Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

Japanese Type 92 Battalion Howitzer

Volunteer Peter Shorten has just completed the restoration of one of the two Japanese Type 92 Battalion Howitzer's that are on display in the museum grounds. Our pictures show Peter working on the restoration and with the gun completed.

Its specifications are;

Weight (complete)  324kg
Traverse (total)……45 degrees
Elevation (total)...…80 degrees
Range (maximum)..5,000 meters
Breech mechanism. Interrupted-thread screw
Scale of issue……..4 per battalion.

The wheels are mounted on cranked arms, allowing the gun to be raised or lowered to suit role or position, the lower setting for direct fire from cover and the mid one (current) for direct or medium angle indirect fire. The high position was for high angle indirect fire – the maximum elevation allowing the gun to perform almost as a mortar.

The Museum holds two examples of the gun, both missing some parts, such as sighting equipment, shields and other small items. Both suffer some battle damage, sustained during the battle at Kohima, where both guns were taken by the Royal Berkshire Regt.

Over the past seventy years they have suffered some further deterioration, having been kept in the open air. They have also suffered periodic “redecoration” in incorrect colours and unsuitable paint. Three years ago, in 2008, Peter Shorten was persuaded to head-up a group of volunteers to undertake a full conservation of both guns. One was selected, at random, and dismantling was completed. Owing to “natural wastage”, the team was reduced to one.
Lacking workshop facilities at the Museum, the gun carriage components, less the barrel group, were taken home, where they displaced the lawn mowers etc while each component was stripped to bare metal, primed and undercoated. Small areas of original colour were found and a suitably close colour-matched paint was applied. The barrel group was stripped and painted on site, in the open, as weather allowed. The gun was finally reassembled early this summer and is now on display, suitably secured, at the front of the building.
The second gun is still awaiting attention. Click on the image to enlarge it.