Considered one of the more successful British tank designs of the early war years, the Valentine series served both British and Soviet forces effectively. British forces first fielded the system in Operation Crusader, in which forces were sent to relieve their comrades at beleaguered Tobruk. The Valentine would prove its effectiveness as an infantry tank throughout Africa and in the jungles of Burma as well, showing up Japanese armor in the process.
With over 8,000 produced of the type, the Valentine was a direct result of a British need to field an infantry tank based on the A10 design preceding it and to replace the aging Matilda tanks. Offered up as a proposal on St. Valentine's Day of 1938, the system was accepted into production thanks to the expediency to which it could be produced over the more complicated Matildas. Production began in 1940 in an effort to refit British units after heavy losses incurred throughout battles in France.
The Soviet Union received some 2,690 models of the Valentine - most from Canadian production lines - whilst later replacing them en mass with American Shermans. Additionally, the Valentine system appeared with Indian, New Zealand and Free French forces on a variety of fronts.
The chassis of the base Valentine produced a plethora of variants. Some notable additions to the Valentine family would include the Scorpion Flail Tank, the Bishop self-propelled guns and training vehicles converted from amphibious designs. Additionally, the Valentine would appear in ten marks varying in engine types and armament. The series proved to be highly successful over their Japanese counterparts in the Pacific, particularly in Burma, though fighting equally well in desert environments.
Manufacturing Vickers - UK / Canada
Production 8,275 Units
Australia; Canada; Czechoslovakia; Iran; Nazi Germany (captured); New Zealand; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Soviet Union; Turkey; United Kingdom
- Infantry Support
- Tank vs Tank
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
19.32 ft (5.89 m)
8.63 ft (2.63 m)
7.45 ft (2.27 m)
19 tons (17,272 kg; 38,078 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Valentine Mark III production model)
1 x AEC 6-Cylinder diesel engine developing 131 horsepower OR 1 x AEC6-cylinder gasoline engine developing 135 horsepower OR 1 x GMS 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 135 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Valentine Mark III production model)
15 mph (24 kph)
90 miles (145 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Valentine Mark III production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 40mm (2-pdr) main gun
1 x 7.92mm machine gun
Ammunition: 79 x 40mm projectiles
1,575 x 7.92mm ammunition
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Valentine Mark III production model)
Mark I - Fitted with petrol engines; 350 produced in this fashion; 2pdr/40mm main gun.
Mark II - Fitted with diesel engines; 700 produced in this fashion.
Mark III - Featured a four-man turret
Mark IV - Canadian-produced model
Mark V - New powerplant fitted
Mark VIII - Introduction of new 6-pdr/57mm main gun.
Mark X - Introduction of a machine gun to the turret construction.
Mark XI - Final Production Variant; fitted with 75mm main gun.
"Bishop" - Self-Propelled Gun Variant fitted with either 25-pdr or 57mm main guns.
"Scorpion" Flail Tank - Mine Clearing Tank; derived from Valentine Mk I and Mk II models; 150 produced.
Amphibious Valentine - Some 650 produced; most relegated to crew training.
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