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While towed artillery is fine for the infantry divisions, an armoured force requires a good self-propelled artillery piece which can keep up with the tanks as they advance. The British gave the M7 105mm Howitzer Motor Carriage the nickname 'Priest' because of the pulpit-like appearance of its machine-gun mounting ring.
Witnessing the events of the war, U.S. Army observers realized that they would need a self-propelled artillery vehicle with sufficient firepower to support armoured operations. Lessons learned with half-tracks (such as the T19 Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC) with a 105mm howitzer on the M3 Half-track chassis) also showed that this vehicle would have to be armoured and fully tracked.
It was decided to use the M3 Lee chassis as the basis for this new vehicle design, which was designated T32. The pilot vehicles used the M3 chassis with an open-topped superstructure, mounting a M1A2 105 mm howitzer and, following trials, adding a machine gun, the T32 was accepted for service as the M7 in February 1942 and production began that April. As the M4 Sherman tank replaced the M3, it was decided to continue production using the M4 chassis instead.
Please note: Miniatures are supplied unpainted and some assembly may be required.
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