Like other world powers of World War 2 (1939-1945), the Japanese Empire employed a variety of cost-effective armored car designs in the conflict. One example was the Sumida M.2593 to emerge from the Ishikawajima Motorcar Factory in 1933 and this entry went on to see extensive service in the early campaigns - particularly against the Chinese after the 1937 invasion.
The 7.7 ton vehicle featured a typical six-wheeled arrangement with a boxy, armored superstructure added to the chassis to protect the crew of six within. Armor protection reached 10mm thick along critical facings and overall dimensions of the vehicle included a length of 6.6 meters, a width of 1.9 meters, and a height of 2.95 meters. Power was from a 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine generating 45 horsepower. Atop the superstructure roof was a traversing turret typically fitting a single 7.7mm machine gun while ports along the hull sides could be used by the occupants to fire light weapons against enemy forces.
One of the more unique facets of the M.2593 was the inherent ability to change out its road wheels from the solid rubber-tired forms to flanged wheels for railway riding. The road wheels gave rather limited on-road service with a maximum speed of 40 kilometers-per-hour attainable (and poor off-road service altogether) but the flanged units provided the car with a maximum speed of 60 kilometers-per-hour and could be adjusted depending on the rail gauge in play. Operational ranges were out to 150 miles giving the M.2593 a useful reach.
Such a vehicle was able to quickly access the innermost parts of China by way of the vast, established rail network and help to assail and police key positions within reach.
Manufacturing Ishikawajima Motorcar Factory / Sumida - Imperial Japan
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