Valentine VIII

The Valentine VIII was the designation given to Valentine IIIs that had been upgunned to carry the 6-pounder anti-tank gun. The Mk III had introduced a new three-man turret, but retained the original 2-pounder gun. This turret had just enough space to carry the more powerful 6-pounder gun. A number of Mk IIIs were upgraded to carry the new gun. On converted tanks the coaxial machine gun had to be removed, and there was only space for two men. There was also only space for 53 6-pounder shells, compared to 60-62 2-pounder shells in earlier marks.

The Valentine VIII carried the 6-pounder Mk III, the first mass production version of the gun. The prototype and most later versions had a L/50 barrel (length fifty times the calibre), but the Mk III used a shorter L/43 barrel in order to simplify production. The Valentine IX and Valentine X used the full length 6-pounder Mk V.

The Mk VIII was powered by the same 131 hp A.E.C. diesel engine as the Mk III.

The Mk VIII was one of three versions armed with the 6-pounder gun. The Mk IX was an up-gunned version of the Mk V, while the Mk X was built from new with the 6-pounder.

The Mk VIII was used by the 6th Armoured Division during Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa.

Names
Valentine VIII

Stats
Production:
Hull Length: 6m 32.5cm/ 20ft 9in
Hull Width: 2m 63cm/ 8ft 7.5in
Height: 2m 27cm/ 7ft 5.5in
Crew: 3
Weight: 17,200kg/ 16.9 tons
Engine: AEC A 160
Max Speed on road: 24km/h/ 15mph
Max Speed off road: 18km/h / 11mph
Max Range: 176km/ 109 miles
Armament: QF 6-pounder Mk III

Armour
Turret front: 65mm
Turret sides: 60mm
Nose: 60mm at 21 degrees
Glacis plate: 30mm at 68 degrees
Hull sides: 60mm vertical

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45, Bruce Oliver Newsome. Looks at the most numerous British tank of the Second World War, but one that only saw limited combat service, mainly in North Africa. Notable for the amount of information packed into a series of tables, including specifications and identifying features of the many versions of the Valentine, as well as the interesting material on the interior of the tank, how it was driven, and on the many special variants such as the Archer self -propelled gun, which carried its main gun pointing backwards. [read full review]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (17 June 2015), Valentine VIII , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_valentine_VIII.html

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