Type 4 Ho-To

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Type 4 Ho-To, Tank Destroyer, Japan, Rank 2

The Experimental Type 4 12cm Self-Propelled Gun “Hoto” (試製四式十二糎自走砲 ホト) was a self-propelled gun developed by the Imperial Japanese Army towards the end of World War II.

Development began in the 19th year of Showa (1944), and it was purportedly completed in May of the 20th year of Showa (1945). Its exterior resembled that of the Type 4 15cm Self-Propelled Gun Ho-Ro. It involved removing the turret and front half of the chassis from the Type 95 Light Tank and modifying it to accommodate the Type 38 12cm Howitzer. The fundamental structure of the gun remained unchanged, with the carriage and above being directly installed. Additionally, the gun was surrounded by armored plates, creating an open-top fixed fighting compartment at the top and rear. Inside the vehicle, storage boxes for the projectile heads and cartridge cases were added. Only one prototype was completed.

Results from functional tests indicated that it could withstand the shock of firing and operated well, showing no practical issues. It was intended for anti-tank combat using specially designed shells, aiming to modernize outdated artillery for combat.


An assault vehicle type equipped with a Type 38 12cm howitzer in a fixed frontal fighting compartment, using the chassis of the Type 95 light tank, and intended to emulate the Type 4 15cm self-propelled gun “Holo.”

Equipping the 12cm howitzer into the cramped frontal fighting compartment posed significant challenges not only during combat operations but also in terms of ammunition storage capacity.

The fighting compartment had a polygonal flat shape with one side open at the rear, and apart from small sections on either side, it was open-topped. This experimental vehicle was prototyped in the early Showa 20s (1945).

The sole documented images of the Type 4 Ho-To.

120 mm Howitzer Type 38 (1905)

The 12 cm Howitzer Type 38 is another obsolete Japanese field piece. It was encountered for the first
time on Iwo Jima and may be used again as an emergency or substitute weapon. It is characterized by a very short barrel, box trail, and large wooden wheels. It has an interrupted thread type breech block and hydrospring recoil mechanism. No shield is used withthis weapon.
Elevating and traversing hand wheels, and panoramic sight are at the left of the breech. The firing mechanism is a lanyard actuated percussion type. Armor piercing high explosive and shrapnel shells have been recovered. Both projectiles have the usual color markings and are similar in appearance to 75 mm APHE and shrapnel shells. The APHE shell weighs 44 pounds; the shrapnel shell contains 300 lead balls.

Beside HE and APHE shells, this gun also could use HEAT munition.

With the assistance of @tester188, we’ve obtained additional data regarding this specific HEAT ammunition, as follows:

  • Shell weight: 13.030 kg
  • Explosive type: TNT + RDX
  • Explosive mass: 2.420 kg
  • Penetration: 140 mm
  • Shell velocity: 340 m/s

Not much is known about HE and APHE shells.

Source: 研究事項ニ関スル綴〔内容明細裏面〕 (Page 144).

1:35 scale model.

Vehicle specifications:

  • Hull Armor: 12/12/10
  • Crew: Unknown, 3-4 people
  • Engine: Mitsubishi A6120VDe 4-stroke inline 6-cylinder air-cooled diesel 120hp
  • Max Forward Speed: 48 KM/H
  • Max Reverse Speed: 5.2 KM/H
  • Main Armament: Type 38 120mm howitzer
    [Some stats are based on the already existing Ha-Go in the game]

Type 38 12cm howitzer specifications (Towed howitzer)

  • Caliber: 120 mm
  • Length (traveling position): 4.90 meters
  • Weight (traveling position): 2165 kilograms
  • Length of bore: 1.32 meters (11 calibers)
  • Width: 1.47 meters
  • Height: 1.80 meters
  • Elevation: 43 degrees
  • Depression: 5 degrees
  • Traverse: 2 degrees left and right
  • Recoil system: Hydro-spring
  • Breech block: Interrupted thread
  • Sight: Panoramic
  • Ammunition: APHE, HE, HEAT, Shrapnel

Scale model

3D renderings

type4 howitzer-01
type4 howitzer-02




試製四式十二糎自走砲 - Wikipedia
三八式十二糎榴弾砲 - Wikipedia
IJA Type 4 Ho-To — Каропка.ру — стендовые модели, военная миниатюра
Tank & Howitzer



The Ho-Chi and Ho-Ru would be amazing, if we can find more photos of them


+1 - Tanks Encyclopedia article: https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/type-5-ho-to/


Looks like a fun low-tier TD. +1

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That’s a tonne of research, nice job! Looks like a very capable vehicle.

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Thanks, i think 140mm of penetration will be very powerful for a small tank as this.

Great suggestion +1


Update: Added all important data about the 12cm HEAT shell !


From https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/斉藤-浩/dp/B00JNNDYJY