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TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, October 1, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text and illustrations are taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual. As with all wartime manuals, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the contents of the original technical manual. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Chapter IX: Weapons

Section I: Introduction

1. In general, the development of Japanese weapons may be divided into periods, each of which follows a war.

2. The progenitors of current Japanese weapons, as well as some of the weapons still in use, were designed between 1905 and 1912. A few models were modified in 1914-1915. Developments of the First World War were noticeable in a group of weapons developed in 1921 and 1922. Then in 1925 began a great program of redesign which finally included all Japanese weapons of every description.

3. All categories of artillery were redesigned between 1925 and 1936. Infantry mortars were redesigned between 1929 and 1939, and automatic weapons, with many new weapons added, between 1932 and 1939.

4. Although no weapon designed in 1940 is known, a modern, efficient 47-mm gun was produced in 1941, and it is possible that the design of this weapon was influenced by the Nomonhan Incident when Japanese and Russian border forces fought for 24 days in 1939. It is believed that other new designs, especially anti-aircraft artillery, have made their appearance, but up to this writing these have not been encountered.

5. As a result of early Japanese successes in the present war, various United States, Dutch, and British weapons are found in use by the Japanese. In one or two cases the Japanese have copied captured weapons exactly. In others, they have manufactured ammunition to use in the captured artillery.

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