Japanese Tanks and Armoured Warfare 1932-45

A Military and Political History

David McCormack

This new history charts the development, production, deployment, and combat operations of Japan's tank forces between their inception in 1918 and their disbandment in 1945. The author's persuasive arguments encourage the reader to reappraise their existing views concerning the contribution of Japanese tanks towards the projection of combat power.
Date Published :
April 2021
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
30 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558102
Pages : 176
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The popular image of the Japanese tanks which faced the markedly superior tanks fielded by the Allies during the Second World War is one of poorly armed and armored Lilliputian tin cans which failed to make any impression upon the battlefield. In this absorbing new history, David McCormack looks beyond widely held and unchallenged misconceptions to create a new narrative in which Japan's rightful place as a leading innovator in tank design and doctrine is restored.

Why did Japan produce tanks in such limited numbers? What contribution did Japanese tanks make to the war effort? Why did it take Japan so long to develop heavier tanks capable of meeting the Allies on more equal terms? Drawing from primary and secondary sources, the author's meticulous research provides the reader with an objective appraisal of both the successes and failures of the Empire of the Sun's tank forces.

About The Author

David McCormack graduated with first class honors in Contemporary Military and International History. Regular contributor of Japan based historical articles to the International Academic Forum's Eye Magazine. Series of eight articles entitled Japan at War published by the Armourer Magazine 2005-2006.


Introduction; Prologue; 1 Innovation and Stagnation---Issues in Japanese Tank Development; 2 A Mauling by the Red Bear---The Undeclared Border Conflicts with the Soviet Union; 3 Three: ‘Don’t Miss the Bus’---Stalemate in China and the Expansion of the War into South East Asia; 4 Bicycles and Tank Tracks---The Malayan Campaign; 5 From Victory to Defeat---Burma, Java, and Guadalcanal; 6 The Imitation Game---German Influences on Japanese Doctrine and Tank Design; 7 A Miracle on Tarawa---The Against all Odds Survival of Volunteer Tank Crewman Chief Petty Officer Tadao Onuki; 8 The Road to India---The Imphal Operation; 9 Breaking the Deadlock---The Continental Cross---Through Operation in China; 10 Carnage on Red Beach---Saipan; 11 ‘The Enemy Must Be Annihilated’---The Defence of Luzon; 12 Bloody Beaches---The Evolution of Island Defence Tactics; 13 The Last Lines of Defence---Iwo Jima and Okinawa; 14 Shattered Jade---The Homeland Defence Strategy and the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria; Epilogue; Appendix 1 The Kungchuling Mixed Brigade, Appendix 2 The Yasuoka Detachment; Appendix 3 Tank Groups; Appendix 4 The 1941 Army Mobilisation Plan; Appendix 5 Tank Divisions; Appendix 6 Japanese Armoured Tactical Principles; Appendix 7 Principal Japanese Tank Models; Appendix 8 Principal Japanese Self-Propelled Guns and Tank Destroyers, Appendix 9 Japanese Tank and Armoured Fighting Vehicle Production 1931-1945; Appendix 10 Tank Guns; Appendix 11 Communications; Appendix 12 Maintenance; Appendix 13 Tank Crews; Appendix 14 Uniforms and Equipment; Appendix 15 Tank Schools; Appendix 16 Tank Commander Kojiro Nishizumi and the Japanese propaganda machine; Bibliography.


"...benefits from extensive research and has both useful appendices and an interesting photo insert."

- WWII History Magazine

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