Tracking down Valentine-related files

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi all,

    Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place...

    For a little while I've been trying to find information in the Canadian archives about design adjustments made for the production of Canadian-built Valentine tanks.

    I just had a brainwave thanks to a poster on a Canadian forum and checked the UK National Archives site, and found that the Field Trial reports I was looking for are at Kew!!!! At least I know where they are now.


    That makes me think the Design Change Instructions and Design Deviation Permits might be there too but... searching for those phrases doesn't turn up anything.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    edited PS: And I just found the cold weather test files at Library & Archives Canada! Yes!!
    von Poop likes this.
  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Have you checked Dick Taylor's book 'Into the Vally'? I've not read it myself but understand it's a mine of information.
    von Poop likes this.
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I do own a copy of that remarkable book and have read it but it does not go THIS far into the details of the Canadian version.

    It's probably what got me so interested, to be honest!
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Dick frequently posts on the missing-lynx forum. I suggest you ask the same question there as he only very rarely visits this site. He may have come up with the info you require as part of his research into his book. Only one way to find out!
    Chris C likes this.
  5. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Chris, is the 'Allied Armour 1940' blog your work? Which forum were you referring to?

    You may find this Tank Archives post helpful - it appears to be underpinned by work in the Russian archives.

    Re Kew: it might be worthwhile providing the references that you have already identified as someone may already have copied the files. As you probably appreciate most items are not catalogued at the document level so the Design Change Instructions and Design Deviation Permits you seek might be in the same files.

    “Design Record, Canadian Developed Military Vehicles, World War II” is not a source that I am familiar with: is it practical to post more from it?
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Hi Roberto,

    "Allied Armour 1940" is in fact me :) The other forum I mentioned is "Canada at War" which seems pretty quiet. Canadian-made Valentines - field trial reports etc - Canada at War Forums

    "Design Record, Canadian Developed MIlitary Vehicles, World War II" is unfortunately not a practical source to post from. It was a series of 7 or 8 small volumes then released as 2 large ones, but it was produced by the Department of Munitions and Supply after WW2 and there aren't a lot of copies floating around. I found a copy at Library & Archives Canada and I believe the War Museum Research Centre has a copy, but I don't have one nor does the large Toronto Public Library. If there is a particular vehicle you are interested in, I can take photos of the relevant pages next time I am there.

    Good point about the Design Change Instructions and Deviation Permits. I'll try to make a followup post...
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Ok, so the first part, with D.M.S. and D.N.D. - I know that H.Q.S. refers to the Department of National Defense (in Canada) and so this is internal correspondence. There are lots of references to these files in a document that the poster Temujin on canadaatwar pointed me at (

    Field Trial Reports - D.T.D. means Directorate of Tank Design. These are at Kew.

    A.E.D.B. - I'm not sure of this acronym (Arctic Equipment Design Board...?!?) but I have found quite a few records related to cold weather tests at LAC (Library and Archives Canada) (

    P.S. Roberto thanks for the link to the Tank Archives post! I'm looking forward to reading it.
  8. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Chris, I'm not sure if you are familiar with The National Archives catalogue Discovery but there are a whole series of files relating to Field Trials starting with WO 194/178 covering the period Mar-Apr 1941 which is surely too late for the Valentine. This search will provide a list but the recorded detail is limited.

    The Directorate of Tank Design's predecessor, the Mechanization Board, might be more promising.

    BTW it's Martin not Roberto.

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  9. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Sorry, I confused who you were quoting with your own name! I'm embarrassed!
  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Right, it was after the fellow on the other forum suggested the Field Trial Reports might be British that I found those files.

    1941 is actually not too late, since what I was looking for were things related to the Canadian Valentines. For instance, report 466, "Canadian Tracks for Valentines" falls into the numerical range for Field Trial Reports Volume 8 (401-475) and I think it corresponds with "tracking - fitting of snow shoes" in the summary of that volume.

    I think most or all of the rest of the FTRs were British refinements for later Valentine marks. The Tank Archives post shows a whole host of very minor tweaks to the Canadian Valentines. Maybe the Design Deviation Permits etc were for such minor details. I noticed that they actually start with #1 which must have been for the original Valentines, not the Canadian Mk VIs and VIIs.
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Well, I don't know how interesting this stuff will be but I'm really happy because on Friday I found *the* or *a* file of technical discussion of Canadian Valentine tank development in our archives. In retrospect it was not really hard to find, despite a somewhat misleading file title, because it came up from a search for Infantry Tank Mk III.
  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Thanks for that.
    About five seconds of googling before ordering.
    Looks damned fine.
  13. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I know you are going to be pleased with it :)

    Looking over the photographs of documents that I took on Friday, there are quite a few about electrical suppression (suppression of EM radiation from electrical devices on the tank to prevent interference with the use of the radio), feedback from the Russians with regards to the Valentine which is quite interesting, improved tracks, and a couple of Field Trial Reports - one on initial Valentine reliability, and one on Canadian-manufactured manganese tracks based on UK-developed ones for the Churchill.

    The feedback from the Russians have some interesting bits in it. The criticism of the initially supplied tracks for the Valentines are severe. They wanted more top armour to protect against air attacks, better protection against fire bombs, and larger fuel tanks. Those are all easily understandable. On the other hand, there are also bits like "Russian reluctance to use powered [turret] traverse as opposed to hand traverse is gradually being overcome" and "In spite of strong persuasion it appears unlikely that short range inter-tank [wireless] set will be used. Russians prefer visual signals to which they are accustomed"!

    I don't suppose anyone would know what "Tocco" meant? In the context of "Tocco hardened track pins?
  14. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 11, 2017

Share This Page