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"Japanese 70-mm Howitzer Ammunition" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on Japanese artillery ammunition was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 37, November 4, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Since publishing the account of the Japanese infantry battalion howitzer, type 92, Mod. 1932 (see Tactical and Technical Trends No. 34 p. 7) data have come in from the Aberdeen Proving Ground concerning the ammunition. The more significant points in the report follow.

a. General

This ammunition is semi-fixed, has a HE projectile with a point-detonating, instantaneous, percussion fuze, and a brass cartridge case which has one igniter charge with four zone charges. These charges are disks contained in what appears to be oil-cloth. The igniter disk wrapper is light blue in color and those of the other four zone charge disks are dark blue. The brass cartridge case contains a screwed-in percussion primer. This primer was found to be interchangeable in the Jap 37-mm, 70-mm and 75-mm field gun ammunition, and is possibly used in other Japanese artillery ammunition.

[Japanese 70-mm Howitzer HE Shell]

b. Details

The following characteristic data were obtained by examining one round of this ammunition.

Weight of complete round       9 lbs 8 oz
Weight of projectile 8 lbs 5 oz
Weight of detonator Not known
Weight of picric acid booster 1.54 oz
Weight of TNT bursting charge 1 lb 1 oz
Weight of propellant Not known
Weight of cartridge case w/primer 1 lb 3 oz
Overall length of complete round 14.36 in
Length of projectile w/fuze 11.47 in
Length of projectile w/o fuze 9.21 in
Length of cartridge case 3.94 in
Diameter of bourrelet* 2.744 in
Diameter of copper rotating band 2.803 in
Diameter of neck of cartridge case 2.806 in
Diameter of base of cartridge case 3.948 in
Diameter of base of percussion primer .628 in

c. Color and Marking

(1) Yellow band Stenciled around body of projectile approx. 2 in, above rotating band 3/8 in wide
(2)Main body of projectile painted black Projectile body above and below rotating band
(3)Other markings indecipherable Stenciled in white approx. 1 inch in height on side of projectile between rotating band and yellow band
(4)Yellow label A yellow label was pasted on cardboard disk used as a stopper for the powder charges in the cartridge case, marked in undecipherable Japanese characters.
(5) Stenciled on base of cartridge case were the characters shown on opposite side.**
(6) Stenciled on base of primer were the characters shown on opposite side; 1st line, undecipherable, 2nd line, August? 19?.

Comment: From the brief examination given this ammunition, nothing was found to be unusual or unique. The small amount of propellant would indicate the weapon has a very low muzzle velocity. According to W.D. Technical Manual 30-480, the maximum velocity is 850 f/s.

*Greatest diameter at head of shell.
**September 1940 with arsenal stamp.


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