Valentine MK I with 6-pounder anti-tank mounting

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                              Valentine MK I with 6-pounder anti-tank mounting

Design and service history:

Initially, the British had been slow to adopt self-propelled guns during the early Second World War, even if in the direct post-war WW1 period they had been pioneers in their development. This would soon change as the situation in North Africa developed, as British encounters with German tank destroyers such as the Panzerjager I were found to be rather effective against British tanks, and in theory could crack thickly armoured tanks like the Matilda. Because of this many designs cropped up in early 1942, which were reminiscent of the german vehicles armed with a 2-pounder gun.

Unfortunately none would see service in any real capacity, as the 2-pounder was already becoming ineffective against more modern German armour such as the Panzer III. This in combination with the fact most light cruiser tanks were being removed from production resulted in a notable shortage of cruiser tanks for normal armour formations. This meant that the only available chassis for conversion into an SPG capable of carrying the more powerful 6-pounder was the Valentine MK I chassis then in production.

The Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company (MCCW) where contracted to construct a prototype of a tank destroyer armed with a 6-pounder gun. This was done using the chassis of a Valentine I tank with WD number T.20425. In order to accommodate the larger gun, the small turret was removed from the tank, and a special pedestal gun mount was installed on the front of the vehicle behind the driver’s position. This new fighting compartment was then protected from small arms fire from the rear and sides by armour plates, though the vehicle remained open-topped.

This prototype tank destroyer was then tested in 1942, but would never go into production, as the design was deemed less than equivalent to competing designs at the time. The TD was found to be taller than the existing Valentine and possessed weaker armour, which in combination with its slow speed left it vulnerable to enemy attack. The nail in the coffin for the design though was the fact that the Valentine MK IX was coming into development and was nearing production, which was effectively a well-armoured Valentine tank equipt with the same gun. Because the MK IX showed more promise, the Valentine SPG concept armed with a 6-pounder was discarded, though this did not stop Valentine-based SPG from seeing service, such as the bishop and archer.

Vehicle specifications:

Mass about 16 long tons (16 t)

Length hull: 17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)

Width 8 ft 7.5 in (2.629 m)

Height 7 ft 5.5 in (2.273 m)

Crew 3

Armour 0.31–2.56 in (8–65 mm)

Main armament QF 6-pounder (57 mm)

Engine AEC A189 9.6 litre petrol

Power/weight 12.4 hp (9.2 kW) / tonne

Transmission Meadows Type 22 (5 speed and reverse)

Suspension modified three-wheel Horstmann suspension “Slow Motion”

Fuel capacity 36 gallons internal

Operational range 90 mi (140 km) on roads

Maximum speed 15 mph (24 km/h)

Additional historical photos:




+1 for British panzerjäger!

Always have enjoyed this funky little guy. +1

Would be a perfect low tier AT gun, maybe around 2.3.