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Type 95 Ha-Go
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"Ahiru-dono!"
―Fukuda

The Type 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 kyūgo-shiki kei-sensha Ha-Gō) also known as Ke-Go was a Japanese light tank of World War II. It is the most numerous Japanese armored fighting vehicle of the conflict and saw extensive service before and during the war, especially in the Pacific.

History

Development

As the Type 89B medium tank was unable to keep pace with the infantry, the Imperial Japanese Army wished for a tank capable of reaching 40 km/h, and development for such a design began in 1933. A prototype was completed by 1934, and after a series of successful tests it was accepted as the Type 95 Ha-Go.

The Ha-Go had a crew of three and was armed with a 37 mm gun in the turret, its suspensions were simple, but caused the tank to give its crew a rough ride. Protection was minimal with a maximum thickness of only 12 mm and the power was given by a 120 HP diesel engine pushing the tank to the top speed of 45 km/h. Some 2300 tanks were built from 1936 to 1943.

Several tanks and vehicles were build on the basis of the Ha-Go light tank including the Type 3 Ke-Ri & Type 4 Ke-Nu light tanks, Type 2 Ka-Mi amphibious tanks, the Type 4 Ho-To SPG, and the Type 5 Ho-Ru tank destroyer

Operational History

The Ha-Go was a good light tank and served well during the Second Sino-Japanese War against the poorly armored Chinese tanks (such as Vickers export tanks, Panzer I or CV.33 tankettes) but like its future counterpart, the M3 Stuart, it was not designed for tank-vs-tank fighting. During the battles of Khalkhin Gol in 1939, the Ha-Go 37mm main gun was outranged by Russian BT tanks 45mm gun, some were destroyed or captured by the Russians. The Ha-Go show some of its qualities during the Malayan Campaign in 1941-42, due to reputed uncrossable jungle British didn't deployed many tanks in the area, but the jungle didn't prove to be an obstacle for the tank.

The Ha-Go make its first armored contact with the Allies' tanks during the retreat of Bataan in December 1941 against the M3 Stuart. While having the same gun, the Stuart was better armored than it Japanese counterpart. During their first engagement Ha-Gos destroyed four M3 Stuarts. While it performed well during the first part of the war, the Type 95 first show its limits against British Matildas unable to pierce its armor. The Ha-Go's limited firepower was also insufficient to take on the newest US tanks, such as allied M3 Lee or M4 Sherman or the M5 Stuart (the upgraded version of the M3 Stuart). But being outclassed doesn't prevent the Type 95 to serve in various mid and late-war campaigns such as Guadalcanal in 1942, Tarawa in 1943, the Burma Campaign in 1944 or lastly in the Soviet-Japanese War in 1945 where, during the Battle of Shumshu, they were slayed by Russian anti-tank guns while attempting to attack the Soviet beachhead.

In 1944, approximately 100 Ha-Gos were retrofitted with Type 97 Chi-Ha turrets with low-velocity 57mm gun due to the surplus of old Chi-Ha cause of their reconversion with new high-velocity 47mm guns. These tanks were called Type 4 Ke-Nu but most of them were kept in the Japanese home islands and some others saw combat other than a brief service against the Soviets in Manchuria.

Hundreds of Ha-Gos that were abandonned in China when the War ends, were used during the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War.

Some leftover Ha-Gos were used by the French military during the early stages of the First Indochina War.

In Girls Und Panzer

Girls Und Panzer: Der Film

During the compound match between Ooarai/Chi-Ha-Tan against St. Gloriana/Pravda, Chi-Ha-Tan fielded one Type 95 Ha-Go commanded by Fukuda. The Ha-Go was part of the detachment composed of the Tiger(P), the B1 Bis and one Shinhoto meant to prevent Pravda to make junction with St. Gloriana. After Ooarai compound team retreats to OY line the Ha-Go tried to charge Pravda tanks after Nishi's suicide charge. The tank was forced to retreat after Pravda breaking the OY line, it teams up with Duck Team's Type 89 and was persued by Rukuriri's Matilda. They finally lure the Matilda in a car park where the Ha-Go finally destroyed it.

During the match against All-Stars University, Chi-Ha-Tan backed-up to Ooarai one Ha-Go, again commanded by Fukuda, alongside Type 97 Chi-Ha and Shinhotos. The Ha-Go was assigned to Morning Glory Company under the command of Kay and Nishi. After surviving the firefight against Rumi's platoon in the forest, it retreat to the theme park. In there the Ha-Go, with the remaining Chi-Has, harassed Pershings and was ultimately destroyed alongside Duck Team and all Chi-Has charging Alice's Centurion.

Warning: The following information may not be inside Girls und Panzer's main core. It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.

Ribbon Warrior

During a Tankathlon match against Bonple High School, Tategoto High School fielded an unknown number of Type 95 Ha-Go. Due to their inexperience their tanks are crushed by Jajka's 7TPs.

During another Tankathlon match against Anzio High School, teamed-up with Centipede Team Tategoto fielded ten Ha-Gos alongside the Te-Ke. During the match one Ha-Go shot down one CV.33, then two Ha-Gos are destroyed by Pepperoni's drifting CV.33. While Shizuka acted as a distraction Aung-san's Ha-Go (the flag tank) and three others tank rushed Anzio's flag tank position but fell into a trap and are annihilated by a CV.33 equipped with a Solothurn S18/100 20mm AT gun.

Tategoto face again Bonple High School in a training match this time during which they fielded an unknown number of Type 95. The match ended by the defeat of all Ha-Gos but this time not without taking out some Bonple 7TPs.

During the Cauldron tournament in the third match of the first round against Nibelungen Team (commanded by Maho), Tategoto High School fielded five Type 95. Despite their initiative to locate the Panzer II by sending their machine-gunners as foward observers, all Ha-Gos were destroyed without firing a single shot. The tank will be part of the Nibelungen Team for the next rounds.

Then during the Cauldron tournament in the fifth match of the first round against Maple High School, Chi-Ha-Tan Academy fielded five tanks, four for the team and one for their Yojimbos (Mika, Aki & Mikko). During a firefight in the city against Oleo and Amber, one Ha-Go commanded by Fukuda broke formation and prevent a pincer movement, performed by Trout and another Mark VI by traveling with a fisherman boat to Chi-Ha-Tan's rear, by destroying their tanks. The remaining Maple tanks were destroyed by Kinuyo, Hosomi and Tamada. After that one of their Ha-Go suddenly disappear with Mika.

During the Cauldron tournament second round Yellow Team fielded four Ha-Gos (commanded by Kinuyo, Fukuda, Hosomi and Tamada). At the beginning of the match, Team Yellow attacked Blue Team, but Chi-Ha-Tan couldn't help but charging breaking the formation and the four tanks were all destroyed by Maho, but luckily for them their tank were rescued and towed to the neutral zone for repair. The Ha-Gos were fixed at sunset, were brought back to fight when Pink Team attacked Yellow Team. During the night while resting in a mall parking lot, Kinuyo's tank was destroyed by ONI Team's single-gunned Type 94. Fukuda's tank took part of the Anti-ONI task force where it was surely destroyed. During the last stage of the battle Kinuyo's tank was repaired and brought back to fight against Pink Team while another one was abandonned due to its crews fainted from dehydratation.

On their side Blue Team fielded between four and five Ha-Gos (one commanded by Aung). At the beginning of the match they launched an attack against Green Team until their back were stormed by Red and Yellow Team, forcing them to retreat, probably losing one or two Ha-Gos, where they finished getting sieged by Green and Red Team until they manage to escape the siege thanks to Duck Team's deception. During the night after the rough introduction of ONI Team, Tategoto's tank and Schwarzwald's Panzer II stalled the two furies while Maho lead the retreat. The remainings Ha-Go stood in retreat during the rest of the match.

Centipede Alliance fielded one Ha-Go from Tategoto High School commanded by Aung as flag tank during a challenge Sensha-dō match against Bonple High School for the rights to fight Miho in a official match. During the match, the Ha-Go's main task was to act as a bait, the first trap was on a bridge where Bonple lost two tanks, the second time was in the city where Bonple was ambushed and lost three tanks (Pierogi's tank being destroy by Aung) and finally it shot down a 7TP to lure Uszka and Maiko to the R35 and LT vz.38 where they were destroyed. In the end when all her allies were destroyed and Jajka's tank badly damaged, she finally finished the agonized tank winning the match.

Non-GuP core informations ends here.


Gekkan Senshado Magazine

Chi-Ha-Tan Academy fielded one Type 95 Ha-Go during the tournament first round match against Kuromorimine Girls Academy. Its role during the battle is unknown but it was likely destroyed during the CHARGE !!!.

Yogurt Academy owns an unknown numbers of Ha-Go that have been converted to agricultural vehicles. If needed they can also convert the tanks back into fighting vehicle.

Das Finale

Chi-Ha-Tan Academy fielded one Type 95 Ha-Go during the Winter Continuous Track Cup first round match against Koala Forest High School. It was seen charging Koala's Sentinels and probably flanking them but it is unknown if it participated at the destruction of the flag tank.

Chi-Ha-Tan again fielded their Ha-Go commanded by Fukuda during the Winter Continuous Track Cup quarter-finals match against Ooarai Girls Academy. During the first part of the match, the Ha-Go participate at the harassement of Ooarai's forces until nightfall where they took Ooarai by surprise at the lake. The Ha-Go nearly always stood alongside the flag tank acting as escort and shield, it took part at Ooarai's pursuit until it fall into their opponent's trap and fall into a mud pit, surrounded it was forced to retreat alongside the others. <to be continued>

Gallery

Main article: Type 95 Ha-Go/Gallery
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