by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Okay, how many of you knew that the Valentine was the only British design to remain in service throughout the war? Alright, some of you are doing quite well. How many of you knew that the Valentine had greater production numbers, over 8,000, than any other British tank design? Okay then, one more. How many of you knew that MMP Books has recently released Dick Taylor’s exhaustive study of the Valentine tank titled, Into the Vally; The Valentine Tank and Derivatives 1938-1960 as part of their Green Series? Okay; if you knew all three you are a real fan of the Valentine. If you didn’t, but you would like to have the definitive Valentine reference, then you should really think about getting a hold of a copy of the book while you can.
into the vally
Taylor has done a first rate job in his new book. He gives us over 190 pages printed on heavy slick paper stock, in A4 format with just about everything you could ever want to know about the Valentine. Be aware that the book also provides information and photographs of the Archer, Bishop, Scorpion, Bridgelayer and DD variants as well. To say the book is well researched is an understatement that doesn’t quite convey the depth of information in Taylor’s labor of love.
The book is extensively illustrated throughout with a good mix of general photos of the vehicle in action, technical drawings and photos, detail photos, spec tables, line drawings, plans, color plates, and a walk around of a restored example. Most of the photos are in black and white but are of very good quality with only a few grainy shots. The section with the restored vehicle are all in color and include a large number of nice close up detail photos.
The book is divided into 8 ‘parts’, or chapters;
1. Design, Development and Production
2. Technical Description
3. Description of gun Tanks Marks
4. Operational Use
5. Painting and Markings
6. Overseas Service
8. Walk Around
In addition to these 8 sections the book also includes a conclusion, a reference and bibliography and a color plate section of 14 different vehicles.
While the book is exhaustive in its technical depth what stands out to me is the value offered to modelers. With several kits of various Valentines available this is an incredible value for the money. You could go out and find 4 or 5 modeler oriented publications that provide information and photographic detail of the Valentine, or you could spend half that and get three times the information with this book. I am going to hazard a guess that in short order this volume will become the ‘go to’ publication on the Valentine that most everyone will point to as ‘THE’ Valentine reference.