Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha Embroidered Leather Wallet With Photos - 5 Items
Original Items: Only One Group of 5 Available. This is a lovely personal item which was carried by an Imperial Japanese soldier during WWII. It is unclear whether or not the cloth embroidery on the wallet was done during the war or post war as a keepsake is unclear. There is however signs that it has been on the wallet for quite some time and could in fact be a wartime period done piece. We have not been able to find any other example like this one, making for a wonderful research opportunity.
The wallet itself is in wonderful condition and features what appears to be a Japanese Type 97 “Chi-Ha” tank on one side and the Imperial Japanese Army Rising Sun crossed flags on the opposite with an applied small silver star in the middle of the poles. There is Kanji characters present on the tank side of the wallet but we have been unable to translate the writing. The wallet measures (closed) approximately 4 ½” x 3” and contains 4 small images of what appears to be the same Japanese soldier in each of them. The images show how proud he is to be serving his country, as you can tell by his body language and how he is standing.
A lovely example ready for further research and display.
Type 97 Chi-Ha & Chi-Ha Kai: The Type 97 Chi-Ha was Japan’s next Medium Tank and became the backbone of Japan’s armored force throughout World War II. The vehicle entered service in 1939-40. Initially, the tanks were armed with a low-velocity Type 97 57mm Tank Gun. While a good infantry support weapon, this low-velocity short-barreled howitzer-like gun was inadequate when it came to dealing with armored target. A need was highlighted for greater anti-armor firepower. The answer to this was the Chi-Ha Shinhoto (“new turret”) also known as the Chi-Ha Kai (“improved”). Simply, this was an upgrade that replaced the standard turret with a larger one, armed with a new Type 1 47 mm gun. Despite greater firepower against vehicles such as the Soviet BT-5 or American M3/5 Stuart, it was still no match for a Sherman unless they closed to suicidally short distance and engaged the M4 from the side. Around 1,162 Chi-Has were built, plus 930 Shinhoto/Kai upgrades. The Chi-Ha served as the base vehicle for many other vehicles, such as the Ho-Ni series of SPGs. The Chi-Ha’s planned replacement was the Type 1 Chi-He, but only a very small number of these were built and they never saw service.
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