Valentine Mk I

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Valentine Mk I
uk_valentine_mk_1.png
AB
RB
SB
General characteristics
Brief
Detailed
2.3/2.3/2.7BR
3 peopleCrew
Mobility
15.7 tWeight
5 forward
1 back
Gear box
Armament
40 mm QF 2-pounder cannonWeapon 1
61 roundsAmmunition
-15° / 20°Vertical guidance
verticalStabilizer
7.92 mm BESA machine gunWeapon 2
3 500 roundsAmmunition
225 roundsBelt capacity
600 shots/minFire rate
Economy
7 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
10 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png930 / 1 269/830 / 1 132/590 / 805Repair
3 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
10 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
110 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.12 Rp icon.pngReward for battle

Description

GarageImage ValentineMkI.jpg


The Valentine Mk.I is a Rank I British medium tank with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). It was released along with the entire British tree line in Update 1.55 "Royal Armour". Britain's solution for a cheaper infantry tank, the Valentine boasts good armour, decent mobility, and a great gun to use against its foes.

With a 60 mm thick unangled armour all around means that this vehicle, even flanked, can soak up shots, provided the enemy shoots from a distance. Although, make sure to avoid directly facing tank destroyers since they tend to have big guns able to easily knock the Valentine out. Remember: the armour is thick, but flat, avoid facing big guns. The crew compartment is rather cramped so that the crew can usually get one-shot if the armour is penetrated.

In terms of firepower, the QF 2-pounder begins to encounter some difficulties at this rank, although, it's fast rate of fire can save the day by plundering the enemy with a shot every 4 seconds, almost twice the average rate of fire of its adversaries. This tank also has an awesome gun depression of -15°, a small, bouncy and sturdy turret, use it towards an advantage.

Mobility-wise, the Valentine is not a fast tank, to say the least. It reaches its max speed pretty fast...and stays there, like an old runner taking its beat. It struggles a bit climbing hills and decelerates a lot when turning. This vehicle's driving is comparable to that of a Churchill Mk III, but it does not turn on the spot. The Valentine series share a common British characteristic: painfully slow reverse speed (-3 km/h). The key with such a tank is to anticipate the paths while moving towards the front lines so as to not need to reverse.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Front turret, Gun mantlet)
Armour Front Sides Rear Roof
Hull 60 mm Front plate
30 mm (65-67°) Front glacis
60 mm (18°) Lower glacis
30 mm (42°) Top
60 mm Bottom
10 mm (59°) Top
60 mm Joint plate
15 mm (65°) Bottom
10 mm
Turret 65 mm (9-50°) Turret front
65 mm (7-78°) Gun mantlet
60 mm 65 mm (0-2°) 16-65 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are 20 mm thick.
  • Driver port on front plate is only 17 mm, a tiny weak point.

Mobility

Mobility characteristic
Weight (tons) Add-on Armor
weight (tons)
Max speed (km/h)
15.7 N/A 26.7 (AB)
24.0 (RB/SB)
Engine power (horsepower)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 256 315
Realistic/Simulator 146 165
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Mode Stock Upgraded
Arcade 16.30 20.06
Realistic/Simulator 9.30 10.51

Armaments

Main armament

40 mm OQF 2-pounder
Capacity Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
Stabilizer
61 -15°/+20° ±180° Vertical
Turret rotation speed (°/s)
Mode Stock Upgraded Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
Arcade 9.5 13.2 __.__ __.__ __.__
Realistic 9.5 11.2 __.__ __.__ __.__
Reloading rate (seconds)
Stock Prior + Full crew Prior + Expert qualif. Prior + Ace qualif.
3.6 __.__ __.__ __.__
Ammunition
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 80 79 61 46 32 21
Shot Mk.1 APCBC/T APCBC 74 72 64 58 48 43
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
Shot Mk.1 AP/T AP 853 1.1 N/A N/A N/A -1° 47° 60° 65°
Shot Mk.1 APCBC/T APCBC 853 1.2 N/A N/A N/A +4° 48° 63° 71°
Ammo racks
Ammo racks of the Valentine Mk I.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
61 31 (+30) (+60) no

Turret empty: 31 (+30)

Machine guns

Main article: BESA (7.92 mm)
7.92 mm BESA
Coaxial mount
Capacity (Belt capacity) Fire rate
(shots/minute)
Vertical
guidance
Horizontal
guidance
3,500 (225) 600 N/A N/A

Usage in the battles

The Valentine Mk.1 is a bit of a hit or miss due to its relatively high BR: when uptiered, it plays like a British heavy tank, using its raw armour value to soak up shots. Having that much amour when matched against low-ranked tanks also means that the Valentine can take its time to aim at the weak spots/vital modules of the enemy. Otherwise, it plays like a pretty slow medium tank and should avoid the front lines since its cannon do so little damage.

The Valentine Mk.1 is a team player, relying on its allies to provide damage while dragging attention from the enemy. It is a situational vehicle, its gameplay depends much on what it faces.

Heavy tank
When against Rank 1 tanks, play it like an heavy tank: follow light and medium tanks and seek attention from the enemies by firing at many of them , preferably the ones with a light weapon (shoot the gunner for a better effect). This way, many enemies will try to shoot the Valentine down and will get outflanked by light tank allies (inexperienced players often suffer from "tunnel vision" when shooting at an enemy, the Valentine for instance). Stay at a distance, angle the armour a bit to maximise protection and preferably show only the turret, which is thicker and bouncy. Keep in mind to anticipate a fast exit way so that when an enemy with a good gun shows up, the Valentine could retreat as fast as possible.

Close range support
Otherwise, facing low Rank 2 tanks, the Valentine should play as a support role, on the second line, preferably on the sides of the enemy. The main task here will be to distract enemies from stronger allies, making them turn their turret to shoot at the Valentine, only to realise they exposed their weak side armor to the allies. The 40 mm cannon does not allow for easy one-shot knock-outs: prepare to collect assists and support fire medals. Although, good close range penetration and fast firing rate can provide the Valentine with easy scores.

Use the terrain
Utilizing the great gun depression of the Valentine will increase the firing effectiveness greatly in battle. Find a hill on the battle field and peak the turret over the top. The gun depression should allow for full coverage of the battle field, whilst the hill will keep the hull covered. The turret will be exposed, angled and a very hard target due to its small size and angulation. This can make the Valentine an almost immovable object on the battlefield, allowing it to pick off most targets. If any damage is taken, reverse behind the slope to recover. Be aware of flankers.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Very good armour for it's Battle Rating.
  • Gun has a very good penetration for it's BR.
  • Very fast reload rate.
  • Will still have a good reload rate with an incapacitated crew member.
  • Good turret rotation rate.
  • Is a medium tank, but plays like a heavy tank and can call in artillery strikes which proved to be useful at certain situations.
  • Has smoke launchers
  • Small size.
  • Very small weak spots
  • Can act as a distraction for teammates to flank around.

Cons:

  • Very slow due to underpowered engine.
  • Handling is poor especially on rough terrain.
  • Is incredibly slow when navigating over hills.
  • Gun is inaccurate at longer ranges.
  • Only 3 man crew.
  • Small 40 mm AP shells may require multiple shots to down enemy tank.
  • Modest ammo count (61 rounds), but a long life would eventually leave the tank out of ammo.
  • Ammo rack is directly under the turret and easily set off if hit.
  • No access to HE shells.
  • Though small, the Driver's port is a weak spot.
  • Large part of the rear armour is only 17 mm thick despite being sloped.
  • Terrible reverse speed.
  • Weak to HEAT and APCR shells.

History

Development

The experiences taken from the development of the A9, A10 cruiser tanks and the A11 infantry tank prompted Vickers-Armstrongs to begin development of a new tank. As a private venture, the design did not receive any designations from the British General Staff during its creation. The designing of the tank focused on the tank having the weight of a cruiser, but with the armour comparable to the infantry tanks. The basis was to have the vehicle with 60 mm of frontal armour and a 2-pounder gun in a two-man turret. To make it as light as possible, it was small and featured a cramped interior. The design used features taken from the A9 and A10 tanks so the design was easier to produce and cheaper to make. Vickers unveiled the design to War Office at February 10, 1938. While they initially viewed it unfavorably for its tiny two-man turret, they took it in April 1939 due to the growing tense situation in Europe with Nazi Germany, with the first order coming in May 1940 after the losses suffered by the British Expeditionary Forces in the Battle of France. The name Valentine was given to the tank sometime between its introduction to War Office and its adoption. The origin of the name is disputed, some say it was due to its introduction on February 14 in 1938 or 1940, other say it was the middle name of Sir John V. Carden, who helped design the Valentine's predecessors. Other sources say it is a name from the Vickers' company full name (Vickers-Armstrong Ltd Elswick & [Newcastle-upon] Tyne), and David Fletcher from Bovington Tank Museum say that "Valentine" was a code name used by the company for its development.

The Valentine was put into service as quickly as possible under the designation Tank, Infantry, Mk.III. Vickers, Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage & Wagon, and Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company were all involved in the construction of this vehicle. During World War II, Canada was also contracted to build the Valentine to build up their own tank forces. The United Kingdom produced a total of 6,855 Valentines during the war between the three company while Canada built 1,420 Valentine tanks in their factories, for a total of 8,275 tanks produced, making the Valentine the most produced British tank in the entire war.

Variants

The Valentine is one of the most modified British tank in World War II, up to eleven variants were made during its entire production life.

  1. Mark I: The first one, it was built with a rivet construction, a 135 hp petrol engine, and a 2-pounder, but was not sent to combat due to mechanical problems.
  2. Mark II: Uses a 131 hp diesel engine and has an auxiliary fuel tank added to the left hull.
  3. Mark III: Has a slightly thinner side armour (60 mm to 50 mm) and a modified turret design, giving room for a loader in the tank, freeing the commander to do his job.
  4. Mark IV A modified Mk.II using an American 138 hp GMC diesel engine and an American-produced transmission, making the tank more reliable.
  5. Mark V: The same as Mk.IV, except using the Mk.III as the basis.
  6. Mark VI: A Canadian built Valentine, using Canadian and American parts and a GMC diesel engine, plus later switching the BESA machine gun into a Browning machine gun.
  7. Mark VII: A Canadian Mk.VI with a new radio set and a modified interior. Another Mk.VII named the Mark VIIA has jettisonable fuel tanks and new tracks, oil cooler, and headlights.
  8. Mark VIII: Uses a British AEC diesel engine and a modified turret to use the 6-pounder. The modification eliminated the coaxial machine gun from the design.
  9. Mark IX: A Mk.V modified to take the 6-pounder as well, but with an armour reduction. Later version also had a stronger 165 hp GMC diesel engine installed.
  10. Mark X: Features another modified turret design using the 6-pounder, but made it able to use a coaxial machine gun again and still uses the 165 hp diesel engine. Uses a welded construction
  11. Mark XI: The Mk.X using the QF 75 mm gun instead of a 6-pounder, with the 210 hp diesel engine. However, these tanks only served as a command tank in the battlefield. Uses a welded construction

Combat usage

The Valentine mostly saw service in the North African Campaign, where the crew reported on it very favorable as a reliable and well-protected tank. The first unit who saw action with the Valentine was the 8th Royal Tank Regiment in Operation Crusader, where it was in the process of replacing the Matilda II. The reliability is expressed when some Valentine were reported to have traveled a distance of 4,800 kilometers by the time the British reached Tunisia. The Valentine tanks soon saw wide-spread use by mid-1941 when they were issued out widely to armoured regiments due to the lack of cruiser tanks available to fill in the ranks.

However, the biggest weakness of the Valentine tank is the lack of high-explosive rounds for the 2-pounder, a weakness suffered by every other tank using the 2-pounder. This and the 2-pounder's growing deficiency against tank armour was remedied by the usage of the 6-pounder on the Valentine after the Mark VIII version, and then the QF 75 mm gun. However, these larger guns were harder to mount on the small Valentine turret and made for a cramped interior, even removing the established loader's position made in an enlarge turret for the 2-pounder. By the time these larger guns were introduced for the tank, better tanks were being introduced, such as the Churchill heavy tanks from Britain and the M4 Shermans from the Americans. Despite the better tanks, the Valentine's low height is able to exploit small cover on the battlefield and take up a good hull-down position behind hills.

Some Valentines were sent to the Soviet Union as part of the Lend-Lease program, most of the Valentines came from Canada's production lines. The Valentines saw use from the time of Battle of Moscow in 1941 all the way until the end of the war, though the Valentines saw use more as a second-line tank due to its relative weakness. It was criticized for its slow speed and weak gun, but was liked for its small size, reliability, and armour protection and thus the Soviet Supreme Command continue asking for it and its production to continue until the end of the war.

By 1944, the Valentine is mostly taken out from the front-line services and replaced by the newer tanks. A few were retained for special purposes and command vehicles for Archer units, which is a tank destroyer based off the Valentine chassis. The tank continue to see use in the Pacific in limited numbers until May 1945 in the 3rd New Zealand Division, some had their armaments changed to the larger 3-inch howitzer to use it stronger high-explosive ammunition against the Japanese. New Zealand kept the normal and modified Valentines all the way until 1955. The last known combat usage of the Valentine was on Cyprus in early 1960s when a turret-less Valentine was used by the Greek militia, added with a make-shift armour and a machine gunner position with a Bren gun.

Survivors

About forty Valentines and vehicles based off the Valentine chassis exist in various conditions in the world. Valentines in running condition exist in the Bovington Tank Museum and in private hands in New Zealand and United Kingdom. The Valentines survivors can be seen in UK, Canada, Belgium, France, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Media

Bovington Tank Museum Tank Chats: Valentine

References


Read also

Official War Thunder forum article: [Vehicle Profile] Small, Slow and Tough: Valentine Mk.I

Sources

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Britain medium tanks
Valentine  Valentine Mk I · Valentine Mk IX · Valentine Mk XI
Cromwell  Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell Mk.V (RP-3)
Based on Cromwell  A30 Challenger · Comet I · Iron Duke IV
Foreign  Grant I · Sherman II · A.C.IV · Strv 81 (Rb.52)
Firefly (M4)  Firefly «Scorpion» · Sherman Firefly
Centurion  Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · FV4202
Chieftain  Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10 · Vickers MBT
Challenger  Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger 2