received an order for twelve of these vehicles from China in March 1936 and a further four from the warlord Long Yun in Yunnan; however, none of the tanks were delivered until February 1940. Half were armed with the 37mm SA-18 tank gun, and the balance with the 13.2 x 99mm M-1930 Hotchkiss heavy machinegun.
Ansaldo CV-33 tankette: China is reported to have acquired twenty of these vehicles in 1936 (one report states that China bought as many as 100 of these tankettes, but this seems unlikely), armed with (reports vary) either twin 7.92x57mm Mauser M-1926 Breda-SAFAT machine guns, twin 8x59mm Breda M-1914/35 Fiat-Revelli machine guns, or twin 7.92x57mm Mauser Madsen guns.
PzKpfw I Ausf. A light tank: Germany provided China with between ten and fifteen of these light tanks at the end of 1936 as part of the aid and advisory program led by Field Marshall Hans von Seekt.
Vickers Six Ton Mark E “Type B” and Mark F light tanks: China acquired a total of twenty Vickers Six Ton tanks in 1936, of which 16 were of the Mark E “Type B” version, which had a single turret with a 47mm gun and a coaxial Vickers machine gun; the remaining four had a turret with a bustle fitted with a Marconi SB-1A short wave radio, and like the “Type B” were armed with a 47mm gun and a coaxial Vickers gun.
lePzSpw Sd. Kfz. 221 and Sd. Kfz. 222 armored cars: Germany provided China with an undisclosed quantity of lePzSpw Sd. Kfz. 221 and Sd. Kfz. 222 armored cars from 1936 to 1938 (probably not more than 20 examples combined). The Sd. Kfz. 221 had a small open topped turret equipped with a single MG-13 LMG; the Sd. Kfz. 222 had a 2cm KwK. 30 automatic cannon (see Solothurn ST-5-106 above) and an MG-13 LMG in a larger open topped turret.
Soviet T-26B-2 light tank: The Soviet Union provided China with 87 (some reports state 88) of these light tanks between 1938 and 1939. As such it became the most numerous tank in Chinese service prior to the introduction of the M-3A3 Stuart by the Americans in 1943.
Soviet T-27B Model-1933 tankette: The Soviet Union provided China an unknown quantity of these vehicles along with the T-26 light tanks between 1938 and 1939.
Soviet BA-27 armored car: The Soviet Union provided China with an unknown quantity of these early 4x2 armored cars during the late 1930s.
Soviet BA-20 light armored car: The Soviet Union provided China with an unknown quantity of these more modern light armored cars during the late 1930s.
Soviet BA-6 armored car: The Soviet Union provided China an unknown quantity of these heavy 6x4 armored cars between 1938 and 1939.
Marmon-Herrington CTLS-4TAC/4TAY light tanks: 82 “miscellaneous tanks” were reported to have been delivered in ca. 1941 by the U.S. Military Assistance Program, and it is believed that they were one or both versions of this commercially produced light tank; they were probably armed with commercial Colt-Browning MG-38T tank machine guns. The CTLS-4TAC had the turret offset to the left and right hand drive, whereas the CTLS-4TAY had the opposite arrangement.
U.S. White M-3A1 Scout Car: The U.S. Lend Lease Program provided China 36 of these vehicles in October 1941.
U.S. M-3 series half-track armored personnel carrier: The U.S. Lend Lease Program provided China with a small quantity of these vehicles after 1943.
U.S. M-3A3 light tank: The U.S. Lend Lease program provided China with 48 of these light tanks in 1943.
U.S. M-4A4 medium tank: The U.S. Lend Lease program provided China with 35 examples of this version of the M-4 series medium tank powered by a Chrysler Multi-Bank engine.
The Chinese employed small quantities of captured Japanese AFVs, most commonly the Type 94 (Model of 1934) tankette, Type 95 (Model of 1935) Ha Go light tank, the Type 97 (Model of 1937) Te Ke tankette, the Type 89 and Type 89B (Model of 1929) medium tanks; after the war the Chinese communists used substantial quantities of captured Type 95 light tanks and Type 97 (Model of 1937) Chi Ha and Shinhoto Chi Ha medium tanks (with the 47mm Type 1 [Model of 1941] gun).