Japanese Type 92 105mm Field Gun (Guadalcanal)

In 1927, the Imperial Japanese Army purchased a 105mm field gun from the French company Schneider as a potential replacement for their rather underwhelming Type 14 105mm field gun. The Schneider design was quite good, and the Japanese put it into service in 1932 as the Type 92. It was manufactured in small numbers at the Osaka Arsenal until 1945, with only a few hundred made. Fundamentally, the Japanese realized that a 150mm howitzer had about the same size and weight as a 105mm gun like this one, and the larger howitzer was significantly more useful in the sort of combat the IJA found itself in.

This example (and a second one) currently resides in the Vilu Military Museum on Guadalcanal, having been salvaged off Mount Austen after the war. Thanks to War Historian Battlefield Expeditions for including me on their tour of Guadalcanal, where I was able to film this!


  1. I read and account of the Pacific theatre by a US Marine who wrote, ‘We were never bothered too much by Japanese artillery, but give them a mortar and they’ll put it in your back pocket’.

  2. “(…)Japanese put it into service in 1932 as the Type 92(…)”
    Designation imply that as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_imperial_year 2592 is Gregorian 1932, however http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/92-105.htm claims that it was
    Introduced Year : 1935
    Why is that?

    “(…)150mm howitzer had about the same size and weight as a 105mm gun like this one(…)”
    Indeed 150mm howitzer of similar vintage http://www3.plala.or.jp/takihome/96-150.htm
    was not very much heavier, however observe that its’ barrel was much shorter, so it should be easier to move when space was limited.

  3. The 105mm gun was supposed to be the “long range sniper” of the 105mm/150 pairing. Other examples are the US 4.5 inch gun/155 howitzer, 155mm gun/8 inch howitzer and 8 inch gun/240mm howitzer. Each of these three pairs used a common carriage with the major difference being the ordnance. The breech is also knon as the the “de Bange” type after its inventor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ragon_de_Bange
    Modern rtillery either uses the de Bange system or the Krupp Sliding wedge

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