The Valentine was a light infantry tank of the Second World War developed by Vickers-Armstrong for the British Army. It entered service in 1940 and was used in military operations in North Africa and Europe, being partially replaced by Infantry Tank IV Churchill. The first Valentine tanks were built using riveted steel plates, but they were later manufactured with welded plates. The Mark III was powered by a 210hp, AEC A190 diesel engine and was either armed by a QF 6-Pounder 57mm, or a QF 75mm gun. Until 1944, Vickers-Armstrong made approximately 7,300 units in different versions, from the Valentine I to the Valentine XI model. The official name of all these variants was Infantry Tank Mark III, but it was popularly known as the Valentine.
This light infantry tank had its baptism of fire in Operation Crusader, in November 1941, North Africa. It was extensively used in the Western Desert Campaign. Although it earned a reputation as a mechanically reliable and well-protected armored vehicle, the Infantry Tank Mk III shared the common weakness of the British tanks of the period, which was the lack of high-explosive capability of its gun, and soon became outdated as an anti-tank weapon.
Specifications for the Valentine Tank
Type: light infantry tank
Engine: one AEC A190 diesel engine of 210 hp
Range: 90 miles (140km)
Maximum speed: 15 miles per hour (24km/h)
Weight: 17 tons
Length: 17 feet 9 inches (5.41 m)
Width: 8 feet 8 inches (2.64 m)
Armor: 65mm front; 8mm sides
Weapons: one QF 75mm gun; one .92 mm BESA machine gun
Crew: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)