Obsolete tanks

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Kingfish
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Obsolete tanks

Post by Kingfish » 23 Apr 2021 14:24

As the war progressed the older tank designs were withdrawn to make way for the Shermans, Comets, etc. I know a number of Grants / Lees were shipped to Burma, and some Crusaders were converted to AA vehicles, but what about the others? The Centaurs, Valentines and the like.
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Richard Anderson
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Re: Obsolete tanks

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Apr 2021 15:37

Kingfish wrote:
23 Apr 2021 14:24
As the war progressed the older tank designs were withdrawn to make way for the Shermans, Comets, etc. I know a number of Grants / Lees were shipped to Burma, and some Crusaders were converted to AA vehicles, but what about the others? The Centaurs, Valentines and the like.
Centaur 95mm was used to equip the Royal Marine Armoured Support batteries for D-Day and continued in that role for some weeks after the landing. Valentines Bridgelayers were in most of the armoured brigades. In addition to the Crusader AA, there were also Crusader Gun Towers, which were for towing 17-pdr guns, rather than hauling towers about (ain't English grand?) :lol:
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Simon H
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Re: Obsolete tanks

Post by Simon H » 23 Apr 2021 15:59

Valentines sent as lend lease to Russia.
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daveshoup2MD
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Re: Obsolete tanks

Post by daveshoup2MD » 24 Apr 2021 08:06

Kingfish wrote:
23 Apr 2021 14:24
As the war progressed the older tank designs were withdrawn to make way for the Shermans, Comets, etc. I know a number of Grants / Lees were shipped to Burma, and some Crusaders were converted to AA vehicles, but what about the others? The Centaurs, Valentines and the like.
The New Zealand 3rd Division in the South Pacific/Southwest Pacific had a Valentine-equipped unit attached in 1943-44, before the division was broken up; the Australian armoured brigade-equivalent in the SWPA in 1943-45 had Matildas, through to Borneo, I believe.

Valentines were provided to the French in North Africa for training purposes and the "local" defense forces (not the units that went to France, which had M4 mediums and M3/M5 lights); Valentines were also provided as military aid to the Turks in 1943-45, I believe. Quite a few of the pre-1943 designs continued in British (and Canadian and Polish, etc) hands in the UK for training purposes in 1943-45.

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Re: Obsolete tanks

Post by EwenS » 24 Apr 2021 13:43

When it comes to the Valentine, the Bridgelayers, DD tanks, SP Bishops and Archers were all built as such and were not conversions. Those Valentines sent to the USSR were new built, many from Canadian production. The USSR was funny about accepting "used" equipment even at the start of the war.

Most of the Valentines retained for British and Commonwealth after late 1942 use were used for training purposes either in the UK or abroad. Over 300 Valentine gun tanks were shipped to India to train Indian tank units in WW2. At June 1945 there were still 84 gun tanks in 21AG with 30 of those in infantry divisions with Royal Artillery units. Approx 200 went to Turkey from Middle East stocks in 1943 with more to Portugal.

The Canadian built Ram tanks were used by both British and Canadian units in Britain to train during 1942/43 before being replaced by new Shermans in time for D-Day. From August 1944 some of these were converted into Ram Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers to equip 2 regiments in NWE.

While it is true that some Lee/Grants were transferred from the Middle East to India, the majority, 896, were delivered direct from the factories to India, which is more than were delivered to the Middle East in the first place.

Edit:- regarding the Ram, 28 Mark II were converted to ammo carriers, another 28 to Command Posts and an unidentified number to Obersvation Post vehicles.

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