Japan (1932)
Armored car – ? built

Another foggy Japanese AC deployed in China

Often mismatched with the Type 93 Kokusan/Naval armoured car, this model was quite different, as it was based on a 4×4 chassis and apparently used only by the Army. The entire designation was Model 2592 “HoKoKu-Go”, the name “Osaka” (from the famous city), given by some European sources in 1935, being associated with the factory area or even the Osaka arsenal, and “Hokoku” or “Aikoku” comes from the pro-military organization that funded its construction. To make matters worse, there was also a Type 92 105 mm (4.13 in) field gun. also manufactured by the Arsenal of Osaka, a machine-gun and other ordinance materials, like the “Type 92 Heavy Armored Car” which in reality was the Jyū-sōkōsha tankette!

Design

Type 92 Osaka blueprint
The Type 92 seems to have been designed by Osaka Army Arsenal starting from a domestic 2.5 t truck chassis and with an armor scheme thicker similar to that of the Wolseley Armored Car. The turret was larger, housing a Type Taisho 3 6.5 mm (0.25 in)  machine gun with a front opening for extra traverse, and another one was mounted in the bow.

Specifications are diverging, depending on source. The Axis History Forum gives a weight of 6.4 t, 8-11 mm (0.31-0.43 in) armor, a 45 hp engine, which allowed it to reach 60 km/h (6.5 km/h in reverse) and a range of 240 km. What little can be seen from photos, which led to the blueprint and illustration shown here, shows that the concept was straightforward, with a front engine compartment, the hood being protected by a plate with an open lower part. The driver compartment followed, the driver being on the left hand side, while the bow gunner was at the right. Access was possible through a side door, and the fighting compartment followed behind. It is not known if there was a separation. The turret had full traverse, a sloped roof and probably a two-fold opening hatch for the commander, and its individual searchlight. Two others were posted above the driver compartment. Metal spoke wheels were associated with standard inflated tires and, according to the photos, it had a leaf spring suspensions.

In service

Production numbers are totally unknown. The only source advancing a number (500) is German Daggers, which is highly dubious, whereas Weapons of WWII states that only one prototype was built as a technology test vehicle. The more recent designation “Hokoku-Go Armoured Car” was probably a misinterpretation of characters seen on the vehicle during the 1932 Shanghai Incident (Hokoku-go was a donating organisation which supported IJN with money and military goods). Its fate remains unknown.

Links/sources

Weapons of WWII
Literature: Pejčoch, Ivo: Obrněná technika 3 (Armored machinery 10)
On Taki
Ares, 2010, Praha Tesárek, Bohuslav: Japonské tankové síly do roku 1945 (Japanese Armored Forces up to 1945), HPM No. 5 a 6/1997

Type 92 Osaka specifications

Dimensions 5×1.85 x2.85 m (16ft5x6ft1x9ft3 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 5.85 tons
Crew 4-5 (driver, commander, 2 gunners, loader)
Propulsion 4 cylinder gasoline, 35 hp, 6 hp/t
Suspension 2×4 leaf springs
Speed (road) 60 km/h, 7km/h reverse (37/4mph)
Armament 2x Type Taisho 3 6.5 mm (2.5 in) LMGs
Armor Unknown, presumably 8-11 mm (0.3-0.4 in)
Total production Unknown
Type 92 Osaka armored car
Camouflaged Type 92 Osaka/Hokoku-Go, Shanghaï, 1932
Rare photo of the Type 92 Osaka
Rare photo of a Type 92, with metal road wheels – Credits: Ikazuchisen.
Type 93 Sumida
Type 2 Ho-I
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