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Here you can find the latest news and information and browse the extensive archives of this long running project.

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Japanese Amphibious Tanks,

You thought I was done with Japanese tanks!? Well think again because there are plenty more to come :p Japan was the only country during the war to operationally use mass produced tanks that were specifically designed to be amphibious. These tanks are now buildable in D-day, allowing Japan strike swiftly on both land and sea.

To see more information, diagrams and photos of these units click on the images to go to their Wiki pages.

SR I-Go
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The SR I-Go was the Imperial Japanese Army's second Amphibious tank design, the prototype was finished in 1934. It was a large box shaped vehicle separated into several watertight sections, this gave it the ability to stay afloat even if the hull had been penetrated in one or more places. Testing showed it was quite buoyant but it's 70hp engine was only able to propel it to a max speed of 9km/h after a long period of acceleration. The steering in water was also unreliable in anything other then calm waters. Because of these reasons development was stopped an work moved on to a new design.


SR Ro-Go
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Following the failure of the SR I-Go work quickly moved onto a completely new design. It was a smaller more compact vehicle using a new Horstmann type suspension system, a boat shaped bow was used to increase acceleration and two propellers with rudders were used greatly increasing performance in water. A small amount were built in 1935 and sent to China, one of them was later captured in Manchuria by Soviet troops.

Type 2 Ka-Mi
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The Type 2 Ka-Mi was he Imperial Japanese Navy's first amphibious tank. Based on the Imperial Japanese Army's Type 95 Ha-Go, it was heavily modified with a completely new welded hull with rubber seals making it watertight. Large hollow pontoons were attached to the front and rear to make it buoyant, the pontoons could be quickly detached by the crew from within the tank once it had reached land, sometimes they were kept attached to add an additional layer of armour but this reduced maneuverability. Production of the Ka-Mi started in 1942 after Japans initial amphibious attacks in the pacific. Soon after Japan was forced onto the defensive so the Ka-Mi was never used in it's original role, instead they were mainly used to support isolated garrison on small islands, often being dug into the ground and used as pillboxes.

Type 3 Ka-Chi
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With the success of the Type 2 Ka-Mi the Imperial Japanese Navy started work on designing a larger vehicle with stronger armor and armament. To speed up development many parts from the new Type 1 Chi-He were used. Type 3 Ka-Chi entered service in late 1943 but by 1944 Japan was on the defensive and there were no planes for future amphibious assaults so production of the Ka-Chi was a very low priority, only 19 were built by the end of the war in 1945.

Type 4 Ka-Tsu
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Experiences during the beginning of the war showed that landing craft were quite vulnerable to attack and were not suited to resupplying Japanese garrisons on smaller island that were cut off from supply. So in 1943 work started on an armored amphibious cargo tractor that could be transported by submarine to the besieged islands. The prototype was ready by the end of 1943 and was tested until March 1944. Soon after plans were made to use the Ka-Tsu to attack Allied ships anchored in atolls that were protected by the outer reefs. The Ka-Tsu however could simply drive over the reef and then back into the water on the other side to attack the now vulnerable ships. Several vehicles were modified and successfully tested but the war ended before the plan could be carried out.

Type 5 To-Ku
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A further development of the Type 3 Ka-Chi, the To-Ku used an improved sloped armour layout to increase protection. The 47mm Type 1 cannon was moved from the turret to the hull and replaced with a 25mm Type 95 gun. The front pontoon was lowered so the 47mm cannon & the bow machine gun could be used while it was in water. Some sources state that a single prototype was completed before the war but no photographic evidence has been found.

I'm going to take a break from units for awhile and work on some new terrain and maps next, so look out for that in a week or two.

Posted August 15, 2014 by Mig Eater

American Bulldogs.,

This news post looks at the American Post-War family of vehicles based on the M41 chassis. The M41 Bulldog and M42 Duster have actually been in D-day for sometime, however their voxels were very inaccurate and in desperate need of replacing. As I was redoing them I thought I'd also make several other units based on the M41 too (including some non-American variants that I'll post at a later time :p ).

If you want to see more information and pictures on any of these units click on the images to go to their D-day wiki pages.

M41 Walker Bulldog
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Designed to replace the M24 Chaffee development started in 1947 on the T37, which used a new experimental rangefinder and British fire control system. While advantageous this experimental system was deemed too complex and in need of further development. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 the need for a new tank to replace the M24 Chaffee was even greater as it was struggling to defend against the enemy T-34/85 tanks. So work quickly moved onto the T41E1 which used a new rounder turret and simplified rangefinder, it was rushed into production in 1951 as the M41 Little Bulldog. It was soon renamed the Walker Bulldog after US Army General Walton Walker who died in a traffic accident in 1950 while in Korea.

M41A1 Walker Bulldog
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The M41 Walker Bulldog was rushed into production in 1951 to fight in the Korean War, some had even arrived in Korea before official testing had finished and the design standardised. Because of this the design suffered from several flaws, the M41A1 was put into production in 1954 in hopes to fix these issues. The original electrical turret traverse system was deemed to slow and so it was replaced in the M41A1 with a new hydraulic system which not only increased the turret's rate of turn but was also more compact and allowed more rounds to be stored in the turret. Another problem was that debris could get stuck between the tracks and fenders and cause the tracks to be thrown off the wheels and damage the tank. To fix this the side skirts were removed, track defectors were added under the fenders and the fenders were also rounded off on the ends. Over 2,300 M41A1 Walker Bulldog's were built and used until 1969 when it was replaced by the M551 Sheridan. Many were then sold to other countries where they were further upgraded with bigger guns and more powerful engines, some of these tanks are still in service today.

M42 Duster
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The M42 Duster was designed in 1952 to replace the M19. The twin 40mm Bofors guns used on the M19 were still an effective anti-aircraft weapon system though, so the M41 was simply modified to use the turret from the M19. In 1963 the M42 was removed from front line duty and replaced with the medium range HAWK missile system. However in the 1966 the US Army in Vietnam lacked any close anti-air defense and so the M42 was recalled back into service, the North Vietnamese air force however never became a threat. The M42 was instead used to great success as a ground support vehicle, its 40mm guns being able to deal heavy damage to unarmoured targets.

M44
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Built to replace the M41 in 1953, the M44 was based on a reversed M41 chassis with the engine at the front and the fighting compartment at the back. It used the same 155mm howitzer as the M41 but instead of being in the open it was now placed within an armoured crew compartment.

M52
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Development of the M52 started in 1951 along with the M44. Both used the same chassis, which was modified from the M41. Unlike the M44 the M52 used a fully inclosed turret equipped with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system so it could be used on a contaminated battlefield. Development dragged on for several years an went thorough several prototypes. One of which put the ventilation system next to the engine exhaust, which resulted in dangerous level of carbon monoxide being vented into the turret! By 1955 all the problems were worked out and the the M52 was put into production. Over 680 were built and many were later sold to other countries who still use them today.

Posted June 13, 2014 by Mig Eater

D-day wiki, 12th Anniversary.,

It's June 6th, D-day!

This year marks the 70th anniversary of operation Overlord the Allied landings in Normandy. As I write this there are events happening all around the world to commemorate this world changing battle. Celebrations starting early this morning at Pegasus Bridge where the first allied troops silently landed in gliders and captured the vital bridge in minutes. Later in the morning British paratroopers dropped from the skies, among them was an 89 year old veteran who jumped into battle for the first time 70 years ago. Not to be out done the Royal Marines reenacted the amphibious landings with a flotilla of ships sailing from Portsmouth to Arromanches. With them was also several veterans, one of which celebrates his 100 birthday next month.
       
Of course today is also the 12th year that the D-day mod for Red Alert 2 has been in development and the 2nd year since its public release. Unfortunately unlike the previous years I don't have a new version of D-day ready for release. Instead to commemorate this anniversary I have created a wiki for D-day's vast collection of units.
 

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The D-day Wiki currently has over 650 articles with 1,500 images. It's been quite a mammoth task to put it all together over the past few months, however I'm still far from finished. I'll be continuing to update it with background histories on each of the units along with photos and diagrams of the real vehicles. I hope you will enjoy looking though the wiki as much as I have making it.

Posted June 6, 2014 by Mig Eater

Japanese ground attack and bomber aircraft.,
This is part nine of the Japanese units showing their ground attack and bomber aircraft.

Mitsubishi Ki-51
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In 1937 the Japanese Army issued a request for a new ground attack aircraft that could perform dive and level bombing, light transport and reconnaissance missions. To meet this long list of requirements Mitsubishi further developed their Ki-30 light bomber, designing a lighter more compact and maneuverable version. In 1939 two prototypes were completed, one designed to perform bombing missions and the other fitted with reconnaissance cameras. Testing showed that the bomber version could easily be modified to also carry the reconnaissance equipment and the two designs were merged and put into production. The Ki-51 proved successful during fighting in China,were it showed its strength from being able to operate from rough temporary jungle airfields that other aircraft were to fragile to use. However when it faced the Americans over the Pacific its slow speed left it extremely vulnerable and it had to rely on its maneuverability during combat.

The Ki-51 is available in the Pre/Early-War time frame.

Mansyu Ki-98
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In 1942 the Japanese Army requested a new ground attack plane to replace the Ki-51, Mansyū submitted their Ki-98 design which used an unconventional twin boom and pusher propeller configuration. Work on the prototype started in 1943 but material shortages and bombing raids meant that work progressed slowly. In 1944 the Japanese Army then asked Mansyū to modify the design into a high altitude fighter, this required fitting a different engine and delayed things even further. By mid 1945 the prototype was nearing completion but soon after the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria were the Mansyū factory was located. To stop the plane from falling into enemy hands the prototype and nearly all documents were then destroyed.

The Ki-98 is available in the Post-War time frame.

Kawasaki Ki-48 Sokei
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The Ki-48 Sokei was the result of a 1937 Japanese Army requirement for a new fast light bomber. The prototype was ready in July 1939 and demonstrated great maneuverability being able to perform loops and rolls like a fighter plane. It was soon put into production and was first used in China were its speed and maneuverability made it all but immune to the Chinese fighters of the time. By 1942 it was having to deal with newer Allied fighters and could no longer simply outrun the enemy, even so it continued to be used right up until the end of the war.

The Ki-48 Sokei is available in the Pre/Early-War time frame.

Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun
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The R2Y1 Keiun was an experimental high speed reconnaissance aircraft using two Aichi Atsuta engines coupled together and driving a single propeller. The prototype first flew on the 8th of May 1945, it took a short flight around the airfield and then landed during which the plane suffered from extreme vibration problems. A few days later the prototype was destroyed by an American air raid, the war then ended before any further work could be carried out.

The R2Y1 Keiun is available in the Total-War time frame.

Yokosuka R2Y2 Keiun-Kai
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The R2Y2 Keiun-Kai was a proposed upgrade of the R2Y1 Keiun replacing its piston engines with two Ne-330 turbo jets and equipping it with fuselage bomb racks. Little documentation has survived and there are several speculative engine configurations; a nose air intake with the engines in the aft fuselage, the engines placed within the wing roots or the most common layout seen here with the engines placed in pods under the wings.

The R2Y2 Keiun-Kai is available in the Post-War time frame.

Mitsubishi G4M
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The Mitsubishi G4M was the result of an Japanese Navy specification for a long range bomber that would have a range of over 4,800km. Originally Mitsubishi wanted to design a large four engined aircraft to fulfill this role, but the navy insisted on a smaller two engined plane. To achieve the required long range with only two engines the design had to be extremely light and use large fuel tanks, this meant that the G4M was unarmoured, was equipped with a limited defensive armament and had very vulnerable fuel tanks. Much to the enjoyment of Allied fighter pilots that nicknamed it the "the one-shot lighter". However the aircraft's long range was extremely useful in the vast Pacific ocean where the G4M performed many successful long range bombing missions during the early stages of the war. Later in the war they were one of the few aircraft that were able to counterattack the American bases from which the B-29 Superfortress were operating.

The G4M is available in the Late-War time frame.

Nakajima G10N1 Fugaku
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The Nakajima G10N Fugaku was designed to fulfill a 1942 joint Japanese Army and Navy requirement for an intercontinental bomber capable of attacking targets within the continental United States from bases on the Japanese home islands. This ambitious task required a completely new aircraft of huge proportions equipped with six experimental Ha-50 5,000 horse power engines. Work progressed very slowly and several versions were designed but in 1944 as the war situation worsened and all work on the G10N Fugaku was stopped and the resources reallocated to fighter plane projects. In 1979 one of the Ha-50 engines was discovered during the expansion of Haneda Airport and is now on display at the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences.

The G10N1 Fugaku is available in the Post-War time frame.

Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka
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The MXY-7 Ohka was a small rocket powered plane made specifically for kamikaze missions. The Ohka had a very short range and required a Mitsubishi G4M carrier aircraft to transport them to their target, after launch the Ohka was able to reach speeds up to 1,000 km/h making it nearly impossible to intercept. The first missions were carried out in April 1945 during the battle of Okinawa sinking a destroyer and several transports. After this battle the Americans deployed larger aerial defense screens that intercepted the G4M carrier aircraft before they could launch the Ohka. Over 800 MXY-7 Ohka were built by the end of the war, most of them were placed along the Japanese coastline in anticipation of the Allied invasion, where the short range wasn't a problem and they could be launched from rails on the ground.

The MXY7 Ohka is available in the Late-War time frame.

Sadly this is the last of the Japanese news posts, their naval units are still under construction but they will hopefully be launched to sea soon.
Posted June 1, 2014 by Mig Eater

Japanese Fighter Planes.,
This is part eight of the Japanese units and today we leave the ground below and take off with their fighter planes.

Nakajima Ki-27
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The Nakajima Ki-27 was one of Japan's first production monoplanes and was the airforce's primary fighter plane during the beginning of world war 2. In 1935 the Japanese Army started a competition between Nakajima, Mitsubishi and Kawasaki for a new fighter to replace the Kawasaki Ki-10 biplane. The Nakajima Ki-27 even though it was slower than the other planes won the competition because of its superior maneuverability. The Ki-27 was soon out classed by newer enemy aircraft and was soon relegated to training duties. However during the last year of the war the Japanese were using every plane that could fly and the Ki-27 was fitted with explosives and used in Kamikaze missions.

Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero
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The most famous Japanese fighter of world war 2 the A6M Zero was Japan's primary carrier based fighter plane during the early stages of the war. When introduced in 1940 it was considered the best carrier plane in the world, the A6M2 variant was the first major production model with over 1,500 being built. Their first use in combat was in China where 13 A6M2 Zeros shot down 27 Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 without any losses. They continued to dominate the air during the early stages of the Pacific war. It wasn't until July 1942 when a crash landed but intact A6M2 Zero was found on Akutan Island in Alaska that the Americans were able to study the Zero. From this captured plane the Americans were able to devise tactics to deal with the Zero and along with the introduction of new American fighters were able to end the Zero's dominance in the Pacific.

Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero
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The A6M5 Zero was the last and most produced version of the Zero with over 2,200 built. It was designed with a new shorter and thicker wings to increase diving speeds and a new exhaust system that improved the engine's output. However these improvements weren't enough for the Zero to regain superiority over the newer American fighters such as the F6F Hellcat and the Zero struggled on until the end of the war.

Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien
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The Ki-61 Hien was the only Japanese production fighter plane to use an inline engine, it was also the first fighter to feature an armoured cockpit and self sealing fuel tanks as standard. In 1939 the Japanese acquired a licence to built the German Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine, the same engine was also used in the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Macchi C.202. Which caused much confusion as when American pilots first encountered the Ki-61 during the Doolittle Raid in 1942 they reported back that it was a German aircraft. The Ki-61 fought successfully during the first part of the war outmatching the American P-40 Warhawk, however its inline engine was very complex and difficult to maintain, often more planes were lost to engine failures then to enemy action.

Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
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The Ki-84 Hayate was considered to be the best Japanese production fighter of world war 2, it was a match for any Allied fighter of the time and was one of the few Japanese aircraft that could engage the B-29 Superfortress. The Ki-84 Hayate's supremacy came from its Nakajima Ha-45 radial engine which used water injection along with a supercharger to produce 2,000 horse power. It was first used during the battle of Leytein in October 1944 and then went on to fight in nearly every battle until the end of the war.

Kyushu J7W1 Shinden
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The J7W1 Shinden was an experimental canard fighter plane that was designed to help counter the American B-29 Superfortress bombers that were devastating Japan's cities. This unique aircraft was proposed by Lieutenant Commander Masayoshi Tsuruno who believed that the canard layout would result in an highly maneuverable and powerful fighter. The basic design was tested with the Yokosuka MXY6 glider at the end of 1943 and showed the feasibility of the canard configuration. Work then started on the prototype of the full combat aircraft which was completed in April 1945. The Shinden was ordered into production with an expected 150 a month to be built at two different factories, however only two prototypes were built before the war ended. One of the prototypes was confiscated by the Americans after the war and sent back to the United states for testing, in the 1960s it was given to the Smithsonian Museum and has been in storage since.

Kyushu J7W2 Shinden-Kai
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The J7W2 Shinden-Kai was a planned upgrade of the J7W1 Shinden, it would have replaced the Mitsubishi Ha-43 propeller engine with a Ne-130 axial turbojet. The use of a jet engine in the Shinden was considered since the early planning stages but development of Japan's first jet engine was proceeding slowly so it was decided to first fit the aircraft with a propeller engine and then later change to the turbojet once the Ne-130 was available. The war ended before the propeller powder Shinden was finished and no jet version was ever built.

Tomorrow will feature the Japanese ground attack and bomber aircraft.
Posted May 31, 2014 by Mig Eater