Polish historians bid to dig up British Second World War tank




 
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May 19th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: Polish historians bid to dig up British Second World War tank



Polish historians bid to dig up British Second World War tank

By Pavel E. on April 24, 2015 Tanks Wrecks
Military historians in Poland are struggling to salvage a rare British tank that has lain at the bottom of a Polish river since January 1945.
The Valentine Mk X tank is believed to have fallen through ice covering a tributary of the River Warta in western Poland as it rolled towards Berlin as part of the Soviet Red Army’s massive assault on German defences in the east.

Around 2,000 Valentines were delivered to the USSR as part of Western military aid to Moscow, of which there was only one survivor until the discovery of the tank in Poland.
“We’re having difficulties getting the machine out,” said Jacek Kopczynski, a collector of historic military vehicles. “Divers are using high-pressure water jets to try and free the tank, which is apparently in a very good condition.”
Reports that the Valentine has survived its watery sojourn with little decay has excited historians.
“If it’s true then it would be a world sensation,” commented Janusz Zbit, a military historian. “After three years of restoration it might be even able to drive it again, which would make it the only surviving Valentine Mk X to have seen combat.”
To help free the tank from its muddy embrace the salvage crew has called in an excavator, and are also contemplating calling on the fire brigade, if all else fails.
The Valentine saw heavy action the North African campaign, and although lacking the necessary firepower to give German tank crews serious cause for concern it developed a reputation as a well armoured and reliable tank.









http://worldshipwrecks.com/valentine...d-warta-river/
May 19th, 2015  
JOC
 
 
I recall the Soviets (who were desperate for American aid particularly: trucks "6 wheelers" and food) were not so enthusiastic about the allied tanks they received. They could produce 10's of thousands annually on their own, that were come the winter 41 - spring 42, superior to allied tanks. I.e.: the mainly the T-34.
Perhaps the Tank having being found in Poland was from the early part of Barbarossa in summer of 41? Although I didn't know that they were receiving tanks this early either. I would be hard pressed to see the Red Army using Valentines in late 44 - 45 when they reoccupied Poland.
May 20th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
It is said to be a Mark 10 Valentine so there is no way it was around in 1941, the Russians used the Valentine from the Battle of Moscow until the Battle of Berlin although by the end of the war they were mainly in reserve units.

According to unit breakdowns there were at least 380-400 Mark IX Valentine tanks in Russian units in mid-1944.

Personally though it doesn't look like a Mk 10 to me it looks more like a late Mark 9 going by the engine compartment but that would put its manufacture date at around late 1942 to early 1943 but with the long 50 caliber (as opposed to the shorter 43 caliber) 6pdr gun it would most likely be early 1943 rather than late 1942.
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May 20th, 2015  
JOC
 
 
Although not a particularly impressive tank, if viewed within the confines of when it was originally developed it was adequate for the times. When one considers it was being produced in the later stages of it's production era in tandem with the Sherman Firefly one has to wonder why they keep it going.
May 20th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I think they manufactured it for many reasons but the primary ones would have been that:
1) It met a need at the time.
2) There is a bit of security in making your own weapons during war time and not being entirely reliant on another country.
3) Good or bad the vehicle is a test bed for the next one so without the information they gathered from all these designs they would never have produced the Centurion or Challenger designs which were successful.
May 20th, 2015  
JOC
 
 
I wouldn't want to be part of the poor crew inside one facing a Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger or any of the German tank destroyers. Of course this was true to a certain degree of most allied AFV.
May 20th, 2015  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
it looks like the teenage version of a Comet tank
May 20th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
The problem with most tanks used by Britain during WW2, they were seriously under gunned. The exception being the Sherman Firefly with its cracking 17 pounder gun.
May 20th, 2015  
JOC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
The problem with most tanks used by Britain during WW2, they were seriously under gunned. The exception being the Sherman Firefly with its cracking 17 pounder gun.
Yes Brit the firefly was one that could hit back with that big 17 pounder. The Allies had to wait to near wars end for a better tank with the heavy Pershing with its 90 mm gun.
May 20th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
it looks like the teenage version of a Comet tank
Indeed it was and the Comet was the predecessor to the Centurion both of which were successful tank designs.
 


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