Infantry Tank Mk III, Valentine bridge layer: Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum
Infantry Tank Mk III, Valentine DD: Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum
Designed by Leslie Little of Vickers Armstrongs and was submitted to the War Office on February 14, 1938.1,3,6 Since this was a private venture not ask for by the General Staff, there was no "A" number designated for the Valentine.3 The name may have been paying homage to Sir John Valentine Carden who was a designer of many of the tanks that came before the Valentine.3
The War Office took a year to decide as there were concerns about the 2 man turret not being able to be up-gunned.1,6 Was based on the A10 and used the same chassis, suspension, engine, and transmission.3,6,9
The bogies were mounted in pairs on each side with 3 wheels each.3,8 The front and rear wheels were 24" in diameter and the inside sets were 19.5".3
The idler was in the front, while the drive socket at the rear.3
The Valentine's sides were two plates, riveted together, that were joined in the middle.3 Screwed onto these were the top plates.3 Later production used riveting for joining the top and bottom plates.3 The nose and rear plates were riveted to iron stiffeners.3 There were bulkheads separating the engine and driving compartments from the fighting compartment.3
Behind the rear bulkhead was the engine, gearbox, and transmission.3 Through multiplate steering clutches and a reduction gear mounted on the hull side the power was sent to the drive sprocket.3
The Valentine's turret was made from cast pieces, front and rear, that were riveted to rolled side plates.3 In the rear of the turret was a No. 19 radio set.3
The driver was located in the middle in the Valentine.3 He steered by using a skid type operation with clutches and brakes.3 These were linked to the rear of the Valentine.3 There was a hatch above the driver for entry and exit, which contained two episcopes and a small visor. There was an exit below the driver's seat.3
The commander only had an episcope to look out of when the hatch was closed. He sat on the right in the turret and also acted as the loader.3 The gunner was on the left and used his shoulder to elevate the gun.3
The Mark III Infantry prototype was delivered on February 14, 1940.10
The Valentine was put into production in July 1939 with 275 being ordered.3 The first model was delivered in May 1940 for trials to the cavalry to make up for losses at Dunkirk.3,8 Vickers was the first to deliver, with Metro-Cammell delivering their first at the end of July 1940, and Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co delivered shortly after that.3 The first build by Canadian Pacific Railway was finished in June 1941.3
All but 30 of the Valentines built in Canada were used for training.1 1,300 of the Valentines built in England were sent to Russia.1
Valentine AMRA Mk Ib: Adapted to propel anti-mine roller attachment. Not used operationally.
Valentine Anti-Mine Reconnaissance Caster Roller Mk IB: Spiked rollers pushed by a Valentine.3 Used in the Middle East.3
Valentine Bridgelayer: Mk II with turret removed. Carried No 1 30' scissors bridge.3 Used in Italy, Europe and Burma.3 Most used for training. Bridge was 34' x 9.5' class 30. Assigned six per armored brigade.3
Valentine Burmark: Had a deck over the hull and hinged ramps on the front and the rear.3 1 vehicle with twin Twaby Ark ramps for service in Burma in 1945. Cancelled 1946.
Valentine CDL: Canal Defense Light. Replaced turret with searchlight.
Valentine OP/Command: Dummy gun with extra communications equipment. Used for officers of Archer SP units in 1944.
Valentine DD Mk III, Valentine DD Mk VIII: 650 were produced. Used for crew training.
Valentine DD Mk V, Valentine DD Mk IX, Valentine DD Mk XI: Developed by Nicolas Straussler.3 Collapsible screen to achieve bouyancy.3 Compressed air inflated rubber tubes.3 Used for training in United Kingdom and India.3,8 Used for training and operationally in Italy in 1945.3,8
Valentine Dozer: Carried artillery observer.3 Had extra radios and the gun barrel was a dummy.3
Valentine Flamethrowers: A.E.C. Ltd and the Petroleum Warfare Department developed different designs.3 Both designs used trailers that carried the fuel.3 A.E.C.'s used compressed hydrogen to shoot the fuel.3 The Petroleum Warfare Department's design was later used in the Churchill Crocodile.3
Valentine Gap Jumping Tank: Used rockets to propel Valentine over obstacles.3 Was not used as the tank would not often land right side up.3
Valentine "Rake": Developed by Nicolas Straussler.3 Weighted rake used to clear mines.3
Valentine Scorpion: Scorpion flail attached.6
Valentine Scorpion II: Turret removed and flail attachment added. Produced in Britain in 1943. Used for training.
Valentine Scorpion Mk III: Flail tank.3 Turret removed from a Valentine Mk II or Valentine Mk III and replaced by box structure that contained two Ford V-8 engines.3 Used for training from 1943 to 1944.3 The box also contained the commander and flail operator.3
Valentine 7.92" flame mortar: Turret removed and replaced by mortar to project 25 lb TNT to demolish concrete emplacements. Max range was 2,000 yards, effective 400 yards. Experimental.
Valentine Snake: Used to tow pipe to minefield and detonated. Used by 8th Army. Valentine pushed an explosive tube onto a minefield and it was then exploded by remote.3
Valentine with 6 pdr AT mounting: Experimental vehicle to house 6 pdr field carriage. 1942.
Roller Fascine: 60 built in 1940. 6' 4" twin cable drums. None used operationally.
Issued to armored regiments in 1941 as cruisers were in short supply.8
6th Armored Dvision3,8
Saw action in Tunisia.3
20th Armored Brigade8
26th Armored Bridage.8 Saw action in Tunisia from November 1942 to February 1943.8
8th Armored Division3,8
20th Armored Brigade8
26th Armored Brigade8
8th Armored Division8
23rd Armored Brigade3,8 Saw action at First Alamein in July 1942.3,8
34th Armored Brigade8
11th Armored Division3,8
29th Armored Brigade8
30th Armored Brigade8
1st Polish Armored Division (formed in Scotland)8
First action with the 8th Royal Tank Regiment of the 1st Army Tank Brigade at Capuzzo on Nov 22, 1941, during Operation Crusader.8
Took part in the night attack with the 2nd South African Division against Bardia fortress on Jan. 1, 1942.8
The 4th and 44th Royal Tank Regiment were also equipped during the Desert campaign.8
The 7th Royal Tank Regiment had some while trapped in the Tobruk garrison.8
Saw action with the 23rd Armored Brigade at the First Alamein battle in July 1942.8 Saw action in Tunisia with the 26th Armored Brigade
A squadron (15) were used on Madagascar in 1942. Reliability was considered very high, as it is reported some Valentines were able to trek the 3,000 miles from El Alamein to Tunisia with the 8th Army. A few were stationed at Gibraltar.
The Russians are reported to have liked the simplicity and reliability of the vehicles, but disliked the small gun.1 Some complaints of snow packing the wheels and stopping the tanks from moving.1 Some vehicles had a 76.2 mm tank gun installed.1 2,690 were shipped with 400 sunk.3,8