Osprey Publications have given us another excellent book for the military historian or for the model builder wanting a good reference book to include in his library. This publication was written by Bruce Oliver, PhD, a lecturer in International Relations at the University of California Berkeley who has several publications to his name.
The Valentine, Infantry Mk III was a light duty tank built and used by the British in WW II. The book is divided into 8 sections.
The introduction section consisting of 2 paragraphs, gives a short synopsis of the Valentine platform and the countries it was exported to during WWII along with the percentage data of the platform usage.
Design and Development
This section covers some of the meetings Vickers had with the British War Office and brief description of how the "Valentine" tank was named.Pages 6-7 include a nice table listing various data on the Valentine Tank variants. The "New Engines and Gearboxes" section covers the different engines used with the Valentine tanks. Within this section the author give more information about the Canadian Versions, Upgunned Valentines and Self-Propelled Guns and The Valiant (A38)
Within this section the author includes a table listing the Valentine variants with the name of the builder along with the number produced and a table listing the date of orders with the delivery period along with the vehicle number. This would be highly helpful for the historian or modeler tracing the manufacturer of a particular Valentine tank.
The author here describes the various countries and their use. The various countries included the British, Canadian, New Zealand and the Soviets. The author also describes the Valentine as being converted to Amphibious Valentines and Self-propelled guns.
Within this section the author gives the reader a good understanding of the driver's access, vision, controls, instruments and electrical power as well as other crew member's access to the periscopes, controls and rangefinders.
The author here describes the other variants the Valentine was used for including flamethrower, bridge layer and anti-mine flail.
The author lists a couple of reference publications one can use for further reading and research.
A nice one page index is provided in the back of the book referencing the topic along with the page numbers.
What I particularly liked about this book was a 2 page spread of a Valentine IV tank in color along with reference names describing the parts of the tank. All through the book the reader will find numerous tables for quick reference.
For the Valentine Tank aficionado who wants more information on the Valentine Tank, this book certainly provides that. For the scale modeler who wants to build a model based upon a historical picture, this book gives him quite a few options to choose from.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this product.