Type 96 15 Cm Howitzer - History and Development

History and Development

Work on developing a new field howitzer for the Japanese Army began in 1920 and continued for over a decade. The Japanese Army sent numerous military attach├ęs to Europe during World War I and observed the effectiveness of sustained artillery barrages against fixed defenses and opposing infantry. The final specifications to meet the Army's requirements called for a howitzer that could be elevated to 65 degrees, with a maximum range of 12,000 yards, which could be transported by a team of six horses. The new design was ready by 1934, but Army Chief of Staff Kazushige Ugaki opposed its production until further tweaks were made. Production finally commenced in 1937. A total of 440 units were produced.

The revised Type 96 howitzer could be identified by a relatively short tube with muzzle only slightly forward of rectangular cradle, three demountable spade plates and demountable trail block for each trail end, wheel chocks and leaf springs above the axle.

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