The 10.5 cm GebH 40 was designed to meet an Army requirement for a 10.5 cm howitzer to serve in the mountain divisions (Gebirgs Divisionen). Both Rheinmetall and Böhler submitted designs for troop trials in 1940 and Böhler was selected for production, although actual production did not begin until 1942. Some 420 were built between 1942–45.
The design of the 10.5 cm GebH 40 was relatively conventional in regard to the gun itself, with its standard German horizontal sliding block breech, split trail carriage with removable spades, and muzzle brake, but its carriage was truly innovative. First, the light-alloy wheels with solid rubber tires, and their spring suspension, were fixed to the legs of the split-trail carriage and would "toe-in" when the legs were spread out in preparation for firing. Second, a firing pedestal was positioned underneath the front of the carriage so that the howitzer had three points of support when firing and to minimize the time needed to find a firing position by reducing the amount of level space required (three level spots being easier to find than four). Third, it could be towed fully assembled, broken down into four loads on single-axle trailers towed by Sd.Kfz. 2 "Kettenkrad" half-track motorcycles or broken down into five pack-loads to be carried by mules. It remains the heaviest mountain howitzer ever made at 1,660 kg (3,660 lb), but it has been assessed as one of the best mountain guns ever made and it remained in service until the 1960s with various European countries.
Two different range figures have been quoted for the 10.5 cm GebH 40, 12,625 metres (13,807 yd) and 16,740 metres (18,310 yd). The former figure seems more plausible when compared to 10.5 cm howitzers with roughly similar barrel lengths and muzzle velocities like the 10.5 cm leFH 18 and the American M-2.