Japanese Infantry Weapons (World War II)

We usually stick to documents relating to a single specific weapon, but today we have an interesting report on a whole bunch of guns. Our friend Hrachya sent us a copy of a 1943 US War Department report on Japanese Infantry weapons. Instead of just discussing the usual rifles, pistols, and machine gun or two, this document is much more complete. It covers a whole range of grenades, land mines, mortars, AT and AA guns, and artillery pieces.

Japanese Type 98 AA gun (20mm)
Japanese Type 98 AA gun (20mm)

The illustration quality leaves something to be desired, but there is a lot of good information in this 257-page report for anyone interested in the standard armaments of the Japanese Army during World War II. You can download the manual below. Thanks, Hrachya!

Japanese Infantry Weapons (English, 1943)
Japanese Infantry Weapons (English, 1943)



  1. Thank you very much ! It’s a pleasure for me to provide material which is worthy enough to be posted in my favorite gunblog !
    I hope it will be useful for blog’s readers.

  2. This 20mm autocannon must have been a difficult weapon to combat if used in an infantry
    defense/support role. They were also popular with the German forces. Although America had autocannon, they were largely supplanted by the ubiquitous .50 Browning machine gun.
    The tactics deployed for such a weapon seem largely unknown. How did they supplement or replace machine gun fire? What type of ammo was used, i.e. high-explosive, armor piercing, shotgun style? Was the rate of fire sufficient to deter a mass charge? What was the range?
    The use of such weapons by the Axis forces is particularly interesting since these guns were not utilized in a broad infantry support role by the Allies to my knowledge. All of our autocannons seemed only to be destined for anti-aircraft responsibilities.
    If anyone knows the tactical use of this gun against American infantry, please do comment!

    • Hi Matt, came across this site just now.
      the gun your talking about here has maximum horizontal range 5,450 yds.
      maximum vertical range 12,000 ft. muzzle velocity 2,720 fps Does this help?

  3. have book issued by Australian army on Japanese equipment
    second edition 1943 have taken photos of the two pages
    on this gun can send to you

  4. We have that here in the Philippines, from the Japanese Occupation during the world war.
    I only saw one though and it’s still here, standing. Old and rusty. But can still be rotated

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