The final fate of the Chi-Ri

One thing that has often been wondered when it comes to armored vehicles is what happened to the Type 5 Chi-Ri that was captured by US forces at the end of WWII. Wikipedia claims that it was earmarked for testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds but its fate after being captured is unknown, while claims it was lost at sea or scrapped in place. However, neither of these are true. Recently an April 10th 1952 video has surfaced again on YouTube thanks to the efforts of Eun Ae Sun and myself (I found the online archive that held the video), detailing a number of vehicles being scrapped at Aberdeen for a steel drive as well as showing footage of scrapping taking place in Japan. The Aberdeen footage is quite striking given the vehicles shown to be scrapped:

Vehicles shown include the Chi-Nu, Chi-To, Chi-Ri, Ho-Ha APC, Ho-K armored lumberjack vehicle, a Ke-To light tank, and both a Panther and JagdPanther. So the Chi-Ri did in fact make it to Aberdeen where it was sadly scrapped rather than being preserved, although at least we finally know what happened to it.

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The final fate of the Chi-Ri

30 thoughts on “The final fate of the Chi-Ri

  1. Got scared here for a moment.
    When reading the title, I thought WG would screw up another tank with unique gameplay by changing or removing it. (Aufkl Panther, Lorraine 40 T, SU-101, Challenger, Bulldog, 56-16 etc etc)

    1. wolvenworks says:

      IMHO it’s an armored lumberjack vehicle, so you can cut wood without worrying someone might mow you down with machinegun lol

  2. Katyusha_Pravda_ says:

    Hey, theres only one of this vehicle, the only one ever built.
    Let’s preserve it?
    Nah.. Dismantle it and make more M4s… what a waste..

    1. wolvenworks says:

      americans love planes more than tanks. everyone knows that. except their army. they’re bred to love their Abrams like it’s their second wife XD

  3. wolvenworks says:

    Requiescat In Pace.

    Just goes to show that if you want tanks to be preserved, never let the Americans do the “preservation”. next thing you know they were “preserving” the T30 and T28 prototypes that were parked at Aberdeen (“scheduled” to move to a new museum at an undetermined time)

  4. sp15 says:

    so you capture a bunch of one off prototypes and what do you do with them? scrap them for steel of course. Chi-ri is one of my favourite tanks so this sort of sucks but we already knew it was destroyed somehow

  5. Wow, straight to Aberdeen from Japan? That’s quite interesting to me, I’d rather have transported it to the States, than the UK, since it’s so far away wow. Thanks for the info, nice finding 🙂

    1. flint74 says:

      Wrong Aberdeen… They’re not talking about Aberdeen, Scotland, they mean the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, USA.

      Though if it had gone to Aberdeen here in Scotland first then just maybe the tank would still exist…

  6. Thomas says:

    Ahh man. That sucks.

    On another note have you ever wonder if people wold actually make semi workable replicas of paper tanks? For example a O-Ni but obiosly no working gun.

    1. WhiteBaron777 says:

      A bunch of Australians are rebuilding the e100, if you can consider it a paper tank since it didn’t get a completed prototype

    1. Life_In_Black says:

      Um, I said right in the article that I found the online archive that held the video. Eun Ae Sun uploaded it to YouTube, yes, but she would not have been able to do so at all if I had not found the video for her in the first place.

  7. wolvenworks says:

    just being cautious here, can we get this vid verified, possibly by Aberdeen? don’t want to overhype a hoax, just in case nja

    1. Life_In_Black says:

      It was a reuters news video, so I don’t think Aberdeen would be the ones to authenticate it. I can’t imagine it’s fake either, given that at the time nobody would have cared about these vehicles being scrapped.

  8. flint74 says:

    This does beg the question just how many other potentially interesting one-off and prototype tanks and armoured vehicles got quietly tested to death and/or straight-up scrapped post-war, not just by the Americans, but by the other Allied nations as well, instead of them being preserved for posterity in dedicated museums like Bovington, Saumur, Kubinka, etc.

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