Friday, 14 February 2014

Military History Photo Friday: The Valentine Tank

Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate the day where lovers are supposed to swoon over one another while gorging on chocolate, I'm giving you a photo of a tank. But not just any tank, the Valentine tank! Aren't I romantic?

The Valentine tank was produced in the United Kingdom at the start of World War Two. The story is that it got its name because the plans were submitted on Valentine's Day. There are several more prosaic explanations, such as the fact that a leading tank designer was named Valentine.

Anyway, these tanks were hugely popular, accounting for about a quarter of all tanks produced during the war in the UK. They were also the first tanks produced in Canada and saw service in the Soviet Red Army thanks to the Lend Lease program.

The Valentine tank owed its popularity to its good armor and durability and performed especially well in the North Africa campaign. Early models were armed with an underpowered 2-pounder cannon and the turret was cramped. The cannon was later replaced with a better six-pounder but by 1944 the Valentine was getting outclassed in the tank arms race. Heavier, tougher models became necessary, but the Valentine was still used as a backup.

Photo of Valentine Mark III with Scottish infantry in North Africa courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


Rusty Carl said...

Thanks for the tank info. I'm not so good with WWII era military machinery... well, I know there were P51's and Mitsubishi's, I think those were planes, after that, i've got nothing.

D.G. Hudson said...

A tank named Valentine. Why no heart painted on the side then?

Interesting photos you dig up.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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