Type93 Naval (SNLF) Armored Car


The  provisionally-called Type92 Heavy Armored Automobile, later officially known as the Naval Type93 Armored Car was an armored body wrapped around a license-built Ford truck chassis with an engine capable of 50 miles per hour from 85-horsepower.

This armored car was built for limited troop transport and maintaining control in cities and towns in China. It had moderate off-road capability, and was an improvement over the harsh suspension and thin / solid rubber disc wheels of the Type 90.  The armor was flat for the sides, bottom, rear and front, and slightly sloped on the roof and engine hood. There was no separation between the driver and fighting compartment behind him.

It is notable that the “Naval” armored cars including this once were used by the Special Naval Landing Forces for urban security and initial operations to secure cities close or adjacent to water.

The turret was cylindrical and partly sloped, with a 11 mm face. At the driver’s right, there was a machine-gun mount, while two other ball mounts were placed on the sides and the rear. The turret mounted a Vickers machine gun. A pintle mount was attached to the turret rear for anti-air capability in a Type 91 machine gun. A pair of unditching metal wheels just after the front axle could be lowered to further improve handling. Access was performed from the rear and sides. Hinged sight slit panels were mounted on the driver compartment sides and front as typical in these vehicles.

Some sources call this a “Kokusan” Armored Car, but this is by the same sources that mistakenly use “Aikoku” and “Hokoku” donation organization markings as names of other Japanese armored cars. “Koku-San” also literally means “Country-Built” and is a dubious official name for the Type93.

Note: The game Men of War Assualt Squad 2 has Naval Type 93 Armored Cars in the game, as seen in the image below.

In Games: The pre-mounted guns in the Type93 make it ideal for transport of a small number of troops or VIPs while allowing it to continue to operate as a support vehicle after unloading those troops. A driver and two gunners can make up the “base” crew of 3, with the gun in the turret capable of firing while moving, and even the driver capable of firing the passenger seat-mounted gun while stopped. Additionally, the multiple (x5) gun slits in the vehicle could be fired from by anyone being transported, with a maximum of 5 infantry firing from them (the vehicle then allowing for a maximum crew of 7, though a tight and likely uncomfortable fit, especially in combat).

Produced in 1933, the Type93 is one of the most suitable armored cars for early WW2 games that include the Japanese Navy’s SNLF since it is not a completely obsolete relic of the interwar period like the Vickers-Crossley armored cars of the 1920s.

However, if accuracy and production numbers are taken into account, the Japanese Army’s Type92 Chiyoda Armored Cars were far more plentiful.

Note that these armored cars move like trucks or automobiles, and cannot spin in place like a tank. This should make the control of such vehicles different than tanks in games.

Men of War Assualt Squad 2 has Naval Type 93 Armored Cars available in-game and it is a fairly good representation of that vehicle.

type 92 naval armored vehicle


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