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cduckworth

Color help with Valentine 'Black Knight' in North Africa

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Am wanting to finish a Tamiya Valentine as in the photo below named 'Black Knight' in North Africa. Photo was taken in late 1941 or early 1942. Believe Light Stone would be correct for this time period but the dark sand shields are throwing me off as to how this tank was painted.  I can see the white/red/white markings on the front of the hull and turret used during Operation Crusader.   Any thoughts/comments/educated guesses on the camouflage?

 

Thanks, Charlie

 

2m80RwM.jpg

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Jack

Thanks for the information this helps quite a lot in sorting out the different schemes.  

 

Charlie

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Found one more photo:

 

728540.jpg

 

Valentine HAL II above though, looks to be carrying the Caunter scheme, but also touched up? 

I think the first photo  I've  posted is also a Caunter paint, note the front fender, and the turret looks to be two dark colours other than Stone.  Head scratching really begins after finding an official German caption from Budesarchiv, note the date:

 

iUsBOqm.jpg

 

As far as I can find, Valentine deliveries to North Africa were June/July 1941, and only 8 RTR had them during Crusader.  So the German captioned image must be from Greece???

 

regards,

Jack

 

 

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Jack

Your two photos certainly look to be in North Africa due to the lack of hills and trees.  I think their months are in error.  Thanks for posting both.

 

Charlie

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Hi Charlie, yes, after discussing with a couple other people on another forum, conclusion is the date is wrong.  Valentines first saw combat in North Africa during Operation Crusader.  The Caunter scheme was still in use up until the order abolished it December 1941.   During this operation, only 8th RTR was equipped with Valentines.

 

One other item I've found is the colour these tanks arrived in Egypt.  They could be found delivered in either desert colour, or the darker European scheme - which would require a repaint.  Could be another explanation for the darker tones?  

 

I haven't been able to find any reference to the name 'Black Knight', in fact all names associated with 8RTR appear to begin with the letter H.  See this thread;

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/thread/1121103094

 

It could be a hand me down vehicle (post battle) to another sister RTR within 1st Army Tank Bde. or to  4th RTR of 32nd ArmyTank Brigade?

 

regards,

Jack

 

 

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Jack

Thanks for the references - I might steer clear of 'Black Knight' and go with a photo with clearer information on the camouflage scheme.  Reading the thread you posted from Network54 there's quite an opinion on the two color vs three Caulder scheme.   

 

Charlie

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No problems, Charlie.

 

Yeah, that was the first I've seen of someone challenging Starmer's research - but he seems to be sticking to his guns according to the  MAFVA page I had linked earlier.

 

regards,

Jack

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'Black Knight' looks to me to be finished in Light Stone 61 with the name applied over a darker painted panel.  The use of a single colour on 8 RTR Valentines occurs during the operation when replacement tanks were no longer required to have the Caunter patterning applied, thus the retention of the special ID marking.  Both those other pictures show Caunter patterning.  But due to the physical shape of the tank the pattern had to be heavily adjusted to adhere to the official drawing.  As a result there were two variations of the pattern.  The German date was probably guessed months after the event and not even in the country.  Valentines never went to Greece.  The cancellation of Caunter painting first occurs in October 1941 with a policy document advising the proposed use of a single colour.  This was certainly closely followed by a WEF date then a MEGO in December which formally cancelled the scheme.  The result being that the much greater number of vehicles were in Caunter scheme for Crusader with new replacements in single colour arriving at the front in mid- December.  Remember there is a lengthy time lag between vehicles arriving in theatre and being prepared for issue.    You will see M3 Stuarts in the same two schemes by December 1941.

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Mike

thanks for the additional clarification on the early colors used on the Valentine tanks.   I have both your book (and articles) on the Caunter schemes and the illustration in Dick Taylor's Valentine book showing the Caunter scheme applied to the top and side views.   I have the Tamiya Valentine ready to paint and currently building the AFV kit.   The Tamiya will get the three colors and the AFV will be named Rosemary in the Light Stone color.   

 

Charlie

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