Sunday 20 July 2014

Valentine Spurs

You see a lot of mentions of spurs for Lend-Lease vehicles in memoirs, but not a lot of details. Here is a detailed description of that these spurs would look like.

"Brief description of removable NIBT designed spurs

Eight spurs are attached per track. The foundation of the spur (fig. 1) is composed of ribbon steel. Its edges are bend, and have openings for a track pin. A spine is welded to the top of the ribbon, which improves traction.

The spur is connected to the tracks with an oversized track pin. The pin is affixed with a spring ring.

Fig. 1: Overall view of the spur and connecting track pin.

Fig. 2. Components of the spur and the connecting pin."

The NIBT solution wasn't the only one.

"According to an order from the Chief of the Tank Directorate of the GBTU of the Red Army, Major General of the Tank Forces, Afonin, the NIBT proving grounds familiarized itself with track spurs proposed for the MkIII tank by comrade Zaharenkov.

It was established that:
  1. The spurs are made from bent iron with a wave shape, which will be difficult to produce by the tank units themselves.
  2. The spurs are welded to the tracks, and are impossible to remove on good quality roads.
NIBT developed two types of spurs in 1942, two rectangular plates welded to the track, and removable ones (see photo #1 in the attachment). 

Both spurs were trialled on the tank in winter, and showed good results in terms of performance and reliability. 

Spurs proposed by comrade Zaharenkov are a repeat of already tried designs, but are more difficult to produce.

The removable spurs are more convenient to use, as they can only be used on poor roads, which will prevent the destruction of good roads, as well as excess shaking, lower speed, and higher fuel consumption. 

The NIBT proving grounds recommends the spurs developed here as those that best solve the issue of increasing off-road performance, are easy to produce, and have been tested."

"Conclusions on the spurs for the MkIII tank produced by GBTU NI proving grounds
  1. Valentine tank tracks are sufficiently modern, and there were no complaints (especially in the summer) about their grip. However, proving grounds trials showed that in winter, Valentine III and Valentine VII tanks have insufficient grip on snow (especially packed) when tilted (10-12 degrees).
  2. The removable spurs developed and trialled at the NI proving grounds increase the maximum tilt (24-25 degrees).
  3. The spurs are simple to produce and install, and can be produced in the field. I consider it reasonable to recommend units to produce these spurs and use them depending on road conditions.
  4. The design of the spurs proposed by comrade Zaharenkov is unusable, as they demand more time and resources, make the track significantly heavier, and reduce the performance characteristics of the tank.
December 24th, 1943"

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