If there’s a place that could come up with otherworldly, out-of-the-box, never-done-before ideas, it would be no other than Japan. It was also showcased during World War II with the impressive naval capabilities it needed in order to efficiently fight off the scattered islands of the Pacific Theater of war. Although their tanks were not superior compared to those of the Allied forces, their innovativeness made it possible to bridge their tanks and naval capabilities through their amphibious tanks, which were no doubt impressive and the best of their kind.
Japan’s Amphibious Tanks
What could be better than an armored vehicle that could easily roll to the shore during an invasion in an island-y place? Virtually nothing! That’s why Japan started to work on the idea in the late 1920s and continued until World War II broke out. They started by creating a few experimental vehicles beginning from those that were 4 to 8 tons, like the SR I-Go, SR II Ro-Go, and SR III Ha-Go, and the Sumida Amphibious Armored Car prototypes.
When World War II broke out, Japan wanted to bring amphibious tanks with them on their upcoming Pacific campaign as they thought they would greatly help them break defenses in the remote areas. In the 1940s, they assigned the task of developing these vehicles to the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Using their knowledge and experience from the SR series of vehicles for their amphibious tank, they built their first amphibious tank using the chassis of Type 95 Ha-Go light tank. The Type 1 Mi-Sha, as it would be known, led directly into the Type 2 Ka-Mi. Both of them were based on the Type 95 Ha-Go. In 1942, Type 2 entered production with just over 180 of these tanks built until its production ended in 1943.