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Great Britain's Bishop self propelled gun Mk I; Carrier, Valentine, 25 pdr Mk I


Great Britain's Bishop Self Propelled Gun Mk I
Royal Armored Corps Tank Museum


In June 1941 the Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Company was given the job to develop a self propelled gun that could carry the 25 pdr howitzer. This was to allow the 25 pdr artillery batteries to quit having to fight as antitank weapons and just concentrate as being artillery. However, by the time the Bishop came to the field the 25 pdrs were no longer being used as antitank guns and the Bishop was then relegated to being an artillery self propelled gun.


The Valentine Mk II chassis was used. Its turret was replaced by a large box that mounted the 25 pdr gun.

Main Armament

The Bishop's main armament couldn't be elevated to its maximum level so it was relegated to a close support role or ramps had to be built to drive the Bishop onto. There were two large doors that were typically left open when firing to allow the crew extra room.

The 25 pdr's range was about 6,400 yards.


In August 1941 a prototype was ready for testing.


In November 1941 100 were ordered.

  • Bishop: 80
    • Production: November 1941 - July 1942 , 1942 - 1943


The Bishop often towed a 25 pdr limber that carried additional ammunition.

The Bishop was used by the Royal Artillery.

North Africa

The 8th Army received deliveries of the Bishop. In the dessert the Bishop's height was a disadvantage.

Replaced After Sicily

The Bishop was replaced by the US M7 Priests after the campaign in Sicily was concluded. It was relegated to training.


Crew Commander, driver, gunner, loader.
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 17,333 lb, 17,440 lb, 39,000 lb
17.4 tons, 20 tons
7,879 kg, 7,911 kg, 17,690 kg, 20,320 kg
Length 18' 2", 18' 6"
5.53 m, 5.62 m, 5.64 m
Height 9' 3.25", 9' 1", 10'
2.825 m, 3.05 m
Width 8' 7", 8' 7.5", 9' 1"
2.63 m, 2.77 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Main 1: 25 pdr howitzer Mk I
1: 25 pdr (87.6 mm, 3.45")
1: 25 pdr gun howitzer
MG - antiaircraft .303 cal Bren
Side arms  
Main 32
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 8, 8 - 60, 60
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Turret Front  
Turret Sides  
Turret Rear  
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) AEC A190
Cylinders 6
Net HP 131
Fuel type Diesel
Traverse 4° left, 4° right.
Speed - Road 14.9 mph, 15 mph
24 kph
Speed - Cross Country 7 mph
Range - Road 90 miles, 110 miles
145 km, 177 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -5° to +15°
Fording depth 3'
0.91 m
Trench crossing 7' 6"
2.28 m
Vertical Obstacle 2' 9"
0.83 m
Suspension (Type) "Slow motion" with 3-wheel bogies.
Wheels each side 6
Return rollers each side 3
Track length  
Track width 14"
Track centers/tread 7' 3"


  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
  5. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site