Book Review: Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-1945

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45 (New Vanguard) is the latest release in the long running New Vanguard series by Osprey Publishing.   Written by Dr. Bruce Newsome, this volume follows the well-established model of the New Vanguard series.  As with other New Vanguard books, it’s 48 pages and features a combination of photos, drawings and charts to accent the text.  As far as we can tell, this is the first New Vanguard title written by Dr. Newsome, most of the previous New Vanguard titles on WW2 British tanks having been authored by David Fletcher.  In examining the Valentine, Dr. Newsome has picked one of the more challenging vehicles due to the large number of variants and types of Valentine built during the war.

The Valentine was produced in greater numbers by the British Commonwealth than any other model of tank and yet it generally receives little attention, as evidenced by the fact that this book is the 233rd in the series.   Compared to its German and American counterparts, relatively little ink has been devoted to this vehicle, being limited to the old AFV Profile series from the 1970’s, the Museum Ordnance Special from the 1990’s and the more recent  books on the Valentine by Dick Taylor.

Given the large number of Valentine variants and the relatively small page count, this book does not give much in-depth detail to any particular Valentine model.  One deviation from previous New Osprey titles is the use of fairly large charts.  These account for roughly seven pages of the book and are quite useful for providing the details of the various Valentine models in a concise manner.  Also addressed in this book are the Bishop and Archer self-propelled guns as well as the ill-fated Valiant “assault” tank.    Given the small page count of the New Vanguard series, it might have been better to address these other vehicles in a separate volume.  Certainly, there is enough to say about the Valentine to fill two volumes of 48 pages.  That said, Dr. Newsome has packed as much information into the book as the New Vanguard format allows.

Valentine Infantry Tank 1938-45 (New Vanguard) is available in both softcover and kindle editions at Amazon.

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