Valentine IX Trials in the USSR


Hello everyone,

as a part of the “Saint Infantry Tank Mk.III day”, Yuri Pasholok posted an interesting document about the performance of Valentine IX tanks in USSR. Valentine IX was a Valentine variant with a 57mm (6pdr, late model) gun. First vehicles of this type arrived in the USSR in early 1943. Design-wise, they were further developed from the Valentine III/V model by switching the original 2pdr for the larger 6pdr gun and removing the coaxial MG due to the large size of the new gun.

One Valentine IX was tested in March 1943 in Kubinka.


One of the things they tested was the visibility from the tank. Here’s how that ended for the driver:


And from the turret:


Furthermore, the tests included trying out how accurate the gun is and how well does it fire on the move. The average rate of fire achieved with the 6pdr on the move was 2,7 rounds per minute (in a standing vehicle, it was 10 RPM). Batches of 5 rounds were tested. At 1000 yards (914 meters), the chance to hit a (tank) target from standing vehicle was 60 percent, but on the move (9-10 km/h), the chance to hit one target (the tank was aiming at it and mowing towards it, eg. no turret traverse was necessary) dropped to 40 percent, for 2 targets it was 20 percent and for 3 targets 0 percent (in other words, from a tank, moving 10 km/h, you have 40 percent chance of hitting your one target when you fire 5 shots, but only 20 percent, when there are two targets, to hit both).

The conclusion of the test was, to put it shortly, that the tank sucks. The Soviets complained about the reliability of the 6pdr recoil mechanism, low power reserve, was of very poor accuracy when firing on the move and low rate of fire on the move (caused according to the Soviets by issues with aiming optics). Furthermore, the gun is missing proper HE shells and the missing coaxial machinegun prevents this infantry tank from being used against enemy infantry.

The testing committee then stated that when it comes to the technical data, Valentine III and IX are equal and the gun is only suitable for fighting enemy armored vehicles and suggested more reliability tests of the 6pdr.

Here, Yuri Pasholok states that regardless of this outcome, the 6pdr became very useful with the appearance of the German “big cats”, as it was – power-wise – comparable to Soviet ZIS-2. The armor was problematic – side armor could be penetrated by any German tank. On the other hand, the tank’s low speed was not such a big issue (although, oddly enough, in the Red Army, many Valentines were attached (within tank regiments) to cavalry divisions). The vehicle was actually not very tall and relatively “stealthy” (not loud) thanks to an effective muffler. The appearance of Valentine actually coincided with the decline of the T-70 light tank, which was eventually replaced by the Valentines. It’s interesting to compare both vehicles in height:


As you can see, the Valentine was barely any taller than the tiny T-70. Yuri Pasholok thus considers the Valentine one of the best light tanks of WW2. The vehicle had its flaws, but remained battle-worthy throughout the entire war through series of upgrades, with the last versions armed already with a 75mm gun – no other light tank had its gun increased by this much without seriously reworking the hull.

37 thoughts on “Valentine IX Trials in the USSR

  1. Unlucky in WoT this vehicle is so much UP, only way to play it is stock turret&gun and load of gold ammo.

  2. Say what you want about British tanks, but the Valentine and Churchill were very good tanks considering the dire circumstances Britain was in before the USA decided to join the Allies.

    • -> Churchill were very good tanks

      The tank about wich Churchill said: “Tank bearing my name, has more disadvantages than myself.”?
      I am not sure about english version, but in russian it is quite common frase.

      • Yes the Churchill was slow and early versions were terribly under gunned and unreliable. It was however well armoured, the crew compartment was roomy. For what it was (an infantry support tank) it did a good job.

        • Mate, in Soviet army Churchill had “БМ-7″ – “BG-7″ – “Brothers Grave-7″ nickname, due to gas engine and problems with emergence escape. So all 7 tankers of crew usually died in it when fire starts. Churchill is bad tank due to WW2 results.

        • Exactly, The Churchill holds the record for the fastest advance of the war, actually having to wait for the rest of the allies to catch up, lest they pushed too far.
          This is mainly due to its excellent off-road capability, which is not shown in WOT (here’s hoping they actually model it properly in the new movement physics) – the tank could almost literately get anywhere. There were numerous occasions where the Germans were caught off guard because they didn’t believe that /any/ tank could make it across certain terrain, and so the Churchills were able to advance and attack German fortifications where they were weakest.

          It was also one of the best hulls for re-use as utility vehicles – there is a reason the AVRE, bridge-layer, ARK, ARV, Crocodile flame tanks etc were based on the Churchill chassis.

          I’m not saying it didn’t have faults, but so did other tanks – there is a reason they were still in service through the Korean war (mainly as gun-tanks) and beyond (though that was the last time they were used in combat).

          • Funnything is that in soviet Russia Churchill was not so good in a questionof off-roadcapability. It is always mentioned one case when in time of Battle of Kursk 15 Churchill tank have been ordered to recapture a village. During the march to the village 10 Churchills tank were broken and 1 has lost its track while trying to climb on the hill . Only 3 or 4 vehicles were able to get to its destination.

  3. Could the accuracy be due to training? If I remember correctly many British tank guns up to the 6pdr were fitted with a shoulder stock and were shot like a rifle. The Gunner using his knees and body to stabilise the gun. As such British gunners were trained in firing on the move and bracing the gun against their shoulder.

    • I think only 2pdr guns used the shoulder mounted aiming system, anything bigger used a geared traditional system

    • Holy fucking shit I would not want to stabilize a 57mm gun with my shoulder. Im sure it was engineered well and worked if you say so, but sounds bones-broken-concussion-inducing horrible

      • I’ve read that 6pdrs have elevation locks of some sort to keep the gun from smushing the gunner whilst going over bumps and whatnot.

        Gotta agree, though, I’m not sure I would want even a well-balanced ~1000kg gun riding on my shoulder.

      • “… I would not want to stabilize a 57mm gun with my shoulder. Im sure it was engineered well and worked if you say so, but sounds bones-broken-concussion-inducing horrible…”

        No. The person “shouldering” the gun did not have to absorb the recoil. He was simply using human power to elevate and depress the gun. The A-13 series were the same.

        Some Brit gunners got very good at it, and their accomplishments “firing on the move” were not equaled until vertical stabilizers were later invented. :)

    • Probably down to training. I’d guess that most Soviet tankers would be familiar with the concept of stabilization with the shoulder, but not have the days/weeks/months of training and practice to do it effectively.

      I mean, lets face it, the whole arrangement looks like you’re aiming and shooting it “like a rifle”, but I would imagine actually doing it was wildly different :v

  4. 1) -> Появление Valentine IX а фронте почти совпало с закатом карьеры Т-70, который он в итоге (совместно с “Валентинами” других модификаций) и заменил. В этом свете интересно взглянуть на эти две машины в плане габаритов, особенно занятная картина получается по высоте

    “совпало” means matched. It happens simultaneously: both disappereance of T-70 and further LL of Valentine. Not such thing as Valentine to be the reason to stop T-70 production.

    2) It is good for you to also read comments to these post in Pasholoks journal, there are good posts about T-50.

  5. “The average rate of fire achieved with the 6pdr on the move was 2,7 rounds per minute (in a standing vehicle, it was 10 RPM).”

    meanwhile in WOT. ELC races at 60kmph over houses and wrecks and still has the same RPM.
    seriously though, why is this difference so big. the vehicle barely moves at 10 kmph and the crew only manages 2,7RPM?
    the driver is also the loader?:))

    • Remember that tanks suspension is pretty stiff and tankers are cramped in pretty uncomfortable positions. Now try to grab 10kg(?) shell without bumping your head on something in tank interior, while trying not to kill your mates and yourself, and also not to fall down. 20 seconds is a pretty good time.

    • Lack of practice? The fun thing about tests like these is that they are effectively performed by raw crews. Also, there is this thing that tanks from other nations tend to be underrated as a matter of principle. I would not take it at face value.

    • Reality and even common sense are not represented in WoT. They “nerf” something and claim ” not historically accurate” and then buff things in the name of “game balance”……..just keep the money rolling in………

      • They never nerf something other than armor when going to HD model for
        Historical accuracy. Would it really be fun playing an m103 with a 30 second reload? Would it really be fun driving a maus that only goes 9kph? Think about it.

  6. Firing on the move? It was accepted doctrine in the West to halt the tank from an advantageous position and fire. What a stupid evaluation remark. Lets test it as it is not intended to use it. All tanks without any form of gun stabilisation will suck at firing on the move.

  7. “but on the move (9-10 km/h), the chance to hit one target (the tank was aiming at it and mowing towards it, eg. no turret traverse was necessary) dropped to 40 percent, for 2 targets it was 20 percent and for 3 targets 0 percent”

    Well, no MT “hit and kill enemy while on the move” missions for this thing :-P

  8. There was also a Valentine with a 17-lber gun as well, though iirc it was very limited-production.

  9. Pingback: Valentine IX Trails in the USSR – Tank and AFV News