Dummy rivet really a ‘doorbell’ to WWII Japanese tank interior

One of these is not like the others. A Type 95 Japanese tank featured a dummy rivet (circled in red) that actually was a button for infantry to notify the tank’s crew of their presence. (Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum image)

One of these is not like the others. A Type 95 Japanese tank featured a dummy rivet (circled in red) that actually was a button for infantry to notify the tank’s crew of their presence. (Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum image)

Anybody out there?

The Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum’s new (old) Type 95 Japanese tank is an interesting addition to the collection.

Japanese fighting vehicles were a bit of mystery to the Allies at the beginning of World War II. And, back then, Russia was an Ally.

The USSR scooped up an abandoned Type 95 during fighting in Manchuria in 1939 and sent it westward for examination. At the Soviet government’s Armored Vehicle Scientific Research Institute (NIIBT), the Type 95 was poured over. All in all, they were not impressed, the Type 95 was considered obsolete by the Russians some two years before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

One thing the NIIBT staff was fascinated with was a fake rivet on the rear of the tank. During dissection, it became clear that it was not a rivet at all, it was a button. Infantry, hunkered down behind the tank, could use the hidden switch to notify the “buttoned-up” crew of their presence outside the tank—a sort of doorbell, if you will.

Well, this got me to thinking. Heading out into the display hangar at the Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum, I wanted to know if our tank was similarly rigged. And sure enough, here’s a shot of the Type 95’s dummy rivet.

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