The Archive Awareness blog has recently translated and posted several articles by Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok. We have posted the first paragraph of each article below with a link to the full version over at Archive Awareness.
Over the years of the Great Patriotic War, over 5000 British and Canadian tanks were sent to the Soviet Union. Most of them were so called Infantry tanks, with thick armour and low speeds. Light tank shipments were limited to 20 Tetrarchs. As for Cruiser tanks, they never made it into the Red Army. Despite an initial desire to receive Cromwells, they only made it to the trial stage. Read on to discover why these tanks were rejected.
At an unusual parade in Paris on July 14th, 1951, the French military showed off all their newest vehicles that was adopted by the army or still undergoing trials. EBR armoured cars and ARL 44 tanks drove along the Champs-Élysées. The parade was concluded with the passage of two Foch tank destroyers and two AMX 50 tanks. Only a chosen few knew that these tanks will not enter mass production and that superior tanks are already on the drawing board.
The Heavy Tank M6 had the worst fate of all mass produced heavy tanks of WWII. A decent vehicle with competitive characteristics became another victim of work dragging on too long. The tank was accepted into service, but only 40 vehicles in 3 modifications were produced, and none of them saw combat. By 1943, the M6 was obsolete and its road to the front lines was closed. However, a heavily modified version of the tank was soon once again in demand, and urgently. This is the modernization covered by this article.
The Infantry Tank Mk.III, or Valentine, was the most produced British tank of WWII. However, the British themselves actively used Valentines from 1941 to the first half of 1943. The Soviet Union, who received almost half of these tanks, used them much more actively. Known as “Valentin” or MK-3/MK-III, these tanks debuted in the Battle for Moscow in the fall of 1941 and survived until the end of the war in some units. The Valentine was one of a few foreign tanks that saw a large scale conversion effort.