Type 96 15 Cm Howitzer - Design


The Type 96 15 cm howitzer was regarded by Allied military intelligence to be one of the most modern, well designed and effective weapons in the Japanese arsenal. Mounted on sturdy, rubber-shod, wooden wheels, the weapon was normally tractor drawn. One of its outstanding characteristics was its extreme elevation capability of 65° (which could only be used when a deep loading pit was dug beneath the breech. Although the Type 96 (1936) 150-mm howitzer has been made in considerable quantity since the time of its adoption, it has not yet completely replaced the Type 4 150-mm howitzer in Japanese medium artillery units. The Type 96, the last artillery weapon developed during the period of redesigning, is heavier than the Type 4, has a somewhat greater range, and travels as a single load drawn by tractor. In travel, it is jacked up on a leaf spring. During firing, the spring is depressed so the piece fires off its axle. The Type 96 uses the same ammunition as the Type 4.

Ammunition used included high-explosive shells, as well as armor-piercing, Shrapnel, smoke and incendiary tracer shells.

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