Monday 4 May 2015

Canadian Valentines

"Attention, Red Army tank unit commanders

As of November 1942, Angus Shops (Montreal, Canada) began shipping Canadian infantry tanks "Valentine VII" to the Soviet Union to fulfil the second order of the Soviet government. The serial numbers of these tanks start at #789 (War Department number 73592).

The second order vehicles are largely the same as the first order, but there are a few differences to which attention must be paid. Here is a list of modifications:
  1. Electrical and radio equipment:
    1. Instead of 2 12-volt batteries, there are now 4 6-volt batteries, of which two remain in the previous place (right side of the fighting compartment) and two are now in the driver's compartment, on the left. The load (radio, lights, turning mechanism, etc) are all evenly spread between the batteries, which is a positive change from the old two battery system, where the load was asymmetric. The 6-volt batteries are interchangeable with those from English made Valentine tanks.
    2. As follows from part 1, wiring in the hull and turret changed.
    3. The intercom power supply (+12 volts) is in series with the signal bell.
    4. The signal bell is in series with the festoon lights, which has its own fuse.
    5. Each plug for a portable lamp is on its own circuit with its own fuse.
    6. An indicator light has been added (left panel). It is attached to the +24 volt wire coming from the voltage regulator to the main charging generator. When the light is on, the main battery switch is off, the generator is not charging, and the battery is being discharged.
    7. The ammeter is attached to the +24 volt wire. This wire is connected to the indicator light and generator. This wire has its own fuse.
    8. The loads in the hull and turret are connected to the batteries where the negative terminal is connected to the hull of the tank.
    9. The starter is turned on behind the main switch. In order to turn it on, you must turn on the main battery switch. The switch design differs from the old one, but the labels are the same (on, off). The circuit has its own fuse, same as in the old design, but in the new design it is located on the left control panel in the five-fuse box. This fuse is the furthest one on the left. The same fuse is connected to the starter solenoid and the turret traverse mechanism (see labels on the box).
    10. There is a slot for a so called "convoy light" in the rear armour plate to aid tanks following one another at night. Since the factory did not receive the right lenses, the first tanks of this batch will be sent without lights, with the opening welded shut. Subsequent batches will include these lights.
    11. 2 electric mechanisms for the smoke grenade launches are included in the system, with a fuse for each. The containers for smoke grenades are installed on the left and right sloped plates (glacis) above the transmission. Each container takes two smoke grenades. The driver can activate the left or right grenade launcher with a button (see the left control panel for labels "left smoke generator" and "right smoke generator") to create a smokescreen to the left or the right of the tank. Both launchers can be activated at once.
    12. The radio bay changed, and the #19 Wireless Set cannot be replaced with the #11 Wireless Set. Because of this:
      1. The second order vehicles have no opening for a #11 antenna.
      2. The 12 volt wire that went to the control box in the turret is no longer present.
      3. The driver's intercom mount has changed and no longer contains a loudspeaker for driver-commander communication.
      4. The openings in the shelf do not allow for installation of a #11 Wireless Set.
      5. If the #19 Wireless Set is damaged and must be replaced, it can only be replaced with a #19 Wireless Set. If you only have a #11 Wireless Set, you must find a first order tank with a #19 Wireless Set and replace it, using the #19 Wireless Set on the second order tank. A #11 Wireless Set can be easily installed in a first order tank.
    13. An extra fuse and +12 volt wire has been added for the #19 Wireless Set MkII.
  2. Overall tank, individual components, and location of equipment:
    1. The commander's electromagnetic emergency diesel engine shutoff switch was replaced with a mechanical one, located in the rear left corner of the fighting compartment (find the handle labelled _______ in English, which in Russian means "push the handle to turn off the diesel engine"). The mechanical switch is more reliable and does not need to be adjusted, like the electromagnetic one.
    2. The driver's emergency shutoff switch is also mechanical, replacing the old type. The shutoff handle in second order tanks is to the left of the driver on the floor of the tank, whereas it was previously on the right control panel (see "Canadian Valentine Tank technical manual fig. 10). This handle has three positions, as before:
      1. Position for motion: the handle is pushed completely forward. Nozzles and air intakes are open.
      2. Position for stopping: the handle is in an intermediate position, partially pulled backwards. The nozzles are closed, the air intakes are open.
      3. Emergency stop position: the handle is pulled all the way back. The nozzles and air intakes are closed.
    3. The position of the water cooling system has changed. The water pipes that connected the engine and radiator are now on the right side of the engine. This allows better access to them and there is no need to remove the pipes to remove the sediment trap as before. This was a drawback of earlier tanks.
    4. In addition to the existing oil radiator, a pipe cooler is installed in second order tanks made up of 6 ribbed pipes, standard #19, 3/4", located perpendicular to the tank, behind the cooling fan. The radiator is in series between the engine and the oil tank, when the oil is returned to the tank. The new cooler increases the effectiveness of the diesel engine and improves working conditions.
    5. An additional 26 gallon fuel tank has been added on the left side of the tank, connected to the main tank with a rubber hose. The additional tank provides approximately 80 km of extra range, increasing the total range before refuelling to 230 km. The tank is designed to be used before entering battle, so the driver can jettison the tank by pulling a lever on the left of the driver's compartment, which frees the tank and it rolls off the side. The level is labelled "______" in English, which means "freeing mechanism" in Russian. The "jettison tank" position of the lever is all the way to the front. The "mount tank" position is all the way to the back.
      Keep in mind the following:
      1. Diesel fuel in the auxiliary tank is used up first, as the fuel will flow from the auxiliary tank to the main tank when the auxiliary fuel is expended.
      2. The auxiliary tank is a little higher than the hull of the tank, and since the gun mechanism has not changed, it is possible to depress the gun far enough to put it in a position where the first shot will tear off the auxiliary tank and damage the tank. If you must shoot during a march, do not shoot at a low angle when your gun is located in the third quadrant (180-270 degrees) or immediately jettison the tank.
      3. Fuel flows from the auxiliary tank to the main tank due to a pump, which is why the following steps must be followed with installing the tank:
        1. Fill up the main tank completely.
        2. Install the fiber, asbestos, or rubber liner, and close the cap.
        3. Carefully check all components in the system that connects the main tank and auxiliary tank, as even if a little bit of air is sucked in, fuel will not move from the auxiliary tank to the main tank. In order to check if the system is air-tight, put the end of the hose into a cup or glass of diesel fuel and see if it pumps fuel into the main tank.
        4. If the pumping is noticeable visually, you can fill the auxiliary tank and connect the two with the hose. Check how much fuel remains in the auxiliary tank whenever possible.
    6. The hand pump that moves the fuel to the two space heaters (necessary to start the engine in cold weather) was moved from the left control panel to the right of the driver, behind him. The induction coils are still on the left control panel (look for a label in Russian that says "heating"). The procedure of starting the engine in cold weather is the same as before, counting the aforementioned changes (see "Canadian Valentine Tank technical manual p. 23).
    7. The driver's seat was simplified, as the old design was too complex and poorly thought out (the driver could not adjust the seat if he was already sitting in it). 
    8. A compass was installed in front of the driver, on the friction clutch mount.
    9. Steel plates were welded to the top of the turret platform to protect the turret ring from being jammed with shells or shrapnel. However, this was not done on all tanks of the second order, but only on tanks ##821-839, and then starting with tank #895 and above.
    10. The ball bearings in the turret ring have been reinforced.
    11. The adjustable idler mount has also been reinforced, but is interchangeable with the old type.
    12. The hydraulic shock absorber has been improved. The external casing is no longer screwed on, everything is placed in one unit. The new shock absorber is interchangeable with the old one, both completely and in parts.
      The most important thing to remember is that the new shock absorber must be filled with special oil (CS 1402, see instructions 1177).
      The oil consists 50% of castor oil and 50% diacetone alcohol. It is imperative that you do not use mineral oil, as was possible with the old shock absorber (see blueprint 807) which was installed on the first 753 Canadian Valentines, as all seals in the new desingn are made from natural rubber.
    13. The rubber tires with retention rings which were installed on the drive wheel were replaced with a special steel ring, attached to the inner surface of the sprocket.
    14. The gearbox lever case was improved, removing the problems faced on first order tanks when activating the first reverse gear.
    15. The gas pedal was replaced with mechanical controls (levers and cords) as tanks of the first order had trouble with this control system.
    16. A new controller "3A" was installed for the turret traverse mechanism. This mechanism makes horizontal aiming very precise. The carrier for the controller was also changed.
    17. The center of the rear armour plate has a slot for a quick-release tow hook (see 4. openings in the rear plate for the tow hook carrier). Currently, the factory has not received these hooks and tanks will be sent without hooks until December.
    18. Due to a requirement for more tools, the right side of the tank has a new, larger toolbox.
    19. The fuel lines have been replaced with synthetic rubber hoses instead of copper pipes.
    20. The remote control for the gun and Browning machinegun has been simplified and improved.
    21. The internal and external equipment layout changed, but the ammunition carried remained nearly the same. The only difference is the placement of ammunition for the Bren machinegun changed from 25 magazines, 28 rounds each, to 13 magazines of 28 rounds each (364 rounds) and 4 100 round aircraft type magazines (400 rounds), total of 764 rounds.
    22. Requirements for lubrication changed slightly (see "lubrication diagram").
    23. The tool requirements changed, some items were added or replaced (track vice, etc) and others were added (see list of instruments and tools in the toolbox of the Valentine VII, Schedule B)
The above list of main modifications to the second order Canadian Valentine VII tank,made in accordance to the design of the English Valentine tank and English blueprints, means there is nearly no difference between Canadian tanks and English tanks. 

  1. Most of the labels on the left control panel and right control panel differ from the labels on tanks of the first order (the only things left on the right panel are the thermometer of the cooling system and control panel light).
  2. All other labels (directing unpacking, equipment, etc) that follow from those above are described by a Russian language instruction manual, included in every tank.
  3. For convenience and safety, the auxiliary fuel tank was removed from each tank, and is being sent separately in a special crate. When it arrives in the unit, install it on your tank.
  4. Two containers for smoke grenades are also not attached to the tank and are packed separately in the toolbox. Install them upon arrival.
  5. The compass was removed from the binnacle and stored in the turret above the radio. Install it upon arrival."

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