Krupp - 105 mm leichte Feldhaubitze 18/1 L/28 auf Waffenträger Geschützwagen IVb (Heuschrecke 10)


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16 December 2010
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When the Germans realised they needed self-propelled artillery (as opposed to Assault guns) to keep up with the Panzers, their initial efforts involved conversions of various captured vehicles to carry artillery along with the creation of three interim conversions based on tanks already in German Service, the 15cm sIG 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen 38(t) 'Grille' (Cricket), based on the Panzer 38(t), the Sd.kfz 165 'Hummel' (Bumblebee) based on the same hull used for the Sd. Kfz. 164 'Nashorn' (Rhino) tank destroyer and the Sd.Kfz. 124 'Wespe' (Wasp) based on the Panzer II chassis.

These vehicles were all considered stopgaps pending the design of a purpose built self-propelled artillery vehicle. This would have to meet the following criteria:

1. Ability to match the cross country mobility of existing tanks.
2. Ability to change position and re-engage quickly
3. The gun to be carried in a turret with 360 degree rotation
4. The turret was to be removeable and capable of being used independantly of the carrier.

Two vehicles were proposed to replace the Hummel and Wespe respectively, these were designated the Heuschrecke (Grasshopper) 10 & 15. The latter vehicle which would have been based on the Panther chassis and carried a 15cm weapon never left the drawing board, however prototypes were built of the vehicle intended to carry the 10cm weapon.

This vehicle did mount the gun in a fully rotatble turret and being self-propelled artillery did not carry any secondary armament beyond small arms for the crew. To allow the turret to be dismounted a special crane was mounted to the rear of the vehicle.

Testing showed that the vehicle did meet the criteria, but due to the complexities of production and disagreements over just what the carrier portion of the weapon was to be based on led to it never entering series production.

One vehicle survives and is on display in the United States at the Fort Sill Artillery Museum.

Tanks Encyclopedia: Heuschrecke 10

Weapons and Warfare: Heuschrecke 10
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It was good idea
but it came too late in War to do something useful
and usual "do we need this ?"
Seems much more complicated than a real SPG for a dubious benefit.
Sure, the chassis could become an ammo carrier after unloading the turret, but this feature seems to be overly complicated, heavy and slow to execute under combat conditions.

And re-loading the turret after a combat session and some counter-battery fire, hmm.
Good luck getting everything back on, and the turret to rotate again.
And good luck catching up with the panzers that you were supposed to stay with, but that didn't wait for you to re-assemble yourself...

Way too complicated IMO.
I've added a link to another page which has some interesting artwork on the Heuschrecke 10. The first two images on that page ('Weapons and Warfare: Heuschrecke 10) are cover artwork from models of the vehicle, the second probably gives the best idea of how they would have been used.
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