From the Vault: Japanese Armor circa 1968

Here is an article from the July-Aug issue of ARMOR by Tomio Hara on the Development of Modern Japanese Armor.  The focus of the article is on the Japanese Type 61 tank, a vehicle that does not get much attention in English language sources.  The author of this article, Tomio Hara, was one of the leading tank experts in Japan, having commanded a tank regiment during WWII and later holding the position of commandant of the Japanese Army Combat Vehicle Research Laboratory.  The article describes the rationale used in the design of the Type 61.  Unfortunately, the article does not explain the most peculiar design element of the Type 61 which is the front mounted transmission and drive sprockets with the engine in the rear.  Although this layout was common in WW2 era tanks, the Type 61 is the only post war tank to retain this layout (other than vehicles with front mounted engines.)

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