The Imperial Japanese Army called these tanks Type 97 light armoured cars (Kyuyon-shiki keisokosha). They were also known as Tokushu Keninsha which means 'special tractor'. This was abbreviated to TK or Te-Ke.
This WW2 Japanese Type 97 Te-Ke Light Tank can be found at at Kubinka tank Museum in Russia
Take the train from Moscow's Belorusskaya Railway Station, in the north west of the city, to Kubinka. It is about an hours train journey. It is a direct service, no need to change, and the the tickets are cheap. Make sure you print off a list of station names so you can check off where you are and get ready to get off the train at Kubinka. The station names are not always easy to read or see.
Although this military town has been active for over 80 years it has a rundown look to it. You can walk to the museum but there is the equivalent of a motorway crossing your route. There are no pedestrian crossings over it. There are a number of taxi stands near the station. They are very cheap and honest. I tried to give the driver a big tip but he refused. Ask for his card so you can ask the Museum gate staff to call his company when you are finished at the Museum to get back to the railway station.
The Type 97 Te-Ke light Tank had a very low profile when compared to other Japanese tanks.
The Type 97 Te-Ke light Tank was designed in 1936-37. Around 616 were built. They weighed 4.7 tonnes and had a two man crew: commander/gunner and driver. Its armour thickness ranged between 4mm to 16 mm. It was armed with a 37 mm Type 94 gun but no machine gun.
The Type 97 Te-Ke was powered by an Ikegai air-cooled inline 4-cylinder diesel engine that produced 48 hp. It had a top road speed of 42 km/h (26 mph) and an operational range of 250 km (155 miles)
The Type 97 Te-Ke Light Tank was armed with a 37 mm Type 94 gun
Where can I find other preserved Type 97 Te-Ke Tanks?
- Dutch Army Museum, Delft, Holland, Netherlands
- Tank Museum in Kubinka, Russia
- The National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning, GA, USA
- Ross Rockstad Collection, USA
- Royal Australian Armoured Corps Tank Museum Puckapunyal, VIC, Australia
- Kokopo War Museum, Kokopo, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
- Adams Brothers Corporation Collection, Kolonia Pohnpei Island, Micronesia
- Source - Pierre-Oliver Buan - http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Panzers.html