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Type 97 Te-Ke file photo [7748]

Type 97 Te-Ke

Primary RoleTankette


ww2dbaseThe Type 97 Te-Ke tankettes were developed by Japanese firm Hino Motors in 1936, and the design was accepted in Nov 1937. Production began in 1938, and 557 units were produced between 1938 and 1940. The appearance of these tankettes were very similar to their Type 94 predecessors, though inside the exterior shells there were many areas of improvement; for one, the engines were positioned in the rear, thus allowing the drivers to be next to the commanders for better communications. The original design called for the usage of 37-millimeter Type 94 guns as the primary weapon, but due to shortages, most Type 97 Te-Ke tankettes were equipped with 7.7-millimeter Type 97 machine guns instead. They were deployed to China during the Second Sino-Japanese War theater of WW2, and where they proved to be very successful despite the thin armor, mainly because Chinese forces lacked adequate anti-tank weaponry. After the start of the Pacific War, they saw success in Malaya and the Philippine Islands. They remained in use by the Japanese Army in the China-Burma-India Theater through the end of the war. Very few of these tankettes were deployed against American forces on the Pacific Islands beyond the Philippine Islands.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2009


Type 97 Te-Ke
MachineryOne Ikega air-cooled 4-cylinder diesel engine rated at 48hp
Suspension2-wheel bogie
Armament1x37mm Type 94 gun or 1x7.7mm Type 97 machine gun
Armor4–16 mm
Length3.70 m
Width1.80 m
Height1.77 m
Weight4.7 t
Speed42 km/h
Range250 km


Type 97 Te-Ke tankette at the Hankou Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shekou, Hankou, Hubei Province, China, 1938Type 97 Te-Ke tankette in China, date unknown
See all 6 photographs of Type 97 Te-Ke Tankette

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Nov 2010 08:10:42 AM

This as a small light tank or tankette had
a crew of two.

The vehicle saw combat on all fronts the Japanese Army fought. Used in China in the
infantry support role, and other duties. The Type 97 Te-Ke was organized in units of 17 tanks.

Built by Hino Motors:
(I remember seeing Hino delivery trucks in the late 1950s and early 1960s working the streets of Los Angeles, Ca)
About 500 Te Ke's were built, powered by a
4-cylinder diesel engine of 65hp,and weighed 5.2 tons. Maximum speed was 26mph/42km/h, range was 155miles/250km.
Armament: 1x37mm gun w/97 rounds and 1x7.7mm
machine gun w/ 2800 rounds.

the vehicle had little armor protection for
the crew, and could be knocked out by
.50 Caliber Machine gun fire.

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Type 97 Te-Ke Tankette Photo Gallery
Type 97 Te-Ke tankette at the Hankou Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shekou, Hankou, Hubei Province, China, 1938Type 97 Te-Ke tankette in China, date unknown
See all 6 photographs of Type 97 Te-Ke Tankette

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