Japanese 47mm Type-1 Anti tank gun
Japanese WW2 47mm Type 1 Anti-Tank Gun
The Japanese 47mm Type 1 (Model-1941) Anti-Tank Gun was produced by Osaka Army Arsenal. It was the largest purpose built anti-tank gun in Japanese service in WW2. It has a layout almost identical to the German 3,7cm PAK 36, which was also in service with Japan. Its breech is semi-auto and although very similar to the PAK is not as complicated. The elevation and traverse are not only laid out similarly but work much the same way as the PAK. The piece has a spilt trail, typical of all anti-tanks guns of the era. The 47mm has the same type suspension system as the PAK. This suspension will also lower and lock in place, just as with the PAK 36. The shield is very basic. It is completely flat with no curvature around the crewmen. The tires are virtually solid rubber (eight ply with no air valve) and produced by the Yokohama Rubber Company. The same “Y” inside a diamond symbol, used today by this company, is prominently cast into the tire. The piece is fairly easy to move around with just a few men. It is well balanced, in that it is easy to pick up at the towing eye. Maintenance on the breech and other moving parts is reasonably easy. The sight is a direct fire scope fitted on a sight mount and range drum. Considering the presence of a range drum, apparently indirect fire was also possible with this 47mm Type 1. The piece has a hydro-spring recoil. Ammunition for the 47mm is both Armor Piercing and High Explosive.
The Japanese 47mm Type 1 was in wide use throughout South East Asia and specifically known to be a part of the Japanese Defenses at Guadalcanal.
Weight 1660 lbs
Elevation 19 degrees
Traverse 60 degrees
Muzzle Velocity (HE) 2735 ft/sec
Muzzle Velocity (AP) 824m/s (2710 ft/sec)
(Data from US Army publication “Tactical and Technical Trends” and WW2 Fact Files “Anti-Tank Weapons by Chamberlin & Gander)
The Japanese 47mm Type 1 in the Lovett Collection is painted dark greenish tan or kaki typical of Japanese equipment of the WW2 Era. The piece is in very good restored condition with approximately one year of effort put into its “ground up” restoration. We have original shell cases and newly made blank fire shell cases made for service with this piece. Ralph Lovett finished the work on the gun just before going off to college in 1986. The only other known piece of this type, registered and operating in the US, is owned by our good friend LTC Adrian Winget
Pictured below is a breech view of the 47mm on VJ Day 1995 at Navy Logistics School, Athens, GA. Ralph Lovett is pictured in a War World II U.S. Infantry uniform with the gun
15cm. s.F.H. “93, 3 inch Ordnance Piece, US 57mm, Japanese 47mm, French 25mm, and last the Woodruff Gun on display for Dr. Charles Thomas’ Georgia Southern University History Class. Ralph Lovett, Jeff Reed, Leon Lovett and Nick Sturgis were in uniform for the event
All images, research, and text are sole property of Ralph Lovett.