Seen as too weak when facing armor and infantry as it lacked a HE (High-Explosive) shell. The Americans were also conducting the same research using M26 and M46 medium tanks. This version appeared in 1941 and twice as many were completed (700 for some sources, but for Osprey publuishing this was 1,511 Mk.II’s were built with 350 being built by Vickers, 494 by Metropolitan Cammell, and 667 being built by Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company). They had to do with a weapon which they deemed as obsolete for a very long time. There was a plan to upgun the Valentine in the same way as the attempted 76mm armed Matilda, but the Valentine’s turret was much to small. The production line was set up in 1941 and entered full swing in 1942. But the first versions of the Mk.VIII turret was so cramped that the coaxial Besa machine gun was sacrificed. Thank you for the help Rob, Hi guys, But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Comparatively, the Valentine seemed a good compromise. Whatever the case, i amended the figure based on Osprey’s book, looks like a more trusted source for going out with such precise figures. This was in fact a SADE mine clearing experiment using the blast from a jet engine to detonate anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. The A11 Infantry Tank Mk.I and A12 Matilda belonged to the latter category. The type was obsolescent by now, and they were definitively withdrawn to second line duties, stationed at the rearguard, sent back to Great Britain for training (like most of the Canadian-built models) or abroad (to serve with ANZAC troops). Post They also tried to create their own 40mm HE shells for the 2 pdr, but failed , however it seems the New Zealanders did make HE ammo by using 40mm Bofors shells and fitting them, with modifications, to the 2pdr cartridge. I have noted a few other sites state the 700 production figure as well but only the Osprey book breaks down the number of tanks built per-mark as well as by which builder. However, when they committed to the project, they requested that Vickers-Armstrong make the first delivery in the shortest time possible. Access was possible through two hatches (one per side), and a small escape hatch behind his seat. The Matilda tank was more heavily armoured than the T-60 and T-70, and so was used as an infantry support tank. . Captured Valentine Mk.III, Libya, fall 1942. The engine was also the same, as well as the transmission, drivetrain, steering, tracks, and roadwheels, but the upper hull was lowered, and the specially designed turret was more compact and also lowered. Your email address will not be published. The Matilda II was originally built at the Vulcan Foundry at Warrington, where Fowler and Rusron & Hornby under Vulcan's parentage, and later with LMS, Harland & Wolff and North British Locomotive. As such, Vasiliy Grabin’s bureau was tasked with developing a suitable mount to equip the Valentine with the Soviet’s own 45mm 20-K Tank Gun, the same gun found on the BT Seriess of light tanks. Since the 2-pounder was found inadequate against the main German tanks of 1942, Vickers engineers worked frantically on a way to adapt the much more massive, long-barrel 6-pounder (57 mm/2.24 in) into the cramped Mark III turret. As far as I know the Valentine was also built in Canada. Required fields are marked *. Those of the 23rd Armored Brigade took part in the first battle of El Alamein. What concerns its reliability and durability lets refer to one example: at the beginning of Melitopol Operation (October 24, 1943) the 19th Tank Corps had 101 T-34/76 and 63 Valentine tanks. Why the big difference in numbers? When firing armour piercing capped ballistic capped (APCBC) rounds at face-hardened armor plate these are the test results: 500 yrds. – TE Moderator. Valentine Mk.III in Tunisia, February 1943. How significant was the reliability aspect of the Valentine? Proposals by the British Mechanization Board to produce a tank with the same level of protection as the Matilda tank I, but armed with either a 2pdr (40mm (1.57 in)) gun or twin machine guns, produced the Matilda Senior or Matilda II. Unfortunately, during a training launch in Operation Smash in April 1944, watch by Eisenhower, Churchill and King George VI, the Valentines all sank, with a loss of 6 lives. The Soviets have tended to denigrate the quality of the tanks sent through Lend-Lease (with the exception of the Sherman) and the overall importance of these supplies. The main armament and turret design, as well as the engine and protection, were continuously improved while keeping roughly the same general appearance until 1945. This didnt get far as the gun did not provide any greater performance than the original 2-Pounder. They modified 9 Mk III to the MK IIICS (Close Support) standard by replacing the standard 2 pdr gun with 3 inch (76.2 mm) howitzers from surplus Matilda Mk IV CS versions, and were instrumental in the Pacific Campaign until the end of the war. Notice the worn-out side skirts. When production ceased, a total of 2987 Matilda IIs had been built. ! This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. When fired at slopped armour it was estimated there would have been 80% success at 30 degrees’ angle of attack. This is why 2 pounder has this reputation, British did not developed weapon they wanted in time and had to use a weapon which they considered as outdated. There is a lot to be said for simple and dependable. Tank Encyclopedia's Creator, webmaster and illustrator since 2010. The shortage of British-built engines led to the adoption of US-built GMC (General Motors) engines instead for the Valentine. And its armor was massive, although 20 mm (0.79 in) less than the Matilda, but similar to that of the Infantry Tank Mk.I (A11), and much superior to the best German tanks of the time, the Panzer III and IV. The first shipment in 1941 totalled 487 Matildas, Valentines and Tetrachs from Britain, and 182 M3A1 Light Tanks and M3 Medium Tanks from the USA. (457 m) = 87.5 mm; 1000 yrds (914.4 m) = 72 mm and 1500 yrds (1371.6 M) = 57.4 mm. Reliability, fewer vibrations and less noise were the results of these process, which were precious in North Africa, although it also meant a smaller range. by Alejandro » 20 Aug 2003, 17:58, Post This is not an attempt by British tank designers to improve the speed of their armored vehicles or a gap jumping tank prototype. During a battles Corps lost 78 of T-34's and 17 Valentines tanks … by Mark V » 14 Aug 2003, 13:37, Post They were gradually phased out of the frontline and delegated to subsidiary duties in 1943-44. Reliability and performance was improved when a GMC two-stroke diesel was installed, replacing the AEC petrol or diesel engines. When firing armour piercing capped ballistic capped (APCBC) rounds at face-hardened armor plate these are the test results: 500 yrds. The 17 pounder did not get a HE round until 1944 as the original HE round developed for the gun was deemed inadequate, the difficulty was manufacturing a shell that was rigid enough to withstand the high muzzle velocity of the gun and still have an effective explosive charge. We are aware of this, changes will be made in the future. Most of the eleven marks saw their baptism of fire in the wide expanses of the desert, until the end of the Tunisian campaign. By then, the Matilda was found to be far costlier than the Infantry Tank Mk.I, and not suitable for mass-production. The Valentine was produced in Britain by Metropolitan-Cammell and Birmingham Carriage & Wagon, as well as Vickers, and in Canada by Canadian Pacific of Montreal; here, of the 1420 Mk VI tanks produced, all but the 30 retained for training went to the Soviet Army. . 625 to 635 were converted in 1943-44 by the Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage & Wagon Works Co. Ltd, but they mostly served to train crews for the Sherman DDs. For the image marked: Valentine Mk.II, Operation Crusader, 1st Army Tank Brigade, December 1941. Turret mounted weapons on the M113 and M113A1 series, m113 and M113A1 armored personnel carrier. These gave the infantry and logistic troops working with them a tactical mobility. Valentine Mk.III, late production version, Operation Husky, Sicily, July 1943 A total of 2690 British Valentines were sent to Russia (some Canadian-built), and 400 were lost (sunk) en route to the Northern and Southern front via the Murmansk line, or the Caucasus line, through Iran and the Persian gulf.