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The Vault

North China Type 19

North China Type 19

Many years prior to the attack on the US Navy that marks the beginning of World War II for the United States, the Empire of Japan had invaded China. This war of occupation was a massive effort on the part of Japan’s military, involving more than 2 million troops at its height. When the war [...]

Vintage Saturday: (not) SNLF

Some of the very few Japanese troops to be issued submachine guns.

Japanese SNLF marines Chinese troops with SIG M1920 submachine guns. The SIG M1920 was a licensed copy of the German MP18/I, and SIG sold them to Japan in 7.63mm Mauser caliber. They were used by the Special Naval Landing Forces, as well [...]

Book Review: China’s Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War

I picked up a copy of this book a couple years ago when Bin Shih first published it, but by the time I got around to doing a review it had sold out – so I didn’t bother. Well, a seconds printing run has been made, so it seems that now would be a good [...]

British and Japanese Ammo Docs

We have a couple more ammunition-related documents today, both in English this time (and courtesy of reader Robert). First up is the short one, a 21-page leaflet on Japanese ammunition markings. It was written just after the end of the war, for use by bomb disposal crews to be able to recognize all the various [...]

Japanese Type 1 HMG

I was recently contacted by a fellow looking for information on the Japanese Type 1 heavy machine gun – a replacement for the Type 92 whose name would suggest it was adopted in 1941, but which never seems to have been put into mass production. This fellow was able to track down the only known [...]

Japanese Type 26 Revolver (Video)

They Type 26 was an indigenous Japanese revolver introduced in 1893 (26th year of the Meiji era) to replace the Smith & Wesson No. 3 in Japanese military service. In many ways the Type 26 was akin to the other military revolvers of the day, like the Russian (and Belgian) Nagant, the French M1892, as [...]

Japanese Aerial Gunnery Camera

I got an email recently from a producer of a TV program who is looking for a vintage photo of a Japanese aerial gunnery training camera – specifically a Type 89 Rokuoh-Sha:

He wants something showing one in context – mounted on an aircraft, with some trainees or pilots, or that sort of thing. [...]

Book Review: The Siamese Mauser (Banzai Special Project #1)

The Banzai group of Japanese weapon collectors has been around for a long time – they began publishing their newsletter in 1982 (actually, that makes the newsletter older than I am, to some peoples’ chagrin). In 1987 they published the first of what would become many Special Projects – books on specific subjects related to [...]

Type 2 Paratrooper Arisaka at Nambu World

If you are looking for gun info today, you really deserve to have something more elaborate than what I am able to write while on the road visiting family. So, I will direct you to the very detailed and photo-laden page Teri at Nambu World has put together on the Japanese Type 2 paratrooper Arisaka [...]

Vintage Saturday: Arms of the Empire

It’s hard to know which way to face without the sergeant around.

Japanese troops with Murata rifles, 1900.