The German L/28 Heuschrecke 10 or Grasshopper 10 was a prototype self-propelled 105 mm field howitzer on a tracked weapons carrier developed by Krupp-Gruson. Heuschrecke 10 externally looked a typical tank, but it featured a removable turret which could be deployed as a pillbox or towed behind the vehicle as an artillery piece.
Heuschrecke 10 example at the Aberdeen Tank Museum [Via]
Krupp produced only three prototypes from 1942–1943. The Heuschrecke initially made use of a shortened Panzerkampfwagen IV (Panzer IV) chassis, but it was later switched to the Geschützwagen IV chassis, developed for the Hummel self-propelled gun. The development of the Heuschrecke was therefore canceled in February 1943. The Heuschrecke was seen as interesting by the General Inspector of the Panzer Troops, Heinz Guderian, however, Guderian agreed that their development was not worth the disruption to tank production.
The distinguishing feature of the Heuschrecke was its removable turret. A lifting gantry attached to the chassis could remove the turret for use on concrete fortifications or the ground. Although the howitzer could equally be fired from the chassis, the vehicle was designed to carry the artillery piece to a firing emplacement for removal before usage. It has an ammo capacity of 60 rounds, which was pretty large. The tank also carried a set of wheels and a carriage, which could be used to tow the turret a new location without the need reinstall it on its normal mounting. The actual installation and recovery of the turret was a long and convoluted process, exposing the crew to enemy fire.
It is believed only one Heuschrecke 10 survived the war. This sole survivor was originally on display at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. It was transferred from there to the Fort Sill Field Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 2012, the Grasshopper 10 was restored by the Fort Sill Directorate of Logistics paint shop.
The only remaining German Heuschrecke 10 "Grasshopper" 105 mm self-propelled light field howitzer features a detachable turret that allowed soldiers to position it on the ground like an armored pillbox. The artillery piece is displayed at the Army Field Artillery Museum at Fort Sill [Via]