Tiger tank for Japan?

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
cstunts
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by cstunts » 18 Sep 2010 18:05

The Japanese army needed TIGERS like the Imperial Navy needed BISMARCK-class battleships...

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PPoS
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by PPoS » 18 Sep 2010 18:25

cstunts wrote:The Japanese army needed TIGERS like the Imperial Navy needed BISMARCK-class battleships...
I can't see how. Armoured/mechanized warfare was never a big part of the Pacific war. And where would they have the need for Tiger tanks ? Just the thought of deploying and using a Tiger tank in the typical terrain of the Pacific and Asia makes me shudder.

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Sep 2010 18:55

I'm more surprised they didn't produce any Panzerschreck's or Panzerfaust's. These would easily be within Japan's manufactoring capability, and extremely useful.

Given the willingness of many Japanese soldiers to hide and wait until the last minute before revealing their position at the almost certain cost of their own life, they would have taken a heavy toll of US armoured vehicles.

Steve

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by PPoS » 18 Sep 2010 19:18

Fatboy Coxy wrote:I'm more surprised they didn't produce any Panzerschreck's or Panzerfaust's. These would easily be within Japan's manufactoring capability, and extremely useful.

Given the willingness of many Japanese soldiers to hide and wait until the last minute before revealing their position at the almost certain cost of their own life, they would have taken a heavy toll of US armoured vehicles.

Steve
Interesting question. Probably because the use of armoured vehicles weren't as common in the Pacific as it was in Europe, not to mention that most armoured vehicles were used in Europe. It might also have something to do with this "banzai" mentality you speak of, why have panzerfausts when soldiers are ready to give their lives to destroy a tank ? It is kinda apparent that the Japanese high command didn't really think in terms of the values of human lives. Desperate times needs desperate measures. But yes, interesting question.

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by cstunts » 18 Sep 2010 19:40

cstunts wrote:
"The Japanese army needed TIGERS like the Imperial Navy needed BISMARCK-class battleships..."

I can't see how. Armoured/mechanized warfare was never a big part of the Pacific war. And where would they have the need for Tiger tanks ? Just the thought of deploying and using a Tiger tank in the typical terrain of the Pacific and Asia makes me shudder.


PPos:

I was speaking ironically...No, of course they didn't need TIGER tanks. Nor did they want the short-ranged, overrrated BISMARCK-class battleships.

Mil-tech Bard
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 18 Sep 2010 19:49

john whitman wrote:To all:

Just remember when talking about German tanks, that the Japanese would have had to manufacture the ammunition, spare parts, tractors and trailers (low boys), and recovery vehicles/wreckers. Gun barrels are expensive and hard to machine, and Japan was already short field artillery. Were sub-caliber devices for training available, were cheaper training rounds available, were tank ranges available? In a military hurting for fuel, they would have to fuel these vehicles at a per mile basis less efficient than a light tank.

Were Home Island rail cars and rail cars in Manchuria, the Philippines, Malaya, and Burma strong enough to carry a large tank? Would vehicle bridges be strong enough to carry a large tank? Radios were in short supply everywhere. Could radios have been installed? In a society short on mechanics, the training base would have had to train men on a European-designed engine, motors, optics etc. New maintenance tools would be needed. Were existing batteries adequate for a large tank? Cranes at ports would have to be able to lift the load of the tank, roads and piers would have to carry the load, and ship tie downs and blocking would have to be big enough.

It is fun to talk about a piece of equipment like a tank, but there is a hidden world of logistics behind it that would need to be addressed.

Remember the old saying, "amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics."

John

That is why I was arguing for a Hetzer rather than a Tiger.

The vehicle was within the industrial and logistical capabilities of the Imperial Japanese military.

A couple of dozen at Iwo Jima and Okinawa would have hurt American armor disproportionately to their numbers, and resulted in hundreds if not thousands more American casualties.

Heck the same could have been true of the 75mm Pack 40.

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 18 Sep 2010 19:52

Fatboy Coxy wrote:I'm more surprised they didn't produce any Panzerschreck's or Panzerfaust's. These would easily be within Japan's manufactoring capability, and extremely useful.

Given the willingness of many Japanese soldiers to hide and wait until the last minute before revealing their position at the almost certain cost of their own life, they would have taken a heavy toll of US armoured vehicles.

Steve
There are posts on the Japanese Bazooka on the forum.

Use this search term:

"70 mm Type 4 rocket launcher"

or hit this link:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=74870

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PPoS
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by PPoS » 18 Sep 2010 20:29

cstunts wrote:I was speaking ironically...No, of course they didn't need TIGER tanks. Nor did they want the short-ranged, overrrated BISMARCK-class battleships.
Ah, I had the feeling that you were being sarcastic but I went ahead anyway :)

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Anon mouse » 20 Sep 2010 02:50

A USAAF intelligence report dated 31 August 1945 notes the following regarding transfer of German armor and vehicles to the Japanese:

"Vehicles:
"PzKw III: In May 41, details of this tank were obtained by Japanese Army representatives in Berlin, Subsequently Hitler authorized the sale of two models one with a long 50 mm and the other with a short 75 mm gun. These were shipped from Europe by March 43 and may have reached Japan. Manufacturing rights are believed to have been acquired by the Japanese Army, but as of May 44, there was evidence that the Japanese were not planning to proceed with manufacture.
"PzKw IV: Two specimens of PzKw IV/F2 tank, mounting a 40 type 75 mm antitank gun, were purchased and shipped to Japan by March 43. Manufacturing rights are thought to have been procured, but as of May 44, the Japanese apparently had decided not to put this tank into production.
"PzKw V (Panther): A model of the Panther tank was purchased, in September 43 - - too late for shipment to Japan. Japanese officers attached to the German Army received instruction in its employment. There is evidence that the Panther tank (or a close copy) was being made in Japan, although there is no indication of Japanese purchase of appropriate manufacturing rights or drawings.
"PzKw VI (Tiger): A model of the Tiger tank also was purchased in September 43. Interrogation of Kurt Arnholdt, chief tank test engineer for Henschel & Sohn, revealed that, about September 43, four Japanese officers visited Arnholdt at a tank testing and proving ground. They were especially interested in Tiger tanks which had been modified to permit fording streams up to five meters in depth, Arnholdt believed that the German High Command already had furnished the Japanese with microfilms of the Tiger I and II tanks, and, possibly, with blueprints.
"Armored cars: In February 42, one Böhmisch-Märlsche Maschinen Fabrik armored combat car was offered to the Japanese, with rights to copy if required. There is no indication that models or drawings ever reached Japan. Arthur Tix, President of Hanomag AG, Hanover, stated that in 1943 his company had been instructed to send full drawings of their 3-ton half-track armored car to Japan via the Japanese Embassy. It is not known whether those drawings actually reached Japan.
"A captured letter from the files of Demag A.G. states that on 13 April 43, the Japanese Army signed a contract with Demag for the purchase of four one-ton armored troop carrying vehicles type D 7 P (special motor vehicle 250). The contract was for a straight purchase and did not involve manufacturing rights or rights to copy, or in any way reproduce, the vehicles in Japan.
"Motor vehicles: In November 43 the Henschel Company proposed the establishment of a Joint German-Japanese enterprise to manufacture motor vehicles in Japan, Very little detail is available but apparently the plan envisaged a monthly production of 1,000-1,500 4½ ton trucks by collaboration between Henschel and some unnamed Japanese industrialist. The Japanese appear to have been interested in the proposal and inquired as to the general attitude of the German Government on this question and the possibility of joint German-Japanese production of military materiel apart from vehicles.
"Charcoal burning automobiles: Resulting apparently from dissatisfaction with their own equipment, the Japanese requested details and drawings of German gas producers. No detail is available as to the outcome of the negotiations."


A USN estimate of the transfer of German technology to the Japanese dated 15 June 1945 reports:

“ITEM: TIGER TANK E
“INTELLIGENCE: Secret correspondence relative to the shipment of 1 Tiger Tank E and spare parts was on dock at Bordeaux for shipment 17 February 1944 to Showa Tsusho Kaisha, Ltd.”

§ § § § § §

“ITEM: PANTHER TANK
“INTELLIGENCE: Secret correspondence relative to the shipment of 1 Panther Tank and spare parts was on dock at Bordeaux for shipment 17 January 1944 to Showa Tsusho Kaisha, Ltd”

§ § § § § §

“ITEM: MARK IV TANK
“INTELLIGENCE: A letter dated 27 July 1943 from the German branch, Mitsubishi, to Japanese War Department mentions delivery of this tank.
“CONCLUSIONS: The following comparison is based only on the general similarity to the MK IV suggested by P/W statements:
“Several Japanese prisoners of war have affirmed the existence of a Jap “heavy” tank weighing approximately 30 tons and have furnished some specifications and performance data on this tank. While the statements of these prisoners show some discrepancies as to details, the existence of such a tank, at least in a developmental stage, is thought to be fairly well established.
“The Japanese are capable of designing and producing modern tanks, and their realization of their inferiority of their armor as compared to Allied equipment, coupled with the approach of our forces to terrain suitable for large scale employment of tanks, has probably resulted in increased effort to produce more modern equipment.
“The available details of the 30-ton tank indicate that it is a considerable improvement over the well-known Jap medium tanks in both armor and armament, though still inferior to the US medium in these respects.
“The latest and most complete data concerning a Jap heavy tank of about 30 tons was obtained from a document captured n LEYTE on 28 December 1944 which consisted of an undated hand written file containing specifications various armored vehicles. This document was translated by ATIS/SWPA and published in ATIS Bulletin #1735. The specification of the heavy tank are given in tabular form along with specifications of five other armored vehicles including Type 89 and Type 97 tanks, as given in this table, agree very closely with previous information. This lends credence to the data given on the heavy tank.”

As John noted, logistics is the great leveler. Picture a Mark IV turret. How many pieces would it be chopped into in order to squeeze down a hatch. Can you imagine some poor schlub in Japan with his trusty welding torch "tab A goes in slot B." Love to see that on utube. Conversely, how much of a submarine hull gets cut away (and there is no evidence that this was ever done) in order to stuff in big pieces and when were they going to test the water-tight integrity after the sub was loaded and the cut away hull put back in place? And really, all that weight? And what were they going to give up in ballast? Torpedoes? Well, maybe. And then crewmen? Not really a very good idea. Reality stinks.

If a Mark IV or any other German tank arrived in Japan it was either before June 1941 via the Trans-Siberian railroad or arrived aboard a surface blockade runner. The USAAF report includes a section on blockade runners, note Tannenfels in 1942 carried unspecified "tanks" and no surface blockade runner arrived in Japan after May 1943:

Successful
Vessel § Tonnage (GRT) § Departure and Arrival
Items of Interest in cargo

Portland § 7,132 § Oct 41 – Jan 42
Dynamos and electric power plant equipment

Rio Grande § 6,062 § Oct 41 – Jan 42
Machinery, Iron, and steel

Regensburg § 8,068 § Feb 42 – July 42
Machinery, Iron, and steel

Tannenfels § 7,840 § Mar 42 – July 42
Machinery Iron and steel; Tanks

Dresden § 5,567 § Mar 42 – July 42
Machinery, Iron, and steel; Aircraft parts

Weserland § 6,528 § Sept 42 – Jan 43
Machinery and accessories; Hydraulic tube of large dimension

Brake § 9,925 § Sept 42 – Dec 42
941 15 cm shells, 60 rounds of 15 cm tracer, 960 15 cm cartridges, 8,000 3.7 cm shells, 4,803 rounds 2 cm shells, 13,500 rounds machine gun ammunition, fuses, etc.

Eota Nopan § 7,322 § Sept 42 – Dec 42
No record of cargo available

Uckermark § 10,000 § Sept 42 – Nov 42
Ammunition, guns, aircraft, aviation oil

Pietro Orseolo § 6,344 § Oct 42 – Nov 42
No record of cargo available

Burgenland § 7,320 § Oct 42 – Dec 42
Machinery for hydro-electric plant; aircraft parts

Silva Plana § 4,793 § Oct 42 – Dec 42
No record of cargo available

Rio Grande § 6,082 § Oct 42 – Dec 42
Machine parts, heavy machinery, screws

Osorno § 6,951 § Mar 43 – May 43
Aircraft, aircraft engines, zinc sheeting, mercury, weapons, and ammunition

Alsternfer § 2,729 § Mar 43 – May 43
Weapons, ammunition, aluminum, optical glass, piano wire, special steel, aircraft engines

Unsuccessful

Elsa Essberger § 6,103 § Nov 42 – Damaged.
No record of cargo available, returned to port

Spichern (Tanker) § 9,323 § Nov 42 – Damaged.
No record of cargo available, returned to port

Anneliese Essberger § 5,173 § Nov 42 – Scuttled.
Dyes, bicycle parts piano wire

Cortellanzo § 5,292 § Nov 42 – Scuttled.
600 tons hydro electric machinery

Germania § 9,851 § Nov 42 – Scuttled.
No record of cargo available
same month

Portland § 7,132 § Feb 43 – Sunk
Hydro-electric plant, Apr 43 100 x 60 litre drums of ethylene dibromide, mercury, aircraft engines.

Himalaya § 6,240 § Mar and April 43 - Damaged
Small arms, ammunition, fuselage for German aircraft (type unknown)
Returned to port

FWIW

Anon Mouse

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Panzermahn » 20 Sep 2010 07:55

I remembered that the Japanese requested a Me-262 sample from the Germans. The Germans prepared a "milk cow" submarine in 1944 with a disassembled Me-262 but it was sunk on the way to Japan. However the Japanese managed to built a prototype of Me-262 based on the some of the blueprints as well as telegraphic transmissions from Berlin.

Not sure of this since I am writting from memory

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 20 Sep 2010 12:24

Panzermahn wrote:I remembered that the Japanese requested a Me-262 sample from the Germans. The Germans prepared a "milk cow" submarine in 1944 with a disassembled Me-262 but it was sunk on the way to Japan. However the Japanese managed to built a prototype of Me-262 based on the some of the blueprints as well as telegraphic transmissions from Berlin.

Not sure of this since I am writting from memory
I'd like to ask, why send anything not unique to Japan as anything but blueprints, specs, and associated information? Japan knew how to build from blueprints. I can see that they MIGHT send a jet engine, just for testing purposes when the infrastructure geared up (if it ever did), but not an entire aircraft. There was little highly innovative about the 262's design other than the engine.
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Luftflotte2 » 20 Sep 2010 21:37

You guys have amazing info, Anon mouse's info is extremely intresting. Here's some of my thoughts...... :)
--Purchase of four sd.kfz. 250s, since the Ho-Ha and the Ho-Ki were not suitable and very few were made of them
--Purchase of the Panzer IV, but was not put into production. This is most likely because Japan had troubles with german engineering and had little facilities to spare.
--The Kikka aircraft was much simpler than the Me-262 because Japan did not have the resources or facilities to create a Me-262. Even so, Japan could have requested a full Me-262 because they had trouble replicating it from blueprints.

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 20 Sep 2010 21:43

Luftflotte2 wrote: Even so, Japan could have requested a full Me-262 because they had trouble replicating it from blueprints.
Why is that? You'd have to blueprint the plane to make more. A massive waste of time, that. The blueprints already existed, why do them again? If they needed technical help, send a team of men, much easier to get down the hatch of a sub than an airplane.
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Luftflotte2
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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by Luftflotte2 » 21 Sep 2010 02:19

That is true, but perhaps they had troubles with manufacturing techniques--that's not on the blueprint?? Who knows why they thought, maybe they were just loosing their marbles!! They did persue crazy projects like the J7W, Ki-64, Ki-88 and the Ki-94 I and II, and tanks like the O-I and the Chi-Ri.

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Re: Tiger tank for Japan?

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Sep 2010 02:38

Luftflotte2 wrote:That is true, but perhaps they had troubles with manufacturing techniques--that's not on the blueprint?? Who knows why they thought, maybe they were just loosing their marbles!! They did persue crazy projects like the J7W, Ki-64, Ki-88 and the Ki-94 I and II, and tanks like the O-I and the Chi-Ri.
Tool and die people deal with the manufacturing issues. But aside from the engine, there was no, ahem, rocket science in the -262 that I know of.
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