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Valentine tank

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The most numerous British manufactured tank of World War II, the Infantry Tank III Valentine was known mainly for its inexpensive cost and high reliability.

Contents

History

Based on the A10 Cruiser tank, the Valentine was privately designed by the Vickers-Armstrong corporation (hence its lack of an "A" designation) and was submitted to the War Office on February 14, 1938. Like many other projects, the Valentine was rushed into production following the loss of nearly all of Britain's equipment during the evacuation at Dunkirk.

The Valentine was something of an oddity, having the weight and size of a cruiser tank, but the armour and speed of an infantry tank. Though its armour was still weaker than the Matilda and, due to its weaker engine, it shared the same top speed, its high reliability and lower cost kept it in the war.

The Valentine was Britain's most mass produced tank during the war, having manufactured 6855 and a further 1420 in Canada. They were the Commonwealth's main export to the Soviet Union under the Lend-lease Act, with 2394 of the British models being sent and 1388 of the Canadian (the remaining 30 were kept for training).

Variants

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Valentine_tank_hierarchy.png
Image:Valentine tank hierarchy.png

Valentine I (350)
The first model of the Valentine, it was not sent out due to problems from rushed production. It was equipped with a 2 pdr. gun and a coaxial machine gun. Its cramped turret forced the commander to also reload the gun. It used a 135hp gasoline engine.

Valentine II (700)
This model used a 131hp diesel engine in order to increase its range. It first saw combat during Operation Crusader, at which point it began to replace the Matilda.

Valentine III
A larger turret was installed, allowing the addition of a dedicated loader to ease the duties of the commander.

Valentine IV
A II using an American 138hp GMC diesel engine. Though it had slightly lower range, it was more silent and reliable.

Valentine V
Valentine III with the American GMC engine.

Valentine VI
A Valentine built solely in Canada. It used a cast hull and a Browning machine gun in place of the Besa.

Valentine VII
Improved version of the VI- it had jettisonable fuel tanks, new tracks and an expanded turret similar to the III. Also built only in Canada.

Valentine VIII
A III upgraded with the QF 6 pdr gun. In order to fit it, the coaxial machine gun and the loader crewmember had to be removed. The side armour was made thinner to reduce weight.

Valentine IX
A V upgraded to the 6 pdr. gun. Similar reductions as the VIII.

Valentine X
A new turret design and better 165hp GMC engine allowed the Valentine the use of its coaxial machine gun again. Also used welded construction.

Valentine XI
A X upgraded with the 75mm gun. Only served as a command tank.


Valentine DD
Valentines fitted with Straussler's Duplex Drive. Used by crews in training for the Sherman DD's of the Normandy Landings.

Vehicles based on chassis

See also:

External links

Template:WWIIBritishAFVsde:Valentine (Panzer) pl:Valentine

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