Valentine Bridgelayer

The Valentine Bridgelayer was the last version of the tank to see frontline service, and could deploy a medium sized bridge while under fire.

A 'scissors' bridge was mounted on top of a Valentine tank. This was normally carried in the folded position, and was raised and put in place using a screw jack. The bridge could span 30 feet wide gaps and carry vehicles of up to 30 tons.

A series of tanks were used as the basis for the scissors-bridge. Early development used light tanks. The project then moved onto the A10 cruiser tank, and from that to the dreadful Covenanter cruiser tank. Finally the Valentine was adopted, and entered production at the Southern Railway's Eastleigh Works. This involved removing the turret from Valentine tanks, and these were used on early AEC Mark I armoured cars.

Six bridgelayers were issued to each armoured brigade equipped with cruiser or medium tanks.

The bridgelayer was used in action in the Italian campaign, in North-Western Europe and in Burma. It was widely used with British and Commonwealth forces.

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 (12 August 2015), Valentine Bridgelayer , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_valentine_bridgelayer.html

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