The British were impressed by German mobile artillery encountered in the desert of North Africa. These vehicles were able to keep pace with the tanks they were designed to support, and could be quickly brought into action. The most important British artillery piece in early 1942 was the 25 Pounder field gun, and it was decided to mount this on a tank hull. Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon had already used the Valentine as a pilot SPG, and they were asked to modify the design to mount the 25 Pounder. The resulting vehicle was named the Bishop and was ready for production in mid-1942. It was simply a 25 pdr gun and 32 rounds of ammunition housed in a lightly armoured box built over the tanks fighting compartment. Though the idea was good, the Bishop had several major deficiencies, slow speed, limited gun range (6,300 meters) and high silhouette. At least 100 Bishop's were built, and saw action in North Africa and Italy until replaced by the American M7 Priest and Canadian Sexton.
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