INTO THE VALLY
THE VALENTINE TANK AND DERIVATIVES 1938 – 1960
The Valentine was unusual, as unlike most British tanks to see service during WW2 it began life as a private venture. That is, it was not designed to a General Staff (GS) specification, but came off the drawing-board with the intention of exciting enough interest within the military establishment to secure an order. The Valentine had the highest production numbers of any wartime British tank, and arguably the most variations. A total of 8000+ Valentines was produced in no fewer than 11 variants. The Valentine tank received its baptism of fire with the British 8th Army in Operation Crusader in North Africa during July 1941, just the beginning of a long career, as they would eventually take part in combat in both the European and Pacific Theatres. After the war, Valentines served in several armies as late as 1960. Valentines also saw action with the armed forces of Canada, the Soviet Union, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand. Book contents: Development, Technical Description, Marks descriptions, Operational Use, Colours and Markings, Variants, Survivors.
Military Machines International and Airfix Model W 2012-11-29
Along of the late 1930’s the perspective of a new war in Europe starts to become clear. The remilitarization of the Nazi Germany and the expansionist actions from Hitler and Stalin make some European countries be concerned in relation to the future of the continent.
The British government starts a modernization of your military forces to increase your defense capacity. This new politic of defense from England hit the air, sea and ground forces.
One of the great objectives of this plan is create a new and modern armored force with capacity to combat the power of the German panzer divisions that show your power across the Europe. One of the most important points of the plan is the development of a new tank for army units.
The result of this situation is the development of the most built in more numbers of variants British tank, the Vickers Valentine, originally designed as an infantry tank, but had enough speed to be considered a cruiser as well. Though not the most powerful or the best armored tank operated by the British, it had the major benefit of being reliable and somewhat easy to maintain. Obsolete by mid-war, the chassis of the Valentine went on to be used as the basis for a number of other specialized vehicles.
This excellent title from Mushroom Model Publications analyses all development process of the Vickers Valentine, showing your positive points and all fixes needed in the service life of the Tank. The Author Dick Taylor covers the full history of the Valentine from its initial development to its acceptance and its delayed production. Each change, from factory to field modification are highly covered and explained on the book.
Beyond the project development, the book explores the combat career of the Valentine Variants your various camouflage schemes, technical drawings and a photo walkaround of preserved tanks. As common on the MMP Books are present many pages of full color profiles, a great number of B&W Photos.
This is a book for modelers of military interested in a deep research material about the British most famous tank of the WWII. Dick Taylor made a great work and present a awesome material for reference of the modelers, historians and WWII lovers. This book is Highly recommended.
Special Thanks to MMP Books for this review sample. Buy your here: http://mmpbooks.biz/mmp/books.php?book_id=163
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS #46363
Mushroom Model Publications keeps expanding its “Green Line” (dedicated to armored fighting vehicles) and its latest installment covers the Valentine family of tanks, from the design in the late 1930s through its operational use during WWII and other uses in post-war years, up to the 1960s.
The main sections of the book includes the development of the tank, technical description, description of each mark of the family, operational use, painting and markings, overseas use (Canada, New Zealand, India, USSR, among others), variants, and a walk-around.
I found the historical pictures to be very valuable from a modeling point of view, as they provide details on the markings of the tanks plus the environment in which they operated. The picture of the Malta Valentines (with their stone wall camouflage) is very unique.
The book has plenty of drawings showing interior details, both of the fighting compartment as well as the engine, and the tracks, wheels, etc, which would you allow to super-detail your Valentine project.
The book also includes an objective evaluation of the Valentine as an AFV during WWII, from the battles in North Africa to the snowy steppes of Russia, and through the final years of WWII when it became obsolete as a front line weapon but still proved very useful for either training or specialized applications, like bridge layer, clearing out minefields, etc.
This book is neither a modeling book nor a reference book. It is a history book that complements very nicely as a reference book for modelers, due to its large number of historical pictures (black and white), plus walk around pictures of restored vehicles (in color). It also has several drawings in 1/35 scale, plus color camouflage schemes.
I would highly recommend this book to modelers and armor history fans. This is likely to be the “one-stop” shop for historical facts and/or details regarding the whole family of Valentine tanks.
By Chris Banyai-Riepl
While most tanks are created according to strict guidelines from the government, the Valentine had a rather different origin. Starting out as a private venture, the Valentine was not designed to a military specification, but it was so impressive that the British government decided to purchase it. The Valentine tank went on to become the most-produced British wartime tank, with over 8,000 produced. It likewise had the most variants, with eleven different Valentine Marks built. The success of the Valentine tank design saw it survive its initial combat in North Africa to see the completion of the Second World War, and it remained in service around the world until 1960. This newest title in the Mushroom Model Publications Green Series documents the fascinating history of the Valentine tank and all those derivatives.
The subject is a complex one, and to handle it the book is divided into eight logical sections. The first section details the design, development, and production of the Valentine. This covers both British and Canadian production, as well as testing and storage. This is followed by the second section, which provides a detailed technical description of the basic Valentine tank. The third section completes the technical description of the Valentine tank by providing a detailed breakdown of the various Valentine gun tank marks. The other lesser known variants are covered later in the book.
The operational history makes up the fourth section, and this is quite thorough. It begins with the initial service in England, then jumps into the North African/Mediterranean theater. Italy, the Far East, and North West Europe are all given their own specific subsections here, while three separate detailed reviews of Valentine operations (Operation Crusader, the Ruweisat & Miteiriya Ridges, and Operation Ironclad) round out the section. Painting and markings follows the operational section, and the last main section details the foreign operations of the Valentine. This section documents the Valentine in the service of Canada, USSR, New Zealand, Egypt, India, Jordan, Lebanon, South Africa, Portugal, and Turkey.
Finally, there is a section specifically for the walkaround. This provides a very detailed examination of the Valentine tank and will be of great use to the modeler. In addition to the specific walkaround photos, the book is amply populated with period photos showing the Valentine in action around the world. There are also drawings and sketches from official government documents, as well as scale drawings and color profile illustrations. All in all, this is a very complete history on the Valentine tank.
With the recent release of new Valentine tanks by MiniArt, the search for references is on. This one is easily one of the best, and if you can only have one Valentine reference on your shelf, this would be it.
AFV Modeller May 2012 2012-11-29
Amazon.co.uk customer review (1) 2012-11-29
A long neglected subject., 7 May 2012
By Mr. A. WILSON
The Valentine Infantry Tank, has largely been overlooked by publishers, so this book from Mushroom is most welcome. The Valentine was a well developed and reliable vehicle, more than 7300 being built, including a number of different marks of gun tank and serving with a number of overseas armed forces. The Valentine also served as the basis for a number of special purpose vehicles, The Scissors bridgelayer, The Scorpion mine clearing flail tank, The Bishop self propelled gun, The Archer tank destroyer and the Duplex Drive Valentine (with collapsible canvas bouyancy screen). The sections of this book cover 1- Design, development and production. 2- Technical description. 3 Description of gun tank marks. 4- Operational use. 5- Painting and markings. 6- Overseas service (there are some interesting photos of New Zealand army Valentine's, modified with a 3 inch close support howitzer for jungle fighting). 7- Variants. 8- Walkaround (with plenty of detailed photos of a preserved duplex drive valentine). The book rounds off with some excellent colour plates of various colour schemes applied to Valentine's. Typically from this publisher, the book is well produced on quality paper, with plenty of photos, diagrams, line drawings and colour schemes. This packs a lot of information into a single volume and is excellent value for money.
IPMS UK Magazine 02/2012 2012-11-29
Amazon.com customer review (1) 2012-11-29
Good book, especially for modelers July 28, 2012
By Monac Format:Paperback|
This is a good book about the Valentine tank of World War 2, and its principal derivatives, the Valentine Bridgelayer, the Bishop self-propelled gun, and the Archer anti-tank vehicle. It is well written, detailed, and lavishly illustrated. Some of the photographs are color, and there are several pages of color plates of Valentines in various Commonwealth and Soviet camouflage schemes.
It is a bigger book than I anticipated. I had expected it to be similar in size to the Red Series aircraft books by the same publisher, or the Osprey Vanguard series, but it is about 11" by 8", and half an inch thick, all on heavy slick paper.
I was a bit disappointed in that it was oriented more toward modellers than toward the effectiveness of the Valentine in battle. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just different from what I expected. It does include sections on the Valentine in action, particularly in North Africa, and first person accounts of tankers who fought in them.
All in all, it is certainly worth the price if you want to know more about Valentines, and particularly if you are a modeller.
Amazon.co.uk customer review (2) 2012-11-29
Classy publication on a under regarded WWII Tank
9 Oct 2012 By Niolc Tiddler
You'll have to decide for yourselves wether you want this much detail on the Vickers Valentine tank - I picked up my copy because I knew next to nothing and wanted to know more. Short of a larger book detailing the experiences of the various operators in combat I think this is pretty much definitive.
Pallasch 43 2012-11-29
by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]
Okay, how many of you knew that the Valentine was the only British design to remain in service throughout the war? Alright, some of you are doing quite well. How many of you knew that the Valentine had greater production numbers, over 8,000, than any other British tank design? Okay then, one more. How many of you knew that MMP Books has recently released Dick Taylor’s exhaustive study of the Valentine tank titled, Into the Vally; The Valentine Tank and Derivatives 1938-1960 as part of their Green Series? Okay; if you knew all three you are a real fan of the Valentine. If you didn’t, but you would like to have the definitive Valentine reference, then you should really think about getting a hold of a copy of the book while you can.
Taylor has done a first rate job in his new book. He gives us over 190 pages printed on heavy slick paper stock, in A4 format with just about everything you could ever want to know about the Valentine. Be aware that the book also provides information and photographs of the Archer, Bishop, Scorpion, Bridgelayer and DD variants as well. To say the book is well researched is an understatement that doesn’t quite convey the depth of information in Taylor’s labor of love.
The book is extensively illustrated throughout with a good mix of general photos of the vehicle in action, technical drawings and photos, detail photos, spec tables, line drawings, plans, color plates, and a walk around of a restored example. Most of the photos are in black and white but are of very good quality with only a few grainy shots. The section with the restored vehicle are all in color and include a large number of nice close up detail photos.
The book is divided into 8 ‘parts’, or chapters;
1. Design, Development and Production
2. Technical Description
3. Description of gun Tanks Marks
4. Operational Use
5. Painting and Markings
6. Overseas Service
8. Walk Around
In addition to these 8 sections the book also includes a conclusion, a reference and bibliography and a color plate section of 14 different vehicles.
While the book is exhaustive in its technical depth what stands out to me is the value offered to modelers. With several kits of various Valentines available this is an incredible value for the money. You could go out and find 4 or 5 modeler oriented publications that provide information and photographic detail of the Valentine, or you could spend half that and get three times the information with this book. I am going to hazard a guess that in short order this volume will become the ‘go to’ publication on the Valentine that most everyone will point to as ‘THE’ Valentine reference.
Highs: Great photographic selections throughout, lots of detail shots. Seems to be written with the needs of the modeler in mind.
Verdict: Go buy this book. I would recommend this publication to anyone with even a passing interest and if you are planning on a well researched and detailed build of a Valentine it is an essential reference.
By Ray Mehlberger
Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in the U.K. All their books are printed in Sandomierz Poland by their partner Stratus in the English language. Stratus also prints books in Polish. This new book was sent to me directly from Stratus. It was heavily packed in several layers of card board to protect it.
The book is soft-cover in 192 pages of 8 ½” x 11 ¾” format.
The Valentine tank was the only pre-war British tank design to remain in service throughout WWII, and was built in greater numbers than any other. More than 8,000 being produced.
It saw service with several armies, in particular wartime operational service with British and Soviet armies. When the Valentine became obsolete as a gun tank, it soldiered on in many variants such as self-propelled guns and bridge-layers.
In this new book Dick Taylor describes in detail the design, development and production of the Valentines serving up until around 1960.
The book is profusely illustrated with 104 black and white general photos (one of these being a 4-view), 106 more black and white photos that are walk-around type, 48 color walk –around photos, 91 technical drawings, paint patterns for Valentines in full color, one general color photo, 3 black and white profiles (no scale given).
Profiles in 1/35th scale as line drawings include:
A 3-view of a Valentine Mk. I
A 4-view of a Valentine Mk. II
A single profile of a Valentine Mk. IV
A 2-view of a Valentine Mk. III
A 4-view of a Valentine Mk. III/V
A 2-view of a Valentine Mk. XI
A single profile of a Bishop III series
A single profile of a Bishop V series
Single profiles of Archer variants
A 4-view of a Archer with 25pdr
6 views of different armament and additional equipment variants on Archers
There are 3 brigade insignias in full color and 9 division ones.
Seven New Zealand division marks are in black and white.
The are 8 full color side profiles of Valentines at the back of the book and four 2-views. Also a single profile of an Archer and a Bishop.
A reference and bibliography is included in the book.
The illustrations and photos cover all aspects of Valentines and their variants, inside and out. This book is truly the definitive book about the Valentine.
Dick Taylor is a serving British Army officer who has been deployed in many areas of the world. Since being commissioned in 2000, he has specialized in tank gunnery construction, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear operations. Psychological operations, and lately, defence exporting. He has a First Class degree in History, and is currently reading for a Master’s degree at Dundee University. He is married with two sons and lives in Blandford, Dorset.
This book will be of great interest to historians, enthusiasts and modelers.
Beginning life as a private design by Vickers, the Valentine was the most numerous British tank of WWII, and the only one in service with mainstream units throughout the conflict. And yet despite these accolades, the Valentine is often overlooked and overshadowed by its more famous stable mates, the Churchill, Matilda and Cromwell.
Written by serving British Army officer Dick Taylor, this book covers the design, development, production and operations of this 'unsung hero' (Mr Taylor's own moniker). Aimed at both military enthusiasts and scale modellers alike, this book has been eagerly anticipated as the definitive book on the Valentine.
The book is softback, A4 format – noting unusual there; but what did strike me was that at £20 (less from certain online retailers) for nearly 200 pages, it is a lot of book for your buck. Supported by the fact that Dick Taylor and MMP's other publications have a strong reputation for accuracy, this book is excellent value. It is packed full of photographs (both period and colour walkaround), technical diagrams, scale plans and colour profiles.
It covers not only the Valentine gun tanks, but also the self propelled artillery / anti-tank platform versions – the Bishop and Archer – as well as other variants such as bridge layers and duplex drive. For the modeller looking for accurate and well-researched reference material, this is pretty much a one stop shop, certainly for the Valentine gun tanks. T
he book is broken down into eight main parts, plus conclusion and colour plates, which I will outline below.
Design Development and Production pp3-17 The origins of the design are examined, all the way back to original War Office doctrine of the early 1930s which decreed the need for Light, Cruiser and Infantry tanks. There are comprehensive tables of production indicating Mark, census number range and manufacturer.
The Canadian produced Valentine Mk VI and MK VII, and their export to Russia, are also covered.
Technical Description pp18-62
A brief overview of the different Marks, then followed by detailed examination of structure, armour strength, engine and transmission, and suspension. Detailed diagrams and drawings of driver's compartment. Five pages of excellent four view 1/35 scale plans, including Mk I, II, III, IV, V and IX. Also included is everything from different stowage arrangements to variations in vision ports and antenna mounts.
Description of gun Tank Marks pp63-80
Comprehensive list of features of British 2pdr armed Valentines, and then a list of differentiating features of subsequent Canadian and 6pdr / 75mm armed Marks. Detailed turret interior diagrams. If you were ever confused by which Mark was which and why, this is the chapter to read!
Operational Use pp81-95
A list of all British units that used the Valentine, broken down further by Theatre of Operation.
Painting & Markings pp96-106
Three view colour plates of typical UK scheme, North Africa scheme shown in three variations, as well as the famous Caunter scheme (which is conjecture for the Valentine). A selection of Brigade and Divisional insignia as seen on Valentines. Of note is a picture of 'Adonis' – a Valentine Mk V in distinctive Malta camouflage.
Overseas Service pp107-121
As well as the expected use of the Valentine by Russian, New Zealand, Australian and Canadian units, there is also coverage of the tank's post War use by the likes of Egypt, India and South Africa, to name but a few.
If you thought you knew the Valentine, then this chapter will really test you. Bridge layers, anti-mine flail tanks, and duplex drive amphibious Valentines are all examined in some detail. Of more interest to the mainstream modeller will be this chapter's coverage of the Bishop and the Archer. The Bishop section has just two side on plans and no interior diagrams or pictures, but does have two good shots of the ammunition limber often seen in tow. The Archer section is more comprehensive, with three pages of 1/35 plans and two good drawings of the fighting compartment interior.
Colour shots of a still running DD Mk IX, including inside the engine and transmission compartment, and turret. A slightly odd choice for the walkaround subject in my view.
Colour Profiles pp186-192
Although fourteen tanks are covered, most are only shown in one side on profile. In some cases the author seems to know what was on the front or other side eg with Redoubtable. It is therefore a shame that these profiles are not completed, especially since Dick Talyor's best guess (if that is indeed what it would be) is sure to be significantly better than most modellers who fancy doing one of the tanks illustrated.
So What Do We Think?
"Into The Vally" is an excellent book. It really is hard to fault, because it is so comprehensive and so detailed. If I had to be picky, there are only two let-downs in this book, and they are relatively small ones at that: firstly, the section on the Bishop is very thin compared to the manner in which everything else is covered; secondly, I wish the colour profiles at the end were more "modeller friendly". The bottom line is if you have no other reference in your library on the Valentine, this is THE one to get.
With thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review sample.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Built in more numbers than any other British tank, the Valentine was designed as an infantry tank, but had enough speed to be considered a cruiser as well. Though not the most powerful or the best armored tank operated by the British, it had the major benefit of being reliable and somewhat easy to maintain. Obsolete by mid-war, the chassis of the Valentine went on to be used as the basis for a number of other specialized vehicles.
Not wanting to start a long discourse, but the truth was that British tanks were generally inferior to those operated by other warring powers until near the end of the war. True, the Matilda was superbly armored, but it was slow and had but a 40mm main gun. Of course, few enemy tanks at the start of the war had anything much bigger, but it was soon found to be quite lacking.
The design of the Valentine was first shown to the Army on 14 Feb 1938 (hence the name), and by mid 1940, the first variants were being delivered to units. The Army used them as cruiser tanks and they first saw combat during Operation Crusader in November of 1941. Their reliability was much appreciated in the harsh desert climate and while not well utilized, they performed sterling service. They were also used during the Italian campaign. By the time of the Normandy invasion, they were little used as gun tanks, despite the later marks being upgraded from the 2 pnd gun to a larger 6 pnd variant. They did see quite a bit of use by the New Zealanders, who modified their old 2pnd guns to a 3 inch howitzer, where it was very useful in troop support. Valentine tanks were also used in jungle fighting during the India/Burma campaign.
It was natural for such a reliable chassis to be used for other purposes and that includes a command tank, flail tank, the Archer SPG as well as the less built and taller Bishop, SPG. The Valentine bridge-layer was always in demand and in short supply.
Author Dick Taylor covers the full history of the Valentine from its initial development to its acceptance and its delayed production. All of the different variants are covered highlighting the changes between versions as well as the positive and negative aspects of each version. For instance, the 2 pnd gun was only capable of firing armor piercing rounds, making it somewhat less useful when covering troops, where a high explosive round would be wanted. Of course, that was not fixed until the Valentine's front line use was nearly done.
There are also sections on the tank's combat career, the various camouflage schemes it wore as well as a photo walkaround of preserved tanks. All of the different chassis uses are also covered in some detail and the book has many pages of full color profiles. As you would expect from MMP, there are a bevy of period photographs and illustrations from the tech manuals. Post war use of the vehicle is covered as are the various nations that used the Valentine.
It makes for another superlative effort from the folks at MMP books and like all their other titles, is highly recommended.
Reviewed by Brett Green
Media and Contents:
Soft Cover A4 portrait style with 192 pages including colour plates and B&W and colour photos plus tables
Useful blend of history, photo coverage, plans, drawings and profiles
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Although we modellers are currently blessed with not just one, but two separate families of 1:35 scale Valentine kits (MiniArt and AFV Club), references are not exactly thick on the ground.
MMP Books has addressed this shortage with the latest in their expanding range of military titles, “Into the Valley – The Valentine Tank and Derivatives 1938-1960” by Dick Taylor.
The Valentine was the only pre-war British design to remain in service until the end of hostilities in 1945 and was produced in greater numbers than any other. More than 8,000 were eventually manufactured.
Although overshadowed by many other types, the Valentine saw active and important service with the British and Soviet armies, as well as Commonwealth forces. The gun tank was obsolescent before the end of the Second World War, but specialised variants such as bridge layers and self-propelled guns soldiered on until as late as 1960.
Dick Taylor’s latest MMP book is A4 in format, with 192 high quality glossy pages between its soft covers, 32 of those in full colour. The text discusses the design, development production and operations of the Valentine tank and its many derivations.
The book is divided into eight Chapters:
Design, Development and Production
Description of Gun Tank Marks
Painting and Markings
The eight main Chapters are followed by a Conclusion, References and a seven page section of attractive colour plates.
The book is profusely illustrated throughout with wartime photos, scrap view drawings and scale plans. The plans are particularly helpful for identifying the differences between the variants and the specialised versions. The photos show an enormous variety of vehicles in all sorts of conditions and service. It is a shame that some of the photos are very dark and contrasty, but even these are still interesting. Captions are detailed and helpful, as we have come to expect from MMP’s Green series in general and Dick Taylor in particular. v There is a particularly good series of photos of Valentines in New Zealand service, courtesy of Jeff Plowman.
The colour diagrams of camouflage patterns include a top and a port side view. It might have been nice to have included front, rear and starboard views too.
MMP’s growing Green Series of military vehicle books is proving to be a valuable resource, and Dick Taylor is proving himself to be a champion of British tank history as well as camouflage and markings. v Although “Into the Valley” is not specifically a modelling book, its useful blend of history, photo coverage, plans, drawings and profiles make it an ideal source of reference information and inspiration for modellers.
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