Armour in Canadian service: Valentine tank

Tank, Infantry, Mk. III, Valentine

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3195889)

An Army trooper and one of the workmen discussing the firepower of a Valentine tank built in the Angus workshop in Montreal, 23 May 1942.

More than 8,000 of the type were produced in eleven marks, plus various specialised variants, accounting for approximately a quarter of wartime British tank production. It was built under licence in Canada, most them being supplied to the USSR. Developed by Vickers, it proved to be both strong and reliable, which was unusual for British tanks of the period. To develop its own tank forces, Canada had established tank production facilities. An order was placed in 1940 with Canadian Pacific and after modifications to the Valentine design to use local standards and materials, the production prototype was finished in 1941

Canadian production was mainly at the CPR Angus Shops in Montreal and 1,420 were produced in Canada, of which 1,388 were sent to the Soviet-Union. The remaining 32 were retained for training.

The use of local GMC Detroit Diesel engines in Canadian production was a success and the engine was adopted for British production. British and Canadian production totalled 8,275, making the Valentine the most produced British tank design of the war.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3195884)

Workman finishing assembly of a Valentine tank at the Angus Workshop in Montreal, 23 May 1941.

(UK Govt Photo)

Valentine Infantry Tank Mk. III.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 31925884)

Valentine Infantry Tank Mk. III, under construction in Montreal, 23 May 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 31925884)

The Valentine Infantry Tank Mk. III built by the CPR Angus Shops in Montreal, Quebec, was designed for the support of infantry in attack.  It entered production in England in 1940 and in Canada in 1941.  The first examples of this tank with a three-man turret went to the Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicles Training Centre at Camp Borden where they were used for gunnery and tank commander training.  1,390 Canadian produced Valentines were sent to Russia, while 30 remained in Canada for trials and training.  Valentines were powered by a General Motors 6-cylinder, 2-cycle Diesel Engine and equipped with three-wheel Bogie assemblies.  Its main armament was an Ordnance QF 2-pounder Mk. IX gun and a .30-calibre Browning M1919A4 machine-gun co-axially mounted on the mantlet.  War department numbers for the 30 Valentines in Canada ran from CT-138916 to CT-148945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3192517)

Brigadier Kenneth Stuart, D.S.O.,M.C., and others inspecting the first Canadian-built tank, the Valentine Tank, at the Angus Shops of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Montreal, 27 May 1941.

(Balcer Photo)

(JustSomePics Photos)

Valentine Mk. III Infantry tank, Base Borden Military Museum, CFB Borden, Ontario.

(Author Photo)

Valentine Infantry Tank Mk. VII, (Serial No. WD T1445), recovered from the Ukraine. Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

No photo description available.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586332)

Valentine bridgelayer, Melfa, Italy, 23 May 1944.