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"Valentine With a Long Gun" Topic


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801 hits since 29 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse29 Jan 2019 4:12 p.m. PST

"In the spring of 1943 the variety of British tanks sent to the USSR dropped radically. Matilda tanks were no longer sent, the Churchill nearly vanished from shipping manifests. The Valentine remained the only type of tank sent by the British in large numbers. Even though the British themselves nearly stopped using it by the spring of 1943, they were still in demand with the Red Army. This was especially true for the Valentine IX, the version with a 6-pounder cannon, which had to revert to the two-man turret…."
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Amicalement
Armand

Legion 429 Jan 2019 4:21 p.m. PST

From what I understand the Russians were glad to get just about anything. Admittedly of those 3 tanks mentioned none were really that "great". But generally did the job most of the time.

Lion in the Stars29 Jan 2019 8:50 p.m. PST

Any tank is better than no tank at all, but the Valentine wasn't a bad tank. Undergunned by 1942, but if you accept the 57mm/6pdr as adequate, it was acceptable. And the 57mm could kill Panthers, so I'd call it 'quite acceptable'.

Never built enough Valentine XIs with the OQF 75mm (6pdr bored out to take American 75mm ammo), that would have been a really good infantry-support tank.

Legion 430 Jan 2019 7:40 a.m. PST

Any tank is better than no tank at all, but the Valentine wasn't a bad tank. Undergunned by 1942, but if you accept the 57mm/6pdr as adequate, it was acceptable. And the 57mm could kill Panthers, so I'd call it 'quite acceptable'.
True … but if given a choice, you'd probably want a "better" Tank than those 3 mentioned. But again, better than nothing …

Andy ONeill30 Jan 2019 8:29 a.m. PST

The 6pdr valentine was popular for it's good gun, small size and reliability.
They could take on tigers as well as panthers and the smaller round means higher rof than a 75mm.
There were churchill crew who complained at having their 6pr replaced with a 75mm.

Legion 430 Jan 2019 3:27 p.m. PST

All true … And I know they did like the Valentine. I guess I'm basing my comments on the standard of the US M4A3. Of course like with any weapon it is only as good as the trooper or crew who are using it.

goragrad30 Jan 2019 9:15 p.m. PST

Well Legion 4, Matildas predated the M4A3 by a few years, and the Russians preferred Matildas to M3 Lees (which was also a later design). Some Russian units still had Matildas on the roster into 44.

Later mark Valentines were used as recon and command tanks by the Soviets through the end of the war.

Soviets used their Churchills in Guards tank battalions.

As to British crews it was noted in its AFV profile that while a Churchill took 4 hours of daily maintenance rather than the 3 hours for Shermans that none of the crews wanted to give up their Churchills.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 5:04 a.m. PST

I had read somewhere that a couple of the reasons the Soviets liked the Valentine was for its quietness and reliability and thus used in the recce role . Manufacturing was switched to Canada so as not to interfere with our own demands on current models such as the Churchill and Cromwell types.

Legion 431 Jan 2019 8:38 a.m. PST

goragrad … all true … but overall I think the M4 was a better "tank". Than the others mentioned here and lend leased. I.e. Matildas, Valentines and Churchills. But yes, we have vehicles from a number of different years being compared. Again, the Russians were glad to get and use anything they could. And did …

Plus again, a weapon's effectiveness is only as good as it's crew as well. link

Major Bloodnok07 Feb 2019 3:44 p.m. PST

The Russian demand for Valentines kept it in production long after it became "surplus to requirements" for the British.

Legion 408 Feb 2019 7:39 a.m. PST

I does seem the Russians had a predilection for the Valentine. After the UK stopped using them. So it must have "worked" for them. As Mysteron pointed out.

donlowry08 Feb 2019 9:55 a.m. PST

Which version(s) of Valentine was produced in Canada and shipped to the USSR?

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 12:00 p.m. PST

Don;

Canada produced and shipped some 1,200 Mk VI and Mk VII Valentines to Russia.

And one clarification. Valentines, while they filled a light tank niche (and were useful for recce) for the Soviets, began to be phased out of front line use 43-44.

Interesting little blurb:
https://www.world-at-war.co.uk/?p=69

Legion 408 Feb 2019 2:49 p.m. PST

That makes sense … there better options by then. And I still don't think any version of the Valentine would make out well against many of the later AFVs the Germans were fielding. E.g. the later versions of the Pz.IV and of course the Panzers V & VI. But hopefully in a recon role they would not have to go toe-to-toe with any of the heavier Panzers. But it probably happened.

TacticalPainter0108 Feb 2019 4:04 p.m. PST

The Russian light tanks were T60 and T70s, which were easy to make as this could be done in automotive plants, but the Russians were only making these because they could, and some tank was better than no tank. These were assigned to Recce units and other similar functions. By comparison the Valentine was a far better alternative – durable, reliable, better armour and in the MkIX a good gun that could deal with common German armour. It was the preferred armour in the Recce role.

The Russians didn't like the M3 light tanks which they thought too high for the role and with less armour.

They requested an additional 2,000 Valentines but Britain had reprioritised their tank manufacture and were no longer planning to make them. Having been initially unimpressed with the Sherman they were convinced to take 2000 of these instead of the Valentines that they really wanted.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 6:50 a.m. PST

Actually I believe the T-34/76 became the preferred tank for recce along with such armored cars as the BA-64 and the M-3A1 Scout Car.

Legion 409 Feb 2019 8:02 a.m. PST

By comparison the Valentine was a far better alternative durable, reliable, better armour and in the MkIX a good gun that could deal with common German armour.
Very much so compared to the T-60s and T-70s.

but the Russians were only making these because they could, and some tank was better than no tank.
Yes … Some Russian Armor units has an eclectic mix of US and UK Lend Lease.
The Russians didn't like the M3 light tanks which they thought too high for the role and with less armour.
The M3 Grant/Lee had the same problem. But with both AFVs, they still used them until they ran out/couldn't, etc.

Having been initially unimpressed with the Sherman they were convinced to take 2000 of these
Well lets admit the early versions of the M4 were not that impressive compared to later types with the better 76mm gun, etc. But I'd think the Russian M4s would have had the same situation when confronting the heavier German Panzers. As the Allies on the Western Front did in many cases.


I believe the T-34/76 became the preferred tank for recce
Yes I think like many the T-34/76 and later T-34/85 were a better overall MBT. Than most everything else the Allies fielded in large numbers.

But here again as we see, large numbers could be telling in many cases.

Andy ONeill09 Feb 2019 8:11 a.m. PST

The Soviets stopped making light tanks in 1943 and part of their plan was to rely on the supply of Valentines to fulfil the light tank recce role.
They were OK with the 2pdr even though you might think it a popgun because the comparison they were making was with the t60 or t70 rather than jsu152.
Sure the 2pdr was relatively feeble and they weren't exactly thrilled by it but it was plenty for taking on opposing recce and they expected other weapon systems to take on bigger stuff.
Then they got the valentines with 6pdr in them and this was a revelation.
The same tank they already liked but it had a big cat killing gun in it.
WOW !
They loved em.

They got 1776 Valentines in 1943 and 381 in 1944.

Now you might think that meant they lost interest in the things.
Nope.
During discussions of lease lend to the Soviets in 1943 the British negotiators were rather confused to find the Soviets were particularly keen on more Valentines. They couldn't get enough of the things.
The British phased out the Valentine and stopped making them. They wanted to stop production earlier actually. Negotiators thought the Soviets should want other tanks they considered better. The Soviets thought different though. Even in 44 when they were pushing the Cromwell for recce the Soviets wanted more Valentines instead.
But they couldn't have them, not from British production.

They used the 734/76 in the recce role despite thinking it inferior.

One of the reasons they were particularly keen on the Valentine was that 6pdr gun. This was better at taking on armour than their 76mm in the T34.

The Valentine was never phased out at all and saw front line service to the end of the war. Inevitably, losses meant they had less of the things by 1945 though.

Legion 409 Feb 2019 8:20 a.m. PST

Interesting … And IIRC the 1st Tiger I in North Africa, in Tunisia(?) was KO'd with the 6pdr. Of a UK AT unit. And the T-34/76's AT round's cap was made of brittle metal. And could shatter when hitting some higher quality metal/armor.

TacticalPainter0109 Feb 2019 3:25 p.m. PST

The 2 pounder at 40mm calibre compared in performance with the Russian 45mm the gun that was in the BT7, T26 and T70. In 1941/42 this was a gun capable of dealing with German armour like the Pz35, Pz38, Pz MkII and MkIII. It was approaching obsolescence but still a reasonably adequate gun for the time and a better gun than the 37mm in the other lend lease alternative the M3 light tank.

As has already been stated the 6 pounder upgraded a popular tank with a superior gun that extended the service life of the Valentine in the role the Russians has assigned it.

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