Type 1 47 mm Anti-Tank Gun

The Type 1 47 mm anti-tank gun was an anti-tank gun developed by the Imperial Japanese Army, and used in combat during World War II. The Type 1 number was designated for the year the gun was accepted, 2601 in the Japanese imperial year calendar, or 1941 in the Gregorian calendar.

Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1942
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1942 1945 View

The Type 1 47 mm Anti-Tank gun was accepted into service in 1942. The design originated as an improvement to the prototype “Experimental Type 97 (1937) 47 mm Anti-Tank Gun”, which was tested between 1938 and 1939. The prototype weighed 567 kilograms with a barrel length of 2,515 mm, a traverse range of ±50 degrees and an elevation range of between minus 10 and plus 20 degrees, and a muzzle velocity of 730 m/s. The prototype was not accepted into service because it was considered to not have sufficient performance.

After the Nomonhan Incident, the Imperial Japanese Army started the development of a new anti-tank gun, considering that the Type 94 37 mm Anti-Tank Gun would likely be ineffective against the new Soviet tanks. The design was the first completely indigenous anti-tank gun design completed in Japan, and production was assigned to the Army's Osaka Arsenal. In terms of performance, the design was still somewhat inferior to advanced contemporary designs in western nations, but was considered suitable by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff due to the anticipated lack of armor by the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, and by the belief that Japan would face only light tanks fielded by the Allied nations in case of a more general war. The Type 1 47 mm AT Gun was introduced in 1942, and approximately 2,300 were produced.

The Type 1 47 mm AT Gun was introduced to combat service only in 1943, and up until that time Japanese infantry had considerable difficulty even against the Allied M3 Stuart light tank in the Pacific War. However, by the time the Type 1 was available in any quantities, the M3 had been superseded by the M4 Sherman, against which it was only marginally effective.

The Type 1 47 mm AT Gun was issued to armored units as well as independent anti-tank units and was fielded in a wide variety of areas, but most notably Southeast Asia, and continued to be used with diminishing effectiveness until the end of World War II.

After World War II Type 1 47 mm AT Gun was used in Indonesian National Revolution by the Indonesian Army. In the Battle of Surabaya Dutch forces and British forces suffered moderate casualties among their convoy which consisted M3 Stuart and M4 Sherman.

Type Anti-tank gun
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1942 - 1945
Used by  Imperial Japanese Army
Wars Second World War
Production history
Designed circa 1939
Number built 2300
Variants Main gun on the Type 97 Chi-Ha Shinhoto
Weight 753 kg (1,660 lb)
Barrel length 2.53 m (8 ft 4 in) L/53.7
Cartridge 47×285 mm. R
1.4 kg (3 lb 1 oz)
Caliber 47 mm (1.85 in)
Action Breech loading
Muzzle velocity 830 m/s (2,723 ft/s)
Maximum firing range 6,900 m (7,546 yds)
Sights Straight telescope.

End notes