Locust 10 Stories

In September 1939, the German armament giant Krupp developed a new armored vehicle for the German Army Ordnance Office as a dedicated self-propelled howitzer (SPH) with tracks and a movable turret. The tank was unique in that it was a "clean" SPH design, designed for an artillery support role, unlike other designs of the time, which were often hastily modified and fixed guns in the superstructure.

After testing two vehicles, the design was accepted by the German Army in January 1940, codenamed SfKfz 165/1, with a leFH 18/1 howitzer on a Panzer IV tank chassis. Power comes from a 188-horsepower Maybach HL66 engine. Although 200 were eventually ordered, only 10 made it to the prototype stage, as it turned out that fairly good results could be achieved by modifying the excess stock of the upcoming Panzer II light tank.

It is well known that the SdKfz 165/1 tanks that saw the light of day were used against the Soviets on the Eastern Front.

Work on the special SPH continued until 1942, while allowing the use of the new Hummel mount chassis for the project. The concept of the movable turret was retained, but to meet the requirements of the army, a unique feature was added - the turret (the turret and all turrets) could be separated from the hull and used as a fixed turret. The entire process is designed to be manual - no power equipment is required, a hydraulic disassembly frame is installed for this purpose.

The main gun remained the leFH 18 light field howitzer, and the turret design forced Hummel's mid-engined to be initially placed in the rear of the fuselage.

The revised vehicle features a new Glacis plate design. The crew consists of five people and is powered by a 360-horsepower Maybach HL90 12-cylinder engine. The road speed reaches 45 km/h and the range is 300 km. The suspension is leaf spring type. The 105mm gun carried a total of 87 rounds.

The German Army took an interest in the design - known as the "Heustarte 10" or "Heustarte" - and tested it in October 1943. The hydraulics will have a manual failsafe as a backup in case there is a breakdown and the authorities want a two-wheeled transporter that will accept the turret/artillery section as a towed weapon.

Modifications were made and the revised vehicle appeared in May 1944.

At this point, the program became a complex, expensive, and somewhat novel concept that was no longer needed, so the project was abandoned. The only example was adopted by the advancing Americans, who immediately sent it back to the US for inspection and testing (at the Aberdeen Proving Ground).

Grasshopper 10 Specification

Basic

Year:
1944
Staff:
5
Manufacturing:
Krupp - Nazi Germany
Production:
13 units

Roles

- fire support/attack/damage

Dimensions

Length:

6.57m

Width:

2.9m

Height:

2.65m

Weight:

24 tons (21,775 kg; 48,006 lb)

Performance

1 x Maybach HL120TRM liquid-cooled 12-cylinder petrol engine with 360 hp at 2,600 rpm.

Performance

Maximum Speed:

38 km/h

Maximum range:

140 miles (225 km)

Armor

1 x 105 mm (10.5 cm) leFH 18/6 howitzer in the turret.

Ammo:

87x105mm bullet

Changes

SdKfz 165/1 - Original design from 1939; two test cars and ten prototypes completed.

10.5cm Light Field Howitzer 18/1 L/28 on Waffentrager Geschutzwagen IVb ("Heushopper 10") - Revised 1942; single example with removable turret and two-wheel carriage system.

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