The Type 1 Gun tank Ho-Ni I was a tank destroyer and self-propelled artillery developed by the Imperial Japanese Army for use during World War II in the Pacific theater.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was the first self-propelled gun design of this particular type. They were meant to be self-propelled artillery and tank destroyers for armored divisions. The plan was for the Type 1 Ho-Ni I gun tank to form part of a fire support company in each of the tank regiments. The first conversion took place in June, 1941. Production of the Type 1 Ho-Ni I took place during 1942. The total number of Type 1 Ho-Ni I units produced was only 26.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was developed by using the existing Type 97 chassis and engine, and replacing the gun turret with a 75 mm Type 90 Field Gun mounted in an open casemate with frontal and side armour only. The gun mounting gave ten degrees of traverse and -5 to +25 degrees of elevation; it could also traverse 20 degrees to either side, so the entire vehicle did not have to be turned. The Type 1 Ho-Ni I carried 54 rounds of ammunition.
They were designed to operate as self-propelled artillery at ranges of up to 12,000 metres (7.5 mi). The design had no provision for a defensive machine gun, which together with the open structure made it vulnerable in close combat.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was first deployed in combat at the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines in 1945, but like the rest of the Japanese armor of the 2nd Tank Division, they were defeated in action against superior US Army forces. In addition, the Type 1 Ho-Ni were not available in sufficient numbers to make an impact on the Battle of the Philippines. Type 1 Ho-Ni were also used by the Japanese Army in Burma, late in the war.
The Type 1 Ho-Ni I was produced in small quantities in 1942, when it was superseded by the Type 1 Ho-Ni II and then the Type 3 Ho-Ni III. The total number produced of all three types in the Ho-Ni series were 111 units. Most of the Ho-Ni units were retained within the Japanese home islands to form part of the defenses against the projected American invasion, and did not see combat before the surrender of Japan.
- Axis and Allies
Approximate Dimensions: 10mm wide x 20mm long x 12 mm height
Approximate Weight: 1 gram