Type 38 75 mm field gun

The Type 38 75 mm Field gun was a 1905 German design which was purchased by the Empire of Japan as the standard field gun of the Imperial Japanese Army at the end of the Russo-Japanese War. The Type 38 designation was given to this gun as it was accepted in the 38th year of Emperor Meiji's reign (1905).

Type 38 75 mm field gun
Class Vehicle
Type Towed Artillery
Manufacturer Osaka RZ
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1905
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan 1905 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Osaka RZ 3059 View

Although Japan had extensive experience with artillery, as the result of its war with Russia in 1904-05, and had the technology and industrial infrastructure to construct medium or large caliber naval weapons prior to World War I, planners at the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff turned to Krupp in Germany, for the latest trend in artillery design. Initial units were imported, and then eventually over 2000 units, which were designed "Type 38" in Japan, were produced under license by the Army’s Osaka Arsenal.

The original Type 38 gun had a conical interrupted-thread breech, a single box type trail which limited gun elevation to only 16°30'. Also, there were no equilibrators as the trunnions were at the gun barrel's center of balance. All of these shortcomings were remedied with a redesign following World War I.

After World War I, these weapons were considered largely obsolete. However, by this time, Japanese production capabilities had improved, and the Type 38 underwent a re-design in Japan to improve the carriage, with a corresponding increase in elevation, range and rate of fire to 10-12 rounds per minute.

Despite its obsolescence, the Type 38 75 mm Field Gun was found in theatres of operation in the Second Sino-Japanese War, Soviet-Japanese Border Wars and in the Pacific War.

Type Field gun
Place of origin  Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1905-1945
Used by  Imperial Japanese Army
Wars World War I
Second Sino-Japanese War
Soviet-Japanese Border Wars
World War II
Production history
Designer Krupp
Manufacturer Osaka Arsenal
Number built ~3,059 all types.
Variants Type 38 (improved)
Weight 947 kilograms (2,088 lb) (Type 38)
1,135.7 kilograms (2,504 lb) (Improved Type 38)
Length 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in) (Firing)
8.94 m (29 ft 4 in) (Traveling)
Barrel length 2.286 metres (7 ft 6 in) L/31
Width Track 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m) Maximum. 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Height 4 ft 10 in (1.47 m)
Shell 6 kilograms (13 lb)
Caliber 75 mm (2.95 in)
Breech interrupted screw (Type 38)
horizontal sliding wedge (Improved Type 38)
Recoil hydro-spring
Carriage fixed trail
Elevation -8° to +16° 30' (Type 38)
-8° to +43° (Improved Type 38)
Traverse 3°30' right, 3°30' left
Rate of fire 2 minutes 15 rpm
15 minutes 4 rpm
Continuous 100-120 rph
Muzzle velocity 510 m/s (1,673 ft/s)
Effective firing range 8,350 metres (9,130 yd) (Type 38)
Maximum firing range 11,600 metres (12,700 yd) (Improved Type 38)
Feed system Hand
Sights Panoramic

End notes