Valentine IX: 50 RTR and the coaxial issue

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Orwell1984, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Reading Stephen Hamilton's 50th Royal Tank Regiment: A complete history and came across the interesting story of the first Valentine IX 6pdrs and their major design flaw: a lack of coaxial machine gun.
    Here's how the history outlines the issue and the solution attempted:
    Not surprisingly this issue was remedied in later marks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Quite the odd expedient!

    It is strange - maybe I am missing something - how the first conclusion regarding the 6 pounder was that it was not possible to fit it in the Valentine. Then it was - or did they alter the gun? Then there was no room for a machine gun. Then they found room - how?
     
  3. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    "Into the Vally" by Dick Taylor is a good reference for this. In simple steps, before the Mark IX, the Valentine was fitted with a three man two-pounder turret. When the decision was taken to mount the six-pounder, the turret front was redesigned and it reverted to a two man turret to fit the gun, a quick fix so to speak to get six-pounders in action. For the Mark X another redesign of the mantlet took place to mount a BESA coaxial. Essentially a lot of measures taken due to limits to turret size and needing to get something into action sooner rather than later.
     
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    I believe the reinstated coax went into a rather lightly-armoured 'cowling', possibly outboard of the trunnion.
     
  5. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Yes, the right side of the mantlet was restructured so what is called an 'armoured cowl' was created to hold the coaxial. It is descibed as producing a 'prominent bulge' on the outside of the turret and being proof only against 7.92 mm point blank (Taylor p45)
    [​IMG]

    Here it is on a Mark X.

    for comparison here's a Mark I with coaxial setup:
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

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  7. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    This extract from a report ‘Points of Interest Arising from Operations’ by Brigadier G. W. Richards (23rd Armd Bde) dated 18 Feb 1943 mirrors this account and adds a further criticism of the Mk IX with respect to the provision for smoke.

    upload_2019-11-23_21-23-25.jpeg

    Canadian Military Headquarters, London : T-17842 - Héritage
     
  8. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    The correspondence I posted earlier makes me wonder how they got the 6-pounder into a Valentine turret at all...
     
  9. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

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