Valentine Infantry Tank 1938–45 Book Review
|Date of Review||April 2016||Title||Valentine Infantry Tank 1938–45|
|Author||Bruce Newsome||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||48 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$17.95|
“[A]bout 25 per cent of all the tank platforms produced in Britain during [World War II], about 25 per cent of those produced in Canada, and almost 75 per cent of the tanks exported by Britain and Canada to the Soviet Union” were derivatives, Bruce Newsome reports, of the Valentine tank.
Now he recaps the design in Valentine Infantry Tank 1938–45 – number 233 in Osprey’s vast “New Vanguard” range.
The pithy paperback spans just 48 pages. But it roundly recaps the vehicle’s genesis, history and derivatives.
Contents commence with “design and development” notes, briefly highlight “production”, then swiftly segue to British, Canadian, New Zealand and Soviet “use”. Variant summaries – self-propelled gun, amphibious, flamethrower, bridge-layer and anti-mine models – follow. And nearly a quarter of coverage spotlights “driving” and “fighting” “capabilities”.
Like minutiae? Metaphorical mountains of it appear. Did you know that “Valentine” might have been an acronym for the vehicle’s manufacturer: “Vickers Armstrong Limited (Engineers), Newcastle-upon-Tyne”? And did you know that each anti-mine flail chain measured 4’9” long – with “about 35 links made from steel bars 9/16 inches in diameter”?
Neither did I.
Newsome’s slim study packs even more detail into at least 5 tables – one of which spans a surprising 5 pages. Photos, color plates and a cut-away illustrate Osprey’s effort. And extended captions, sidebars, selected bibliography (2 sources) and index augment the account.
Many historians consider the Valentine a rather mediocre “platform” – to use one of author Newsome’s pet terms. But numbers alone confirm its substantial impact on WWII. Make “New Vanguard” 233 your introduction to this historically significant vehicle.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!