with one Valentine II Infantry tank.
The development of the Valentine tank came about due to the dissatisfaction in terms of performance of the Matilda I and unsuitability of the Matilda II for mass production. The Vickers-Armstrong company proposed a new tank design; one that was smaller and lighter than the Matilda I but offered the same level of armour protection.
The new design was dubbed the Valentine; but how the vehicle actually received its name is not truly known. But there are three possible theories:
1. The proposal for the design was submitted on 10 February 1938, close to St. Valentine’s Day.
2. Valentine was a play on the manufacturer’s name Vickers-Armstrong Limited on Tyne i.e. VALonTyne or Valentine.
3. Named after Sir John Carden, an influential designer at Vickers-Armstrong whose middle name was Valentine.
After some initial concerns regarding the size of the turret (the initial design featured a two-man turret), the Vickers-Armstrong company responded by creating a three-man version. However, the level of armour protection was lowered (from 65mm to 50mm) to stay within the limitations of the suspension and engine's capabilities. However, the requirements of the 65mm of armour were imperative and the concerns regarding the two-man turret were abandoned.
The Valentine I used a petrol engine; however, this was changed to an AEC A190 131 hp diesel engine in the Valentine II to increase operational range. This was further aided by an auxiliary fuel tank fitted on left side of the engine compartment. Like most British tanks of period, the Valentine II was armed with an Ordnance Quick Fire (OQF) 2 pdr gun. All British tanks armed with the OQF 2 pdr gun shared a common weakness; the lack of a high-explosive round. This meant that infantry and anti-tank were unable to be effectively engaged.
The Valentine first saw action with the British 8th Army during Operation Crusader in July 1941 and later that same year with the Soviet Red Army during the defence of Moscow as part of the Lend-Lease agreement. The Valentine continued to be upgraded and modified and was saw service in various roles with the British and Commonwealth forces until the end of the war.
The OQF 2 pdr gun has No HE. The lack of a High Explosive (HE) round means that hits from the 2 pdr gun cannot be allocated to any Infantry or Gun teams.
The Valentine II is rated as a Slow Tank and can only move 8"/20cm normally or 16"/40cm At the Double.
The Valentine II in Flames Of War
Armour Front: 6
Armour Side: 5
Armour Top: 1
Co-ax MG, Slow tank
Weapon: OQF 2 pdr gun
Rate of Fire: 2