In the years leading up to World War 2, Imperial Japan had procured many different types of foreign trucks and these then went on to serve as the foundation for several armored cars for the Japanese military. The Type 93 Kokusan was adopted around 1932 and this development was built atop an existing Ford truck chassis. The chassis retained the truck's 6x6 wheel arrangement across three axles (one forward, two aft) with the rear axle pairing set to counter the sheer weight of armoring and machine guns installed. Unditching metal wheels were situated aft of the forward axle. The armored hull superstructure encapsulated the engine block a front, a driver's position at center and a fighting cabin for the gunners over the rear. The end result was typical of armored cars seen from World War 1 onwards with its tall-profile and multi-wheel approach.
In practice, these vehicles proved their value in urban fighting and against foes armed and protected with much less. They suffered from their clumsy designs and large turning radius but, on the whole, they served their role well. Dimensions included a length of 4.8 meters with a width of 1.83 meters and height to turret top of 2.3 meters. The turret was added over the rear section of the superstructure and, in this way, given a commanding view over the vehicle with a full 360-degree traversal allowing freedom to engage targets at all angles. A typical operating crew numbered six and included the driver, commander, and all applicable machine gunners. Armor thickness (bolted-on steel plating) spanned from 4mm to 11mm giving the crew some protection against small arms fire. This protection quickly gave way under large caliber fire. A single vehicle could be outfitted with up to 5 x 6.5mm Type 91 series machine guns including one held in the turret, one at the front panel of the driver's cabin and several used to protect the sides of the vehicle. An optional mounting atop the turret could serve as an Anti-Aircraft fixture.
The Type 93 vehicles retained their Ford powerplants for expediency's sake. These were local, license-built versions of 6-cylinder Ford powerplants outputting at 85 horsepower. Coupled to its transmission system, chassis and hull design, and wheel arrangement, the vehicle could make headway at approximately 50 miles per hour on roads.
Kokusans were known to have been deployed against China with good results, typically by the Imperial Japanese Navy in support of Army or Marine actions. Production is believed to have totaled some 50 units.
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