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Rnd 1 Grp 2 - Valentine (Britain) vs Cromwell & Comet (Britain)

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  • Rnd 1 Grp 2 - Valentine (Britain) vs Cromwell & Comet (Britain)

    Round 1, Group 2: Valentine (Britain) vs Cromwell & Comet (Britain)

    The Valentine was an important British type, built to the tune of more than 8,000 machines. Though neither fast nor overly impressive at first glance, it was a solid and reliable performer. Initially, it carried the increasingly inadequate 2pdr gun but later versions were better armed. It was quite well received by the Soviets. Although nominally an Infantry tank, in practical terms it also worked both as a “light” tank (mainly in Soviet use) and as a cruiser/medium at times in British use.

    Cromwell was another solid performer; albeit a little late in the war and about half the production figure of Valentine. It served very well in the British cruiser/medium tank role, as alternative equipment to Lend-Lease Shermans, during the last third of WW2. It also formed the basis for development of the Comet, which was an excellent tank overall but really saw quite limited service near the end of the War and into the early post-war period. Both would make way for the Centurion, which was already in development by the closing stage of the conflict.


    How do you feel about this match? Will it be the un-spectacular but solid and practical Valentine; or will you go for the Cromwell/Comet combo?

    Only one of these two candidates will make it to the next round!

    Which of them is the most significant and/or influential?



    Candidate #18 - Valentine (Britain)

    Service Entry – 1941
    Weight – 16-17 tons
    Top Speed – 24 km/h (15 mph)
    Main Armament – 2pdr (40mm) or 6pdr (57mm) in most variants
    No. Produced – 8,275

    For further info, check Wiki here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine_tank








    Candidate #20 - Cromwell & Comet (Britain)

    Cromwell

    Service Entry – 1943/44
    Weight – 28 tons
    Top Speed – 64 km/h (40 mph)
    Main Armament – 75mm gun
    No. Produced – 4,016

    For further info, see Wiki here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwell_tank


    Comet

    Service Entry – 1944/45
    Weight – 33 tons
    Top Speed – 51 km/h (32 mph)
    Main Armament – 77mm HV gun
    No. Produced – 1,186

    For further info, see Wiki here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_tank







    Comet




    Consider the criteria with care! You decide!



    93
    Valentine (Britain)
    26.88%
    25
    Cromwell & Comet (Britain)
    73.12%
    68

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by Skoblin; 24 Jun 14, 00:48.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    While the Valentine was an important tank in the evolution of British AFV's the Cromwell and Comet were, as well, and were a more effective weapons platform to boot, moving forward towards the development of the Centurion.
    BoRG
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    • #3
      Yup! A great footstep towards what I think was the best tank.

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      • #4
        While I think the Valentine was a very good private design (Vickers) I think the Comet was the acme of British Tank design. I am not counting the Centurion, though, more Comets fought.

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        • #5
          Both tanks were at the end of design philosophy that divided tanks into categories, and I would argue they represent the pinnacle of that approach, for British at least.

          I gave Valentine the vote because it came earlier, in the moment it was needed most, while Cromwell was in a certain manner a redundant design since it could have been replaced with M4 and war result would have gone invariable.
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          • #6
            Valentine - the Cromwell was just a series of flat targets welded together, an extremely poor ballistic design.
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            • #7
              Not as easy for me ...

              ... as it looks like it might have been for some of you guys.

              In direct terms, the Valentine - due both to numbers in service and length of service during WW2 - was more significant IMO than Cromwell and Comet. However, in concert the latter two designs were important steps towards the Centurion, which I believe to have been one of the most significant tanks of all time.

              Considerable hesitation but I went with Cromwell & Comet.
              "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

              Comment


              • #8
                2 pdr Valentine had a three man turret and a weak gun,6 pdr Valentine had a 2 man turret and a good gun.
                Valentine was liked by the Sovs who used it as a recce machine,it even sneaked up and killed Tigers on occasion,it was small and apparently quite quiet.
                Apart from the Archer and some DD tank testbeds it didn't have any influence on future designs.

                The Cromwell was a slightly better tank than the M4 but the UK couldn't manufacture it in the numbers required, it did however spawn the Comet which was in my humble opinion the best proto MBT out there in 45.
                The Comet also led to you know what,the best tank of all time!

                Cromwell and Comet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by flash View Post
                  The Comet also led to you know what,the best tank of all time!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Valentine was a wartime product pushed into production more out of necessity than desire. As a light tank it proved reasonably good and certainly the Soviets liked the vehicle in that role.

                    The Cromwell / Comet are the culmination of wartime British cruiser tank design and both are decent vehicles for the late war era.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I went Valentine, although neither should win the group 2 stage. The Valentine was produced in significantly more numbers, and had a far greater impact on the Eastern Front than the late cruisers did on the Western front. It was there on the outskirts of Moscow in 41 when the city was under threat, and may have been the first tank to reach the outskirts of Berlin in 45.

                      However, the A27/34 did directly lead to the Centurion, which should win group 3. The T-34 is the only real clear winner for group 2 as far as this competition is concerned imho.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        However, the A27/34 did directly lead to the Centurion, which should win group 3. The T-34 is the only real clear winner for group 2 as far as this competition is concerned imho.
                        This has been alleged a couple of times in this thread, but I'm not so sure. The AFV Liaison Committee was told on 2 March 1943 that Vickers's high-velocity 75 mm gun could be installed in a Cromwell. When, on 25 May, they were then told that Comwell could not in fact mount the 75 mm HV and a new tank would be needed, work on what developed into the Comet was initiated. The Tank Board on 20 July 1943 asked if the US 76 mm gun, and later the 17 pdr itself, would be better choices, but it was decided to go with Vickers's gun, which was eventually able to take 17 pdr projectiles. A steel prototype was ready in March 1944, but in May it was decided that the hull was to be totally welded and the turret was to be a cast and welded structure, so redesigns were performed and 143 were eventually ready for the troops by January 1945.

                        The requirement for a new heavy cruiser was announced on 8 September 1943. The A41's main requirements were outlined by the DRAC on 7 October 1943, and its initial specifications were submitted on 22 November. Soldiers in the field had been consulted by February 1944, and the A41's final specifications were set on 23 February 1944. The A41's full-size mockup began construction in December 1943 and was ready for viewing by 24 May 1944. Prototypes began construction in January 1945 and the first was delivered in April.

                        Work on Comet and Centurion was occurring simultaneously. Indeed Fletcher refers to the Comet and Centurion as "short-term" and "long-term," respectively, not that one led to the other. The only components Centurion shared with Comet was the engine and a similar steering system. Armament (17 pdr and 20 mm Polsten), armor layout (sloped armor with no bow MG), suspension, etc. was all different.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                          This has been alleged a couple of times in this thread, but I'm not so sure. The AFV Liaison Committee was told on 2 March 1943 that Vickers's high-velocity 75 mm gun could be installed in a Cromwell. When, on 25 May, they were then told that Comwell could not in fact mount the 75 mm HV and a new tank would be needed, work on what developed into the Comet was initiated. The Tank Board on 20 July 1943 asked if the US 76 mm gun, and later the 17 pdr itself, would be better choices, but it was decided to go with Vickers's gun, which was eventually able to take 17 pdr projectiles. A steel prototype was ready in March 1944, but in May it was decided that the hull was to be totally welded and the turret was to be a cast and welded structure, so redesigns were performed and 143 were eventually ready for the troops by January 1945.

                          The requirement for a new heavy cruiser was announced on 8 September 1943. The A41's main requirements were outlined by the DRAC on 7 October 1943, and its initial specifications were submitted on 22 November. Soldiers in the field had been consulted by February 1944, and the A41's final specifications were set on 23 February 1944. The A41's full-size mockup began construction in December 1943 and was ready for viewing by 24 May 1944. Prototypes began construction in January 1945 and the first was delivered in April.

                          Work on Comet and Centurion was occurring simultaneously. Indeed Fletcher refers to the Comet and Centurion as "short-term" and "long-term," respectively, not that one led to the other. The only components Centurion shared with Comet was the engine and a similar steering system. Armament (17 pdr and 20 mm Polsten), armor layout (sloped armor with no bow MG), suspension, etc. was all different.
                          As someone who actually has the AFV Liaison Committee notes, I have to say that the idea that they were led to believe that the Vickers HV 75mm would fit into the Cromwell doesn't seem to be true. The Cromwell certainly wasn't specified to be fitted with the HV 75, but there was a later suggestion that this gun might fit into it. When it was confirmed that it didn't, it doesn't appear to have been a particularly controversial episode.

                          The idea of the Comet and Centurion as being "short-term" and "long-term" is also a bit dubious. At the time the Centurion was just the next Heavy Cruiser tank, in the same way that the Black Prince was the next Infantry tank.

                          I haven't seen any evidence, in all the primary source documents that I have seen, to support David Fletcher's idea that the British were moving towards a "Universal Tank", or that Centurion was some kind of ultimate. It seems to be more the case that Centurion became one by default due to the end of the war and the consequent cost-saving budget cuts.
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                          • #14
                            I don't have access to the notes, so I was going by what Fletcher, Beale, and Buckley had written. Buckley says in British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944, "As late as April 1943, in a joint memorandum from the Secretary of State for War and the Minister of Supply to the Defence Committee, all appeared well for the HV 75 mm gun and its mounting in the Cromwell. Indeed, it was planned that following successful testing of six pilot weapons by July [1943], mass production could begin with a peak of 600-700 units per month from spring 1944 onwards." His references for this include "AFV Liaison Committee meetings, 9 March, 13 April, 11 May, and 25 May 1943." Do those entries indicate that production of Cromwell with the HV 75 was planned?

                            As far as controversy over the episode, "Lt-Gen John Fullerton Evetts, ACIGS, even claimed that there was little point in developing the A34 at all, as by the time it arrived, US 76 mm-equipped Shermans would be available and these were a safer purchase." The ACIGS felt it would be better to concentrate on A41 instead of A34.

                            Anyway, I'm still unconvinced A34 begat A41.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                              This has been alleged a couple of times in this thread, but I'm not so sure. The AFV Liaison Committee was told on 2 March 1943 that Vickers's high-velocity 75 mm gun could be installed in a Cromwell. When, on 25 May, they were then told that Comwell could not in fact mount the 75 mm HV and a new tank would be needed, work on what developed into the Comet was initiated. The Tank Board on 20 July 1943 asked if the US 76 mm gun, and later the 17 pdr itself, would be better choices, but it was decided to go with Vickers's gun, which was eventually able to take 17 pdr projectiles. A steel prototype was ready in March 1944, but in May it was decided that the hull was to be totally welded and the turret was to be a cast and welded structure, so redesigns were performed and 143 were eventually ready for the troops by January 1945.

                              The requirement for a new heavy cruiser was announced on 8 September 1943. The A41's main requirements were outlined by the DRAC on 7 October 1943, and its initial specifications were submitted on 22 November. Soldiers in the field had been consulted by February 1944, and the A41's final specifications were set on 23 February 1944. The A41's full-size mockup began construction in December 1943 and was ready for viewing by 24 May 1944. Prototypes began construction in January 1945 and the first was delivered in April.

                              Work on Comet and Centurion was occurring simultaneously. Indeed Fletcher refers to the Comet and Centurion as "short-term" and "long-term," respectively, not that one led to the other. The only components Centurion shared with Comet was the engine and a similar steering system. Armament (17 pdr and 20 mm Polsten), armor layout (sloped armor with no bow MG), suspension, etc. was all different.
                              Originally posted by DogDodger View Post
                              Anyway, I'm still unconvinced A34 begat A41.
                              The A34 did not directly begat the A41. The A34 was simply a very good tank, that had originally derived from a line of cruisers, that led directly back to the awful A15 Crusader, possibly the worst tank of WW2.

                              The A34 was a cruiser, and that concept was half of the package that led to a Universal Tank, ie both Infantry (tactical) and Cruiser (operational) capabilities.
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