Armored Engineer Vehicle "SS"

Introduced Year : 1931
Weight : 13 ton
Dimensions: 4.865 x 2.52 x 2.088(h) m
Armor (max) : 25 mm
Speed (max) : 37 km/hr
Engine : Diesel Engine 145 HP/1800 rpm
Armaments : 3 or 5 Flamethrowers, Light Machine Gun x 1
Crew : 5
Production Qty : 119


SS had following nine functions; (1)destruction of pillbox, (2) digging trench, (3)mine sweep, (4)destruction of wire entanglements, (5)disinfection, (6)scattering poison, (7)flamethrow, (8)crane, (9)smoke discharge, and a bridgelaying function was added later. On the upper photo, two stick-like projections in front of the vehicle and in the side of vehicle are flamethrowers. The wheels on the top of the hull are the device for loading a bridge.

At first, SS was developed in order to destroy the Soviet pillbox in the border of Manchuria. However, during its development, many functions were added by the request of users. SS could achieved many functions by replacing the devices. Though SS had a lot of functions, most of them were insufficent and the really useful one was a bridgelayer only.

First four SS were deployed in the 1st Independant Mixed Brigade and they executed the flamethrow in the battle near Peking on July 28th, 1937. It was the first time that SS saw the action. After that, SS was deployed in the special engineer regiment for SS, which was established for the service of the destruction of the Soviet pillbox.

When the tank divisions were established, the engineer regiment for SS was taken over to the tank divisions. In tank divisions, SS was mainly used as a bridgelayer. When the 2nd Tank Division went to the Philippines in the last WWII, some SS were also sent there. The action of SS in the Philippines is not known, but eight SS were captured by Americans.

In SS, there were five versions, Ko, Otsu, Hei, Tei and Bo. Above photo is the Bo version.

Version Name

Inroduced

Q'ty

Bridge

Crane

Mine Rake

Flamethrower

Tank of Flamethrower

Ko

1931

13

folded

One

nil

3

exterior tanks

Otsu

1937

8

idem

nil

twin arm

3

idem

Hei

1937

1

idem

nil

idem

3

idem

Tei

1939

20

idem

nil

single arm

3

idem

Bo

1940

77

catapulted

nil

idem

5

internal tanks

See Drawing (Bo version)