Mark III Valentine Infantry
|Weight:||17 tons (17,272kg)|
|Length:||19ft 4in (5.89m)|
|Height:||7ft 6in (2.29m)|
|Width:||8ft 8in (2.64m)|
|Weapons:||Main – 2 pounder 1.58in (40mm gun) or 6 pounder 2.24in (57mm) or 2.95in (75mm) gun, Secondary – 0.312 inch (7.92mm) Besa machinegun|
|Armor||Maximum – 2.56in (65mm)|
|Engine:||AEC 6-cylinder gasoline, 135hp or AEC 6-cylinder diesel, 131hp or GMC diesel, 135hp|
|Speed:||14.9 mph (24kph)|
|Range:||90 miles (145 km)|
The prototype of the Mark III Valentine Infantry Tank was produced on February 14 – Valentine’s Day – 1940, and Valentines continued to be produced until 1944.
During that time, over 8,000 of these tanks were built, some in Canada.
There were 11 different Marks and some variants that were used for special purposes. Variants of the Mark III Valentine included self-propelled guns, a bridgelayer, a minesweeper and a flamethrower. There was also an amphibious version of the tank.
The Valentine, which was developed by Vickers, was most active in North Africa, where it was fitted with extra fuel tanks to increase its range.
Commonwealth troops used the Valentine in Asia and the Pacific
Many Valentines were given to the Soviet Union.
The first Valentines had riveted construction and used gasoline as a power source. Later versions had welded construction and used diesel.
At first, these tanks had AEC engines – gasoline and then diesel. Later on, Valentines were fitted with GMC two-stroke diesel engines.
The earliest models had a 2 pounder gun as the main armament. Intermediate versions had a 6 pounder gun. The final model had a 2.95 inch (75mm) gun.