Video: Chi-Ri & Chi-To Tanks Scrapped at Aberdeen

This rather intriguing video showed up on Youtube yesterday and appears to answer the question of what ever happened to the Japanese Type 5 Chi-Ri Heavy tank prototype. Sources generally state that the vehicle was either scrapped at Aberdeen Proving Grounds or lost at sea during shipment. If this video is what it says, we may have proof that it did indeed make it to Aberdeen where it was scrapped. The video is said to be from October 4, 1952 and shows a number of vehicles, including several Japanese tanks. Both a Type 4 Chi-To and the Type 5 Chi-Ri are visible. That these vehicles were scrapped rather than preserved is a rather depressing thought.

Here is a screen capture of the Chi-Ri.

Chi Ri aberdeen

Photo of the Day: Aberdeen Proving Grounds 1950

We had found this photo as part of an article in a 1950 LIFE magazine about tank testing at the US Army Proving Grounds at Aberdeen Maryland.  The photo shows an M4A3E8 “Easy Eight” Sherman, a M26 Pershing, a M46 Patton, and most interestingly, a fairly early model Soviet T-34.

US tries to catch up

Over at, a member by the name of “Whelm” posted a higher resolution of the photo which we have posted below along with a second picture of these vehicles.


Opposing forces VISMOD vehicles photo gallery


Here is a photo gallery of some AFV’s that have been modified to appear as enemy vehicles for training purposes.  Most of these photos came from a couple foreign language live journal pages (1,2).  We have tried to label the photos as best as possible, although some of them are a bit hard to correctly identify.  We have tried to limit this gallery to VISMOD vehicles created and used for military training, not vehicles modified for use in movies or civilian re-enactments. We hope you enjoy these.

Click “Read More” to see gallery.

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From the Vaults: Army Research, Development & Acquisition Magazine

tank history 1 Sept Oct 1978Today we are presenting some tank related articles from the Army R,D&A (Research, Development and Acquisition) magazine.  This publication started in 1960 and is still being produced, although the name has changed to AL&T (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).   For most of it’s history, the magazine was published bi-monthly and featured articles on new army technology and research programs.  Fortunately, a complete set of back issues is available here.  Tank and AFV News has gone through these back issues and picked out a selection of articles which may be of interest to the tank and AFV enthusiast or researcher.

We start with the Sept-Oct 1978 issue which features an article titled “Tank Development Traced to Royal Naval Air Service Early Efforts.

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From the Editor: More Aberdeen Pictures

Semovente 47/32

Semovente 47/32

Here are the rest of my old photos from Aberdeen Proving Grounds circa 1981.  These were previously posted on my old blog.  These vehicles are no longer located at APG.  These were taken by my father with a cheap 110 film camera when he was stuck in Aberdeen for several weeks due to his job.  The quality of the pictures is not great, but they do show the state of these vehicles in this time period.  If you look carefully, you can see on both the Tiger tank and the Panther tank how the side of the turret has been covered over with sheet metal.  The turrets on both of these vehicles had been cut away so museum visitors could see inside them back in the 1950’s

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From the Editor: Tank Boulevard APG

Heavy Tank MKVIII 1919

Heavy Tank MKVIII 1919

A couple years ago I scanned a set of old photos I had of the vehicles at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and posted them on my old blog. I have moved them over here where they will be more accessible.  While the quality of these pictures is not great, they do give an idea of how the vehicles were displayed circa 1981. I’m starting with the pictures from “Tank Boulevard” which was a long row of US vehicles set up chronologically along Maryland Boulevard as one entered the base.

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From the Vault: Yank Magazine on Axis Vehicles

yank1smLone has a nice photo gallery and transcription of an article from Yank magazine from January 21, 1944.  The article is about captured axis tanks and equipment being examined at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.


At Aberdeen’s Ordnance Research Center, inquisitive experts finds what makes an Axis vehicle tick, and their tests produce facts worth remembering.

By Sgt. MACK MORRISS and Sgt. RALPH STEIN, YANK Staff Correspondents

Aberdeen, Md. — The first thing you learn at the Foreign Material outfit here is never, ever, to call a Nazi tank a “Mark Six” or a “Mark Four.” The correct designation is PzKW VI or PzKW IV. “Mark” is a British way of saying model, whereas PzKW means what it says: Panzer Kampfwagen, or armored battlewagon.

For more than a year captured enemy vehicles have been arriving here from every battle front on earth. The first was a half-track prime mover that came in sections and required three months of trial-and-error tinkering to be completely reconstructed. Missing parts, which were requisitioned from North Africa, never arrived; mechanics in the Base Shop section made their own.

To read the rest of the article, please click here to go to Lone

Photo Gallery of former APG vehicles in storage at Anniston Army Depot

photo galleryOver at the AFV News Discussion board regular poster “the_shadock” posted a link to a really fantastic photo album.  The album belongs to Flicker user “cmwebbjr” and features the vehicles formerly stored at Aberdeen Proving Grounds that are now in temporary storage at Anniston Army Depot.

Here is the description posted in the Gallery: In late 2012 the United States Army Museum system began moving many vehicles and weapons that had been in outdoor display at the various Army Museums around the country to temporary storage. Anniston Army Depot was one of the depots designated to receive them and consequently a parking lot there is now filled with a huge amount of history. I was able to get a camera authorization and make a photographic record of these vehicles. I understand that these vehicles will be stored here until a museum has a requirement for a particular example for a display at which time the article will be cosmetically restored and sent to them. Some of these vehicles are one of a kind experimental vehicles or captured military equipment from other countries.