Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator

Bishop


Ordnance QF 25-pdr on Carrier Valentine 25-pdr Mk 1


Overview


Bishop

Bishop self-propelled howitzer deployed in northern Africa during World War 2.
Source: Imperial War Museums - © Public domain

Origin
United Kingdom
Type
Self-propelled howitzer
Entered service
1942
Status
Out of service
Development
1941
Developer
United Kingdom - Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
Production
1942 - 1943
Producer
United Kingdom - Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
Number produced
149
Designations
Ordnance QF 25-pdr on Carrier Valentine 25-pdr Mk 1
Bishop (nickname)
Notable users
United Kingdom

Description


Introduction

The Bishop is a World War 2 era self-propelled howitzer of UK origin. In order to support British troops in North Africa with more mobile self-propelled artillery, the Bishop was designed in 1941. The Bishop did fulfill a need for mobile firepower, but came with a number of serious drawbacks. Therefore the Bishop was supplemented and replaced as lend-lease M7 Priest became available.

Design

The official designation of the Bishop is "Ordnance QF 25-pdr on Carrier Valentine 25-pdr Mk 1". This described what the Bishop is: a Valentine Mk II infantry tank chassis that serves as a mobile platform for the QF 25 pdr gun-howitzer. The QF 25 is fitted in a large fixed casemate superstructure with two large rear doors.

Firepower

The QF 25 pounder gun-howitzer is mounted in a fixed superstructure. It can fire only over a narrow frontal arc since both elevation and traverse are limited. A total of 32 shells are carried. Both HE and AP shells can be fired. The lack of elevation severely limited the Bishop in the indirect fire role. Whereas the towed QF 25 pdr can reach up to 45 degrees, the casemate mount allows for only 15 degrees. This results in a maximum range of 5.9 km, less than half the range of the towed QF 25. Photos show that the Bishop was often used on prepared ramps in order to extend indirect fire range.

Mobility

The Bishop comes with the mobility issues associated with the Valentine Mk II, while being even heavier. The AEC A190 diesel engine proved troublesome. Maximum speed is about 24 km/h.

Protection

The steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters all around. The maximum armor figure differs per source, but may indicate that the bishop The Bishop has an armored roof, whereas most World War 2 era self-propelled howitzer had an open roof. However, the two large rear doors are often open in the firing position to make handling of ammunition easier and allowing fumes to escape.

Users

The United Kingdom acquired about 150 Bishops in three production batches. These were employed in the North African theater. Gradually these were replaced in service with the M7 Priest, a more capable and reliable vehicle. During 1944 most, possibly all, Bishops were no longer in frontline service. It seems that Turkey may have received a batch of 48 ex-British Bishops in 1943.

Details


Facts Bishop
General
Origin
United Kingdom
Type
Self-propelled howitzer
Crew
4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Dimensions
Weight
17.5 t
Length
5.64 m
Width
2.77 m
Height
3.0 m
Main armament
Type
88mm QF-25 pdr howitzer
Mount
Casemate superstructure
Ammunition
32 rounds
Elevation
-5° to +15°
Traverse
8° total
Rate of fire
5 rpm intense
3 rpm normal
Range
5.9 km
Chassis
Chassis type
Tracked chassis, 6 roadwheels
Layout
Idler front, drive sprocket rear
Suspension
Horstman suspension on bogies
Automotive
Engine model
AEC 190
Engine type
6-cylinder diesel
Power output
131 hp
Transmission
5 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel
135 L
Mobility
Speed
24 km/h on road
Range
145 km on road
Power to weight ratio
7.5 hp/t
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
12 to 45 mm
NBC system
None
Smoke system
None

Media