Monday, February 22, 2010

Armored Engineering Vehicle

Soukou Sagyou Ki was Japan's first Engineering vehicle. Developed in 1935, it was based on the Type 89 Medium Tank. The vehicle was designed to perform the following tasks:
  1. Blasting tochca (pillbox) with 300kg demolition
  2. Excavating trench
  3. Disinfecting gas attack
  4. Flame throwing
  5. Breaking through obstacle
  6. Scattering poison gas
  7. Removing mines with mine plow
  8. Throwing up smoke screen
  9. Crane
  10. Bridge layer
The "Manchurian Incident" showed that the vehicle was too small to perform all these tasks perfectly. The vehicle was redesigned and the tasks required of it were decreased. The last type was called the "SS SS-Ki Bo Gata" and could only do tasks 1, 4, 7, and 10 listed above. When Pacific War with the U.S. began, SS-Ki was sent to south front, as a bridge layer. In the battle of Philippines, 1945, the US captured 8 SS-Ki, without bridges. So US forces mistakenly classified SS-Ki as flame throwing tank. SS-Ki's detailed military service is unknown. 119 Produced (total of all types, Kou, Otsu, Hei, Tei, Bo).

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