TOKUSETSU-YUSOKAN !

Stories and Battle Histories of the IJN's T.103 Class Landing Ship Tank

1 June 2014

By Bob Hackett

with Sander Kingsepp

Discussion & Questions


(IJN T.103 Class LST T.149 landing a Type 95 "Ha-Go" light tank)


Built under the Japanese 1943 Program, the design for the 950-ton Landing Ship Tanks (LST) may have been supplied by Germany and based an American-built British LST used in North Africa. The Class could be constructed in 90-days using mass production techniques such as pre-fabricated parts and electric welding. The class were unstable in heavy seas.. The design featured a bow door and the bow was fitted with a double skeg. The class was equipped with AA guns, depth charges and radar.

The Type T.103ís were turbine powered, but the Type T.101ís were diesel powered. Otherwise, structurally, the Type T.101s and Type T.103s were identical except that the Type T.101s had more room for troops and cargo because they had no need of boiler rooms Like the T-101s, the T-103s had the capacity to carry 200 men plus 5 large, seven medium or 9 light tanks. The Type T.103s were officially known as Type SBT (Turbine) and the T.101s as as Type SBD (Diesel).

In 1943, the IJN ordered 86 units of the Type T.103 and Type T.101-class. Twenty-eight turbine-powered SBTs were allotted to the Army, but the Army was unhappy with them and later returned nine to the Navy. After the war, most surviving Japanese LSTs were assigned to the Allied Repatriation service and used for that duty. Laer, several were ceded to Allied powers and others were scrapped.

This page will cover 47 units of the T.103-class.

Builders and
Years Completed:
Osaka, Uranosaki and Hitachi, Mukajima
1943-1944
Displacement: 950-tons standard.
Dimensions: 264' (LOA) x 29.10' x 9.6'
Propulsion: Gear steam turbine, one shaft, ,2,500 shp, speed 16 knots
Armament: 1 x 8 cm/40 cal (3-inch) AA gun; 6 x 25mm (2x3) Type 96 AA machine cannons;
Equipment: Radar: ????
Cargo Capacity: 14 ◊ Type 95 light tanks and 220 tons freight or 7 ◊ Type 97 medium tanks or 4-5 ◊ Type 3 amphibious tanks, 218 tons freight or 120 SNLF troops.