A heavy assault gun mounted on a lightly protected chassis, the Type 4 Ha-To (試製四式重迫撃砲 ハト Shisei yon-shiki jū-hakugekihō hato) is inferior in terms of armor to most other vehicles in its class. However, one important quality makes it stand out; its range. Able to fire at targets 1.2 kilometers away, the HA-TO is able to accurately hit and decimate infantry and buildings from a distance. It is used to provide direct fire support for advancing armor, clearing out forests and leveling fortifications.
With a high speed of 38km per hour, the HA-TO is able to destroy enemy supply lines and buildings quickly and from a safe distance. However, the HA-TO is expensive, so it cannot be used to harass the enemy as easy as other units could. They must be escorted by armored units at all times, as even light tanks can destroy these vehicles.
The Type 4 Ha-To was conceived as a mobile fire support platform in late 1943, making use of the already existing Type 3 300 mm heavy mortar on a chassis based an extensively modified Type 4 Chi-To medium tank. The mortar had a range of 3,000 m (1.9 mi) and launched a 170 kg (374 lb) projectile. The gun itself weighed close to 1.5 tons, and to keep the center of gravity from shifting and tipping the vehicle over, it could not be elevated more than 50 degrees.
The first prototype was completed in late 1944 and taken to the Imperial Japanese Army Academy for testing. Although testing indicated that it would be an effective weapon, it was expensive to produce, and the Japanese Army Technical Bureau shifted its attention to self-propelled multiple rocket, high explosive launchers instead.
An additional three units were produced before the surrender of Japan, but none were used in combat.
Strategies and Tactics
- As with all motorized artillery units the range of this vehicle is not too far. Getting in close, but maintaining a covered position (i.e. behind some buildings or in a town) is critical.
- Keeping a Ta-Se anti-aircraft tank nearby is invaluable if you wish to keep enemy fighter-bombers away.
- These combined with O-I's, Ho-Ri's, recon, and Air force or AA is a force to be reckoned with.
- The best counter to these are heavy fighter-bombers or advanced tanks, though a well planned attack is recommended as only a foolish player would leave this with inadequate defenses.
Pros & Cons
+Mobile, acceptable range and armor protection.
-Outranged by any real artillery guns.
Hvy Assault Gun
- This is quite easily the strongest motorized artillery piece in the game. If you manage to get enemy fortifications or buildings in sight, a few Ha-To guns can blow them to pieces.
- This piece has little effectiveness against heavily armored units - do not let the 170 kilogram projectile fool you into attacking unnecessary units and giving away your position.
- A single shot from the Ha-To will utterly annihilate enemy light units.
- A group of 5-6 of these can even eventually destroy 5 rate armoured units.