Thursday, February 2, 2017

Valentine tank production, WWII

http://www.cpr.ca/en/about-cp-site/PublishingImages/en/cp-and-war/ns3004.jpg

During WW II, CPR's Angus Shops in Montreal produced 1,400 of these "Valentine" army tanks for shipment to Russia to assist in their drive to force the German Army out of eastern Europe.


Example in the Canadian War Museum.  Photo by Mister G

According to the Canadian War Museum:

This British-designed, Canadian-manufactured tank was actually used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The Canadian Pacific Railway's Angus Shop in Montreal made 1,420 Valentines (so-called because the prototype was completed on February 14), all but 30 of which Canada shipped to the Red Army. During a Soviet offensive in Ukraine in January 1945, this one broke through the ice covering a frozen bog. All three crew members escaped, but the tank sank out of sight. Forty-six years later, residents of the nearby village of Telepino recovered it and, in 1992, the government of Ukraine gave it to the Museum.
Another fact sheet from the museum adds that there were other explanations for the name of the tank:  it was the middle name of Carden Lloyd, the designer; it was taken from the acronym for the manufacturer Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Newcastle-on-Tyne, or because it was first offered to the British War Office just before St. Valentine's Day in 1938.  All rubbish, according to a "Tank Chat" video by David Fletcher MBE of The Tank Museum, who insists that the name was simply a code word applied to the model by Vickers.

It was recovered in the summer of 1990, only because a 74 year-old villager remembered it going through the ice.  It was pulled out with the use of six tractors and two power winches.  It is one of two surviving Canadian-built Valentines in the world.  (I believe that the other is at C.F. B. Borden).

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