I thought I’d throw up some preliminary photos of my 20mm Japanese troops – these are the bulk of a Battalion for Crossfire, along with some extra supports and an assortment of guns and tanks to represent most typical Japanese forces throughout the Pacific and Burma campaigns. The figures are mostly Eureka & Warmodelling (Fantassin), with a handful of Sgt. Major’s Miniatures chaps, a few SHQ Officers & NCOs (and a pair of 8cm Mortar Teams), and a couple of Combat Miniatures Officers and a few Scouts/Snipers (plus the Mounted Command Group).
The force represents a Japanese Battalion of 3 Rifle & 1 MG Company, with Regimental Support coming from a pair of 7cm Infantry Guns, and a single 7.5cm Mountain Gun, from the Regimental Gun Companies (visible in the background spray painted in grey primer).
There are 4 x 2cm ATRs – these were rare and very few Regiments had them – each Battalion had 8 in theory if present, so I have just allowed for half of them. They were often assigned in Pairs with an MG section to each Rifle Company as a composite Weapons Platoon… Also present are a pair of Medium 8cm Medium Mortar Sections and a pair of Heavy Mortar Sections (that can be either 9cm or 15cm Type 97 Heavy Mortars) for those odd occasions when a major fort or such is present – the Japanese did not make a huge use of Medium & Heavy Mortars, and those they did tended to be heavy and cumbersome, so not suitable for man packing or easily transported like most western mortars and consequently were consigned to fixed fortifications and other static defences.
Finally we have an assortment of tanks in the back ground – a SHQ Type 94 Tankette/Tractor with Supply Trailer (a second one is in progress); 2 SHQ Type 95 Light Tanks (the most common Japanese Light Tank); 1 Fujimi Type 97 Chi-Ha with 57mm (which will be joined by another & 2 Airfix ones, and a Milicast Resin Shi-Ke Command version – only 1 of which ever saw active service, as a combat trials vehicle in Malaya & Burma); 2 Fujimi Shinhoto Chi-Ha with 47mm (the painted one is actually a hybrid with an Airfix hull & Fujimi turret); and lastly 2 Type 1 (i.e. Ho-Ni Type 1) 7.5cm SPGs – rare beasts but nevertheless ones that one unit of a couple of dozen saw service in the Philippines in 1944-45, and another single vehicle doing combat trials in Malaya against 14th Army – it was lost during the Imphal & Kohima battles. Also in the background is a Divisional level SHQ 4.7cm Anti-Tank Gun – a fairly good weapon but generally too little too late for the Japanese and only present in small numbers (which will be joined by a pair of the more common 3.7cm ATGs which were more typical fare when ATGs were encountered).
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