WW2 76,2 MM Japenese AA Naval Gun – lot 210

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This is a very unique item; very rare and highly collectable


This is something astonishing and absolutely Unique! A genuine World War Two Japanese Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun discovered by Dutch Soldiers straight after WW-II, almost 100% complete and untouched! A must have for the serious collector of Japanese military heritage, a collection dedicated to the War in the Pacific, or a specific collection based on AA or Naval Guns.

Pieces in this condition are rarely seen. Therefore, please make sure you will be there on March 11th or for bidders in the Pacific Area on the early morning of March 12th 2023!

1.1      Introduction

The Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun otherwise known as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun was a Japanese dual-purpose gun introduced before World War I. Although designated as 8 cm (3.15 in), its shells were 76.2 mm (3 in) in diameter.

1.2     Design

The Japanese Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun otherwise known as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun was a direct copy of the English QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval gun. The original 12-pounders were built-up guns with a single-motion interrupted screw breech that fired Fixed Quick-Fire ammunition and had bottom mounted hydro-pneumatic recoil systems. Many were mounted on low-angle pedestal mounts in casemates as the standard anti-torpedo boat gun on Japanese warships built between 1890 and 1920. Later guns changed to an autofretted monoblock barrel, taller pedestal mount for increased angles of elevation -5° to +75°, top mounted recoil system, and 45° sliding block breech. The guns fired a 5.7–6 kg (12 lb. 9 oz – 13 lb. 4 oz) high-explosive projectile.

After 1915 the guns were mounted on high/low angle mounts to serve as dual-purpose guns on most ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was still in service as late as the Pacific War as an anti-aircraft, coastal defense, and submarine deck gun.

1.3     Variants

  • 8 cm/40 (3″) 11th Year Type (Model 1922) – Anti-aircraft gun.
  • 8 cm/40 (3″) Type 88 (Model 1928) – Submarine deck gun.
  • 8 cm/25 (3″) Type 41 – This was a related gun with a shorter barrel.

There were three sub-variants each with slightly different barrel lengths. Length varied from 23 to 25 calibers depending on whether the length was measured from breech to muzzle or just the rifling was measured. This short gun was often used on smaller auxiliaries and submarines as a dual-purpose gun.

This specific gun came from a shipyard (Naval Yard) in Surabaya from a worksite. It was captured by the Dutch Forces during the Police actions during the Indonesian National Revolution in Indonesia in the period March 1946 till December 1949.

The Indonesian National Revolution (Indonesian: Revolusi Nasional Indonesia) was a war of decolonization that started immediately after the capitulation of Japan on August 15, 1945. The Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed on August 17, 1945 and as a result, the sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies was transferred to the United States of Indonesia after more than four years of violence and war during the 1949 Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference. In March 1946, Dutch troops in Indonesia were allowed to take over the British positions.

This gun was, after it was shipped to the Netherlands used during many decades. After decommissioning it was acquired by its current owner in the early 1980s. As it was not being exposed to the tropical climate for a long time, which happened to many other remnants of WW-II in those days, but instead of that being well maintained and taking care for, explains its superb condition. In addition, the gun has no deep pitting or any battle damage, which is very unique!

Japanese material and certainly this gun, in an almost perfect condition, is almost impossible to find worldwide.

It is extremely rare and as far as we can research there are only two other examples preserved worldwide. One of these is currently displayed in the Yasukuni Shrine Museum in Tokyo Japan (see picture on the right). This gun is, incidentally, significantly less complete than the example currently offered in the Tracks and Trade Auction.

That is why we think it is a must have for the serious collector of Japanese military heritage, or a collection or museum about the War in the Pacific or a specific collection based on AA or Naval Guns.

Pieces like this come along very rarely.

As we are an organization with limited research potential, we are of course open to any additional information that readers of this description can provide us.

© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, February 2023

1.1      Introduction

The first guns were bought from the English firms as “Elswick Pattern N” and “Vickers Mark Z” guns.  The gun was officially designated as the Type 41 3-inch (76 mm) naval gun from the 41st year of the reign of Emperor Meiji on 25 December 1908.

Thereafter production was in Japan under license. On 5 October 1917 during the third year of the Taishō period, the gun was redesignated as the 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type naval gun as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s conversion to the metric system. Although classified as an 8 cm gun the bore was unchanged.

The 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type was also widely used as a coastal defense gun and anti-aircraft gun to defend Japanese island bases during World War II. Guns with both English and Japanese markings were found on Kiska, Kolombangara, Saipan, Tarawa, and Tinian. Japanese Artillery Weapons CINPAC-CINPOA Bulletin 152-45 calls the guns “8 cm Coast Defense Gun 13th Year Type (1924)” but it isn’t clear how they came up with that designation.

1.2     Imperial Japanese Navy

The 8 cm/40 3rd Year Type was deployed aboard armed merchant ships, battleships, cruisers, gunboats, minelayers, minesweepers, and submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy during WW-II.

1.3     Foreign users

In addition to the Japanese Army, the gun was used by:

  • The Republic of China Navy: Ning Hai-class cruisers.
  • Royal Thai Navy: Thonburi-class coastal defense ships.
  • Royal Romanian Navy. This is a rare story: Two guns were acquired by Romania at some point before the start of World War II. They formed a section of coastal anti-aircraft artillery at the mouth of the Sfântu Gheorghe branch of the Danube Delta. The section was named Lăstunul.

1.4    Kure Naval Arsenal

To gain more knowledge about this rare Japanese Naval Gun, Tracks and Trade had the traditional Japanese characters translated. This has allowed us to find out who was the manufacturer this gun, Kure Naval Arsenal.

Kure Naval Arsenal (呉海軍工廠, Kure Kaigun Kosho) was one of four principal naval shipyards owned and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Kure Naval Arsenal was established at Kure, Hiroshima in 1889, as the second of the naval districts responsible for the defense of the Japanese home islands. Along with the establishment of the navy base, a ship repair facility was also constructed, initially by moving the equipment from the Onohama shipyards near Kobe.

Kure developed into one of the largest shipbuilding facilities in the Empire of Japan, capable of working with the largest vessels. The Arsenal included a major steel works (built with British assistance), and also facilities for producing naval artillery and projectiles. The battleships Yamato and Nagato were designed and constructed at Kure.

The facilities of the Kure Naval Arsenal were repeatedly bombed by the United States Navy and United States Army Air Forces during the Pacific War, and over 70% of its buildings and equipment was destroyed. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Kure Naval Arsenal was turned over to civilian hands.

The breach ring of this gun shows the following information:

(Official translation)

Kure 231

Kure Naval Arsenal

40 caliber

3rd year 8 cm high angle gun



Production No. 3609

599 Rounds

Stamps on the left (Proof marks)




The data plate on the left side of the gun at the cradle / saddle indicates amongst others the type and the Naval Arsenal:


(Official translation)

Type C

Sa Naval Arsenal

400 Bore 8 cm

High-angle shot

No. 14 blank

Case 626

Taisho 10 year (1921)


The data plate on the right side of the gun gives us information on how to inject fluid into the gun’s recoil system. A recoil system is an assembly which is designed to control the recoil force acting on the gun by absorbing the recoil energy smoothly at a convenient distance and returning it back to the original position. It provides dynamic stability to the gun.

(Official translation)

Injecting fluid into the gun

First, set an elevation angle of 5 degrees to the gun, then pour the liquid into the fluid port at the front end of the barrel until it is discharged from the exhaust hole of the barrel, and then close it with the plug.

Oil volume: approx. 5 units

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Overloon, The Netherlands.
Local collection is available for this lot.

Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits or existing documents must be prepared for export. If this is relevant, Tracks & Trade will take care of this for you, with the applicable costs being passed on to the successful bidder
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

No item will be allowed to be collected without 100% of all legal requirements being fulfilled.


Margin / VAT

This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9.

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Parts, accessories, and militaria

The batches of spare parts, various accessories and militaria are stored in the best conditions but are sold as-is and delivered without any guarantee of functioning.


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Cars, motorcycles, trucks, cannons or howitzers, armored vehicles, and tanks are sold in as-is condition, no technical guarantee and guarantee of authenticity and with or without registration (see description).



Parts, accessories, and militaria

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General Conditions of Sale

General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable.

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Naval Type-High Angle Gun Type 3 (Kure 231)


5,293 lb. (2.401 kg)


Kure Naval Arsenal (呉海軍工廠, Kure Kaigun Kosho)
Sasebo Naval Arsenal (佐世保海軍工廠, Sasebo kaigun kōshō) Nagasaki Japan

Year of Manufacturing




Barrel Length

10 ft 6 in (3,2 m) L/40


3 Inch (76.2 mm); Twist Uniform RH 1 in 28


Fixed Quick Fire 76.2 x 405R ammunition

Shell weight

12 lb. 9 oz – 13 lb. 4 oz (5.7–6 kg)


Sliding block breech




High/Low Angle


-5° to +75°



Rate of Fire

13–20 rounds per minute

Muzzle velocity

2,200–2,250 ft/s (670–685 m/s)

Effective firing range

18,000 ft (5.4 km)  ceiling at +75°

Maximum firing range

11,800 yd (10,800 m) at +45° Hiroshima Japan

Feed system



Length:            128”      (3,25 m) barrel in horizontal position
Width:             61”        (1,55m)
Height:            73”       (1,85 m) Barrel in horizontal position

                        134”      (3,40 m (Max. elevated)


Absolutely unique, very complete and in great condition

Breach ID

3609 (See translation § 2.4)


Roy Jacobs 

Museum Director & Historian

As director and curator of the “Streekmuseum Maaskant 44” (www.oorlogsmuseum.eu) and historian (with focus on the regional WW2 history of the province Limburg in the Netherlands and Dutch East Indies), I have frequently researched the wartime history of Limburg and (parts of) North Brabant. For this purpose, I frequently visited the National War and Resistance Museum in Overloon. I visited Overloon at a very young age with my parents and had therefore the opportunity to meet the founder and manager in these days, Mr. Van Daal, many times.
There II gained knowledge of the history of this particular gun.

This gun is not only a very rare piece, of which there are only a very few still in existence world-wide, but this example can be called unique.
This Naval Gun was discovered in good and complete condition by Dutch Armed Forces at a shipyard (Naval Yard) in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (currently Indonesia) right after World War II. The Dutch Navy officers immediately realized that this was a very special gun. That is why it was shipped to the Netherlands quite soon afterwards, where it served the for many years.

It went to the current Museum in the early 1980s. At a young age I was there ‘as an eyewitness’ when the gun actually arrived. At that time, and also later, I was told the history of it!!

Other guns that have been left behind in a tropical climate deteriorated very rapidly. Many are also scaped because the demand after steel in the post war period was enormous. Perhaps a survivor can be found on some island in the Pacific, but it will almost for sure have considerable battle damage and will be in a very bad condition.

Even the example currently displayed in the Yasukuni Shrine Museum in Tokyo Japan is missing many smaller parts, while this gun is uniquely beautiful and uniquely complete.

Personally, I think this particular gun, given the fact that this is a one-off, represents a value between € 150,000 and 200,000. However, as usually is the case with one-offs, the value can also be much higher.

By comparison, there has never been such a beautiful and complete piece on the market. However, because as an expert I was asked by Tracks and Trade to assign a realistic value, I have come to the advice as mentioned below. Reason is that although much rarer, I am not 100% sure it has more appeal than, say, a German Flak 88.

The fact that it was never deactivated and very complete and the post war history is well known will certainly make a difference.

This 3-inch gun is of such historical and technical-historical value that it will be the highlight of any artillery collection!

Estimated value: between Euro 60.000 and 150.000,- (December 2022)