- "It looks great for attack..."
- ―Akebi Sasaki
The Type 89B I-Go Otsu (In Kanji 八九式中戦車 乙型 , "Hachikyū-Shiki Chū-Sensha I-Gō Otsu") was a Japanese medium tank that fought primarily in China before World War II, and the first mass-produced tank in the world with a diesel engine.
In 1928, the Type 89 I-Go was designed to create a fast and lightweight tank capable for rapid deployment during the campaigns in China and Manchuria. The prototype was completed in 1929 and ready for mass production.
Type 89A I-Go Kō Modification
The early version of the Type 89 I-Go. It used a water-cooled gasoline engine, and protected with a multiple frontal armor plates. The Type 89A flawed due to its poor mobility and inability to operate in a very extreme climate. 220 Type 89As were produced from 1929 - 1934.
Type 89B I-Go Otsu Modification
The improved version of the Type 89 I-Go. It used an air-cooled diesel engine, producing greater torque compared to the early version's engine. Its multiple frontal armor plates were replaced by a sloped frontal armor. The Type 89B proved success as intended for major campaign in Asia mainland. 189 Type 89Bs were produced from 1934-1942. Due to several upgrades, its weight increased over 10 tons, and was re-classified as a medium tank Type 89 Chi-Ro
The Type 89B was the first Japanese-built tank to be mass-produced and widely used, initially being classified as a light tank to a medium tank as a result of weight increase during the development. It was heavily based from many successful tanks used during the WWI, particularly from the British Medium Mark C Hornet. As per standard tank doctrine of the time, it was designed to knock out enemy field fortifications and pillboxes, for which its 57 mm Type 90 short-barreled Gun was quite capable. Its armor was only designed to protect its driver and the tank itself from small arms fire.
This tank was mainly employed in China, where it proved effective against Chinese weaponry and their lack of adequate armor (some of them were Vickers Mark E, Panzer I, and CV.33). however, by the time of Battle of the Khalkin Gol involved the Soviet Army (May-September 1939), it was already considered obsolete. However, many Type 89s saw action in Asian archipelagos, such as Philippines, Malaya, and Burma, and some were even used as static pillbox in some Pacific islands. However, they proved vastly inferior to Allied tanks like the M4 Sherman during their Invasion of Pacific.
In Girls Und Panzer
Ooarai Girls High School has a Type 89B, found in a cave on the side of a cliff overlooking Ooarai during the search for the school's long lost tanks. It is assigned to the Duck Team, primarily designated as a bait for incoming enemy tanks.
Despite being completely unsuitable for tank warfare, the Type 89B still capable enough to give support for the team, especially when luring the enemies.
During the elimination training match against St. Gloriana Girls High School, it participated in an ambush attack from the cliff along with the other tanks, but they all couldn't hit a single tank despite having the terrain advantage. The Type 89B later entered the city area and dispersing from the formation, baiting a nearby Matilda to check the parking slot, where the Type 89B was hiding. It successfully ambushed the Matilda by and managed to shoot it from the rear, although the shot only hit its external fuel tank, and unable to penetrate its rear armor at all. It was knocked out by a frontal shot from the Matilda.
When the Ooarai fought on the first round of the National Tournament against Saunders Girls High School, the Type 89B was initially designated to bait the 2 M4 Shermans into the kill zone, by strapping a pack of logs onto its back to create a visible movement by smoke from it when moving, and successfully baited them into the designated zone. 1 of them was knocked out from the ambush attack while 1 of them managed to flee from the kill zone. Its next mission was to find the Saunders' M4A1(76) flag tank. It spotted their flag tank in a forest and quickly withdrawing while being pursued by the M4, cleverly evading the M4's shot by doing volleyball spikes to send smoke sticks towards it, temporarily blinding its sight.
The Type 89B finally showed to be useful enough when fighting against Anzio Girls High School. It fought five CV.33 tankettes, proving to be able to withstand their machine-gun fire, and managing to defeat all of them with well-aimed shots, after initially they proved resistant to glancing blows and more maneuverable.
It served as the Ooarai's flag tank during the semifinals against Pravda Girls High School, where it luckily survived a direct hit from the massive gun of the IS-2 heavy tank, enabling Ooarai to claim victory of the battle.
During the finals against Kuromorimine Girls High School, the Type 89B and Char B1 Bis were covering the formation by screening the path by smoke to safely move the formation onto the hill. After they reached the hill, they were preparing to defend themselves from Kuromorimine's numerous tanks attack, and quickly withdrawing from the hill to relocate the team again into the city. It was shown again baiting the rest of the Kuromorimine tanks to keep them away from Anglerfish Team's Panzer IV flag tank.
- Weight : 12.79 tons
- Length : 5.73 m
- Width : 2.13 m
- Height : 2.56 m
- Main armament : 1 x 57 mm Type 90 Gun
- Secondary armament : 2 x 6.5 mm Type 91 Machine Guns
- Hull Armor / Turret Armor :
- Front : 17 mm / 17 mm
- Sides : 17 mm / 15 mm
- Rear : 17 mm / 15 mm
- Engine : Mitsubishi A6120VD 6-Cylinder (120 hp)
- Speed : 26 km/h
- Oddly enough, it was not explained how it was possible to retrieve the Type 89B from such place, or how it got there in the first place.
- The Type 89, for some reason is the only tank that have been chased individually by their enemy tanks during the national tournament and this occurs for every match.