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 The ARL reaches speeds of 35 to 42 kph on flat ground and is relatively mobile for a heavy tank. Its powerful Maybach HL230 P 45F engine allows it to climb up hills much better than any other heavy tank of this tier. The ARL 44's hull traverse is slow, and especially so on soft ground, making it very vulnerable to being circled. Overall the KV-1S is somewhat faster on flat hard ground, but the ARL 44 has better climbing, so overall the mobility is as good as the KV-1S. It can keep up and continue to support a flank easily. However, because of it's mediocre armour, the ARL 44 is a very poor brawler without the support of other heavy tanks. The ARL reaches speeds of 35 to 42 kph on flat ground and is relatively mobile for a heavy tank. Its powerful Maybach HL230 P 45F engine allows it to climb up hills much better than any other heavy tank of this tier. The ARL 44's hull traverse is slow, and especially so on soft ground, making it very vulnerable to being circled. Overall the KV-1S is somewhat faster on flat hard ground, but the ARL 44 has better climbing, so overall the mobility is as good as the KV-1S. It can keep up and continue to support a flank easily. However, because of it's mediocre armour, the ARL 44 is a very poor brawler without the support of other heavy tanks.
  
?A good ARL 44 tanker is highly prized in Medium Tank Company battles which are locked at Tier 6. Its mobility is equal to the KV-1S (the most popular, and all around most powerful Tier 6 tank) while the exceptionally high damage per minute 105 mm Canon 13TR easily penetrates all targets, and with a fast 8.83 s reload (Large Caliber Gun Rammer + Brothers In Arms + Improved Ventilation) the ARL 44 can cover the KV-1S during the 122 mm gun's long 13-14 second reload. It is recommended to have a 50-50 mix of AP shells and APCR as the APCR shells do increased damage. When saving money with the 105 mm, APCR should be fired at KV-1S, KV-2 and other ARL-44's. 
  
 |InTheGame_research= |InTheGame_research=

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ARL 44

AnnoF06_ARL_44.png
Battle Tier
1234567891011
Overview
Mouse over "
Well, the ones further down, of course.
" for more information
[Client Values; Actual values in
Specifically, the mismatch in crew values caused by commander's 10% crew skill bonus. Outside of a crew of 1 commander only, 100% crew is a fiction. The client values, given for 100% crew, will normally be taken into battle with 110% crew skill members aside from specific functions, causing their actual performance to deviate from the expected client value. These differences are taken into account in tooltip boxes.
]
925,000  Credits Cost
870920 HP Hit Points
46.47/46.96Expression error: Unexpected < operator./50.5 t Weight Limit
Crew
  1. Commander
  2. Gunner
  3. Driver
  4. Radio Operator
  5. Loader
Mobility
575750 hp Engine Power
37/10 km/h Speed Limit
1820 deg/s Traverse
12.37Expression error: Unexpected < operator. hp/t Power/Wt Ratio
NoNo Pivot
Armor
120/60/40 mm Hull Armor
110/30/30110/30/30 mm Turret Armor
Armament







{{#ifeq:ARMOR_PIERCING_CR|ARMOR_PIERCING||



{{#ifeq:HIGH_EXPLOSIVE|ARMOR_PIERCING||


AP/APCR/HE







{{#ifeq:ARMOR_PIERCING_CR|ARMOR_PIERCING||



{{#ifeq:HIGH_EXPLOSIVE|ARMOR_PIERCING||


AP/APCR/HE
Shells




















96/2800/68




















255/4800/255
Shell Cost
115/115/185240/240/320 HP Damage
128/177/38212/259/45 mm Penetration



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15.79 r/m 

Standard Gun

Reload Times
Nominal: 3.8 s
50% Crew: 4.71 s
75% Crew: 4.11 s
100% Crew: 3.64 s
Rammer: 3.28 s
Vents: 3.56 s
Both: 3.2 s
Both and BiA: 3.13 s
Both and Max Crew %: 3 s

See Crew, Consumables, or Equipment for more information.



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6 r/m 

Standard Gun

Reload Times
Nominal: 10 s
50% Crew: 12.39 s
75% Crew: 10.82 s
100% Crew: 9.59 s
Rammer: 8.63 s
Vents: 9.38 s
Both: 8.44 s
Both and BiA: 8.26 s
Both and Max Crew %: 7.91 s

See Crew, Consumables, or Equipment for more information.
Rate of Fire






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1815.85

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 1 (115 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1815.85
50% Crew: 1466.25
75% Crew: 1679
100% Crew: 1894.05
100% Crew
Vents: 1936.6
Rammer: 2104.5
Both: 2151.65
Both and BiA: 2199.95
Both and Max Crew %: 2295.4

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1930.85
50% Crew: 1581.25
75% Crew: 1794
100% Crew: 2009.05
100% Crew
Rammer: 2219.5
Vents: 2051.6
Both: 2266.65
Both and BiA: 2314.95
Both and Max Crew %: 2410.4

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 2 (115 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1815.85
50% Crew: 1466.25
75% Crew: 1679
100% Crew: 1894.05
100% Crew
Vents: 1936.6
Rammer: 2104.5
Both: 2151.65
Both and BiA: 2199.95
Both and Max Crew %: 2295.4

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1930.85
50% Crew: 1581.25
75% Crew: 1794
100% Crew: 2009.05
100% Crew
Rammer: 2219.5
Vents: 2051.6
Both: 2266.65
Both and BiA: 2314.95
Both and Max Crew %: 2410.4

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 3 (185 Damage):
With wholly penetrating hits

Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 2921.15
50% Crew: 2358.75
75% Crew: 2701
100% Crew: 3046.95
100% Crew
Vents: 3115.4
Rammer: 3385.5
Both: 3461.35
Both and BiA: 3539.05
Both and Max Crew %: 3692.6

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 3106.15
50% Crew: 2543.75
75% Crew: 2886
100% Crew: 3231.95
100% Crew
Rammer: 3570.5
Vents: 3300.4
Both: 3646.35
Both and BiA: 3724.05
Both and Max Crew %: 3877.6

See here, here, or here for more information.






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1440

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 1 (240 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1440
50% Crew: 1161.6
75% Crew: 1332
100% Crew: 1502.4
100% Crew
Vents: 1536
Rammer: 1670.4
Both: 1706.4
Both and BiA: 1744.8
Both and Max Crew %: 1819.2

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1680
50% Crew: 1401.6
75% Crew: 1572
100% Crew: 1742.4
100% Crew
Rammer: 1910.4
Vents: 1776
Both: 1946.4
Both and BiA: 1984.8
Both and Max Crew %: 2059.2

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 2 (240 Damage):


Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1440
50% Crew: 1161.6
75% Crew: 1332
100% Crew: 1502.4
100% Crew
Vents: 1536
Rammer: 1670.4
Both: 1706.4
Both and BiA: 1744.8
Both and Max Crew %: 1819.2

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 1680
50% Crew: 1401.6
75% Crew: 1572
100% Crew: 1742.4
100% Crew
Rammer: 1910.4
Vents: 1776
Both: 1946.4
Both and BiA: 1984.8
Both and Max Crew %: 2059.2

See here, here, or here for more information.

Standard Gun

Using Shell Type 3 (320 Damage):
With wholly penetrating hits

Theoretical Damage Per Minute
Nominal DPM: 1920
50% Crew: 1548.8
75% Crew: 1776
100% Crew: 2003.2
100% Crew
Vents: 2048
Rammer: 2227.2
Both: 2275.2
Both and BiA: 2326.4
Both and Max Crew %: 2425.6

Advantageous Damage Per Minute
First-shot DPM: 2240
50% Crew: 1868.8
75% Crew: 2096
100% Crew: 2323.2
100% Crew
Rammer: 2547.2
Vents: 2368
Both: 2595.2
Both and BiA: 2646.4
Both and Max Crew %: 2745.6

See here, here, or here for more information.
Damage Per Minute


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0.43 m 

With 50% Crew: 0.533 m
With 75% Crew: 0.465 m
With 100% Crew: 0.412 m
With BiA: 0.403 m
With BiA and Vents: 0.394 m
Maximum possible: 0.378 m

For more details, see Crew


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0.38 m 

With 50% Crew: 0.471 m
With 75% Crew: 0.411 m
With 100% Crew: 0.364 m
With BiA: 0.356 m
With BiA and Vents: 0.349 m
Maximum possible: 0.334 m

For more details, see Crew
Accuracy


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2.3 s 

With 50% Crew: 2.849 s
With 75% Crew: 2.488 s
With 100% Crew: 2.205 s
With GLD: 2.005 s
With BiA: 2.157 s
With BiA and Vents: 2.11 s
With both and GLD: 1.918 s
Maximum possible: 1.839 s

For more details, see Crew or Equipment


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3.4 s 

With 50% Crew: 4.212 s
With 75% Crew: 3.678 s
With 100% Crew: 3.26 s
With GLD: 2.964 s
With BiA: 3.188 s
With BiA and Vents: 3.119 s
With both and GLD: 2.835 s
Maximum possible: 2.718 s

For more details, see Crew or Equipment
Aim time
2022 deg/s Turret Traverse
360° Gun Arc
-10°/+20°-10°/+15° Elevation Arc
7050 rounds Ammo Capacity
General
2020 % Chance of Fire






340 m 

With 50% Crew: 267.1 m
With 75% Crew: 303.6 m
With 100% Crew: 340 m
With Recon and Situational Awareness: 357.2 m
With Coated Optics: 374 m
With Binocular Telescope: 425 m
Maximum possible: 486.7 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment






350 m 

With 50% Crew: 275 m
With 75% Crew: 312.5 m
With 100% Crew: 350 m
With Recon and Situational Awareness: 367.7 m
With Coated Optics: 385 m
With Binocular Telescope: 437.5 m
Maximum possible: 501.1 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment
View Range


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400 m 

With 50% Crew: 322.9 m
With 75% Crew: 369.8 m
With 100% Crew: 417.2 m
With 100% Signal Boost: 480 m
When affected by 100% Relaying: 440 m
Maximum possible: 600.5 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment


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750 m 

With 50% Crew: 605.4 m
With 75% Crew: 693.4 m
With 100% Crew: 782.2 m
With 100% Signal Boost: 900 m
When affected by 100% Relaying: 825 m
Maximum possible: 1125.9 m

For more details, see Skills or Equipment
Signal Range
Values are Stock - click for Top


VI

AnnoF06_ARL_44.png

925000

The ARL 44 is a French tier 6 heavy tank.

Development of the vehicle started while France was still occupied by the German forces. It was an attempt to use the obsolete B1 Bis chassis and fit it with a modern, more powerful gun. The project was finished by the Atelier de Construction de Rueil Design Bureau. A total of 60 vehicles were manufactured. However, the tank was considered unsuccessful compared to similar foreign vehicles.

Referred by players as "the barn" due its incredibly large and house-shaped stock turret, the ARL 44 has decent sloped frontal armor but a weak turret and paper-thin side and rear armor. As such, it is quite prone to fires and internal module damage when hit from anywhere but the front. However, the ARL boasts much-improved mobility over its predecessors, great gun depression and elevation values, and an excellent gun selection. There is a choice between a harder-hitting 105mm gun or a smaller 90mm DCA 45 gun with extremely high penetration. The ARL 44 is the most powerful tier 6 tank in terms of penetration and thus is an effective sniper and remains effective even in Tier 8 battles.

The ARL 44 leads to the AMX M4 mle. 45.

Modules / Available Equipment and Consumables

Modules

Ico_gun_alpha.png

Guns

Tier Gun Penetration
(mm)
Damage
(HP)
Rate of fire
(rounds/minute)
Dispersion
(m/100m)
Aiming time
(s)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

VI 76 mm Gun M1A1 128/177/38 115/115/185 15.79 0.43 2.3 1567 50330
VII 90 mm DCA 30 135/175/45 240/240/320 6.98 0.4 2.3 2050 64000
VII 105 mm Canon 13TR 175/223/54 300/330/360 5.61 0.41 3.4 2400 94350
VII 90 mm F3 170/248/45 240/240/320 6.82 0.39 2.7 2200 87000
VIII 90 mm DCA 45 212/259/45 240/240/320 6 0.38 3.4 2750 121250

Ico_turret_alpha.png

Turrets

Tier Turret Turret Armor (front/sides/rear)
(mm)
Turret Traverse Speed
(deg/s)
View Range
(m)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

V ACL 1 110/30/30 20 340 7000 8350
VI ARL 44 110/30/30 22 350 6500 20430

Ico_engine_alpha.png

Engines

Tier Engine Engine Power
(hp)
Chance of Fire on Impact
(%)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

VI Maybach HL 230 575 20 700 26000
VIII Maybach HL 230 P45F 750 20 750 55000

Ico_suspension_alpha.png

Suspensions

Tier Suspension Load Limit
(т)
Traverse Speed
(gr/sec)
Rmin Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

V ARL 44 46.96 18 B/2 14200 8600
VI ARL 44 bis 50.5 20 B/2 14200 15420

Ico_radio_alpha.png

Radios

Tier Radio Signal Range
(m)
Weight
(kg)
Price
( Credits)

X SCR-528 Fr 750 80 54000
VI SCR 508 400 100 21600

Compatible Equipment

Low Noise Exhaust System Class 2 Medium Spall Liner Camouflage Net Class 2 Coated Optics Class 2 Experimental Optics Wear-Resistant Gun Laying Drive Improved Configuration Venting System Innovative Loading System Enhanced Gun Laying Drive Class 2 Improved Hardening Class 2 Additional Grousers Class 2 Modified Configuration Class 2 Improved Rotation Mechanism Class 2 Improved Aiming Class 2 Improved Ventilation Class 2 Binocular Telescope Class 2 Gun Rammer Class 2 Turbocharger Class 2 

Compatible Consumables

Automatic Fire Extinguisher Natural Cover Optical Calibration Aim Tuning Experienced Firefighters 100-octane Gasoline 105-octane Gasoline Manual Fire Extinguisher Strong Coffee Pre-Battle Maintenance Vent Purge Large First Aid Kit Large Repair Kit Duty Comes First Shell Organizer Orderly Ammo Rack Focus on Target Increased Focus Small First Aid Kit Small Repair Kit Gearbox Intricacy Steady Hand Combat Course 


Player Opinion

Pros and Cons

Pros:


  • The 90mm DCA 45 has the 2nd highest penetration of Tier 6.
  • The 105 mm Canon 13TR boasts one of the highest damage per minute of Tier 6, with high alpha damage, a good rate of fire, and
  • Good top speed across most terrain, coupled with good acceleration and power-to-weight ratio.
  • Exposed tracks can be used to soak damage against inexperienced players.
  • Surprisingly thick and well-sloped upper glacis, coupled with small lower glacis make the hull front quite well-protected.


Cons:


  • Unsloped turret front armour with very weak side and rear armour, especially with the ARL 44 nouvelle turret.
  • Weak hull side and rear armour.
  • Horrible gun dispersion when doing anything other than standing still.
  • Horribly long aim time on both top guns.
  • Exposed tracks that are disabled regularly, and have hitboxes behind them, which allows penetrating hits to the tracks from t


Performance

The ARL 44 has very different playstyles depending on the gun it is equipped with. The 90 mm DCA 45, with its exceptional penetration, good accuracy (once fully aimed in), horrible aim time, low alpha damage and rate-of-fire, make it much better suited for being used as a sniper. The 105 mm Canon 13TR, with its great damage output but lower accuracy and penetration, makes the ARL 44 better at medium ranges and peekaboo combat at the expense of long range combat. Despite its lower alpha damage, the 90 mm F3 is also a viable option thanks to its better aim time, along with slightly better penetration than the Canon 13TR. The 76 mm Gun M1A1 and 90 mm DCA 30 are simply guns to be ground through, and are not worth any serious consideration for long term use.

The ARL 44's hull sports 120mm of sloped frontal armor with a line of sight thickness of almost 170mm. However, this upper glacis has two small and four large weak points. Also, the lower glacis plate is very exposed from the tanks high ground clearance, though it is a fairly small target. The sides and rear of the tank have very thin armor and must be protected. Utilizing what armor the ARL 44 has requires proper positioning and knowledge of the ARL 44's many weak points. It is very difficult to angle the ARL 44 properly due to its very poor side armor. Besides that, the track mounts on the front of the tank are very lightly armored and become a large shot-trap. Shots that ricochet off your front glacis plates will nearly always land on your track mounts, doing full damage to you and possibly tracking you. Fighting other tanks without cover is best done head-on, with some slight angling. Be wary of the exceptionally thin turret side armor on the upgraded turret, which despite its angle can be very easily penetrated by many of the larger Tier 6 guns (90 mm and above) due to overmatching mechanics. It is interesting to note that the stock ARL 44 experimentale turret actually has significantly more armor than the ARL 44 nouvelle turret, though this is completely negated by the fact that it has nearly no angling, is exceptionally large (literally the size of a house), and cannot mount any other guns besides the first two.

The ARL reaches speeds of 35 to 42 kph on flat ground and is relatively mobile for a heavy tank. Its powerful Maybach HL230 P 45F engine allows it to climb up hills much better than any other heavy tank of this tier. The ARL 44's hull traverse is slow, and especially so on soft ground, making it very vulnerable to being circled. Overall the KV-1S is somewhat faster on flat hard ground, but the ARL 44 has better climbing, so overall the mobility is as good as the KV-1S. It can keep up and continue to support a flank easily. However, because of it's mediocre armour, the ARL 44 is a very poor brawler without the support of other heavy tanks.


Early Research

  • Curiously, the stock turret weighs more than the ARL 44 nouvelle turret, and as such, one should research the new turret first as it makes the ARL 44 a less conspicuous (and ridiculous-looking) target.
  • Research the 90mm DCA 30 gun (if it wasn't researched on the BDR G1B already).
  • Research the 90mm F3 gun.
  • Research the ARL 44 bis suspension.
  • Research Maybach HL 230 P 45F engine for increased mobility.
  • Research, depending on playstyle, the 105 mm Canon 13TR or the 90 mm DCA 45.
  • Research SCR 528F radio.
  • Finally, research the last gun, depending on which one was researched first.

It is important to note that nearly all the ARL 44's modules carry over into the AMX M4(1945), which also uses the 90 mm DCA 45 as its top gun. Thus, researching them on the ARL 44 will save a lot of effort on the AMX M4(1945).


Suggested Equipment


Tank Gun Rammer Enhanced Gun Laying Drive Improved VentilationToolbox 


Gallery

Historical Info

During the German occupation some clandestine tank development took place in France, mostly limited to component design or the building of tracked chassis with either an ostensible civilian use or with the Kriegsmarine in mind. These efforts were coordinated by the CDM (Camouflage du Matériel), a secret Vichy French army organisation trying to produce matériel forbidden under the Armistice conditions, with the ultimate goal of combining these components into the design of a possible future thirty-ton battle tank, armed with a 75 mm gun. The projects were very disparate, including those for a trolleybus, the Caterpillar du Transsaharien (a regular cross-Sahara track and rail connection) and a tracked snow blower for the Kriegsmarine to be used in Norway. The firms involved were Laffly and Lorraine; a military design team in occupied France, headed by Maurice Lavirotte, was also active. When in August 1944 Paris was liberated, the new provisional government of France did its utmost to reclaim the country's position as a great power, trying to establish its status as a full partner among the Allies by contributing as much as possible to the war effort. One of the means to accomplish this was to quickly restart tank production.

Before the war France had been the world's second largest tank producer, behind the Soviet Union. However, French prewar light and medium designs had by that time become completely outdated, and there was no way to quickly make up for the time lost. It was thought possible, though, to compensate for this with sheer size. A large and well-armed vehicle might still be useful, however obsolescent its individual parts were, especially as the British and Americans seemed to be behind Germany in heavy tank development, having no operational vehicles that could slug it out with the PzKpfw VI Tiger Ausf. B (better known as the "King Tiger"). An important secondary goal of the project was also to ensure that France would in the future have a sufficient number of weapons engineers; if these couldn't be employed now, they would be forced to seek other occupations and much expertise would be lost.

Consequently, it was decided to produce 600 heavy tanks, to be designed by the Direction des Études et Fabrications d'Armement (DEFA) in which engineers from the former APX (the French Army's Atelier de Puteaux) and AMX (the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux state factory) design teams were concentrated, and built by the Atelier de Construction de Rueil (ARL), the army workshop. The tank was named the ARL 44. The specifications were not at first overly ambitious and called for a 30-ton vehicle with 60 mm of armour and armed with a new 75 mm Long 44 gun, rendering a penetration of 80 mm steel at 1000 metres and developed by the engineer Lafargue from the Canon de 75 Contre-Avion mle. 1932 anti-aircraft gun, conforming to the earlier CDM requirements.

As France had been rather isolated from tank engineering developments in the rest of the world, the designers based themselves on types they already knew well, mainly the Char B1, the Char G1, and the FCM F1 heavy tanks. It was at first attempted to use the components developed between 1940 and 1944, though most soon proved to be incompatible. As a result of the reliance on older types, the ARL 44 was to be fitted with a very old-fashioned suspension system with small road wheels and used the same track as the Char B1, limiting maximum speed to about 30 km/h. Suggestions to use a more modern foreign suspension system were rejected, as it would have compromised the tank's status as a purely French design. A Talbot 450 hp or Panhard 400 hp engine was envisaged to be fitted. Progress was very slow as there was a lack of resources and much infrastructure in the Paris region had been destroyed. Even finding paper and drawing materials was difficult.

In February 1945, a meeting took place between the engineers and the Army. The tank officers quickly pointed out that building a tank according to the original specifications was pointless, as such a vehicle would be inferior to even an M4 Sherman, which could be obtained for free from the Allies in any numbers so desired. It was therefore decided that the ARL 44 would be fitted with 120 mm of sloped armour, bringing the weight, which even in the conceptual stages had already grown to 43 metric tons, to 48 tons. The armament would consist of the most powerful gun available: either the American 76 mm M1A1 or, with some luck, the British 17-pounder; 90 mm guns had not been made available by the Allies.

Only a wooden mock-up had been completed by an engineering team headed by Engineer General Maurice Lavirotte when the war ended. However, the end of hostilities did not mean the end of the entire project. To maintain some continuity in French tank design and bolster national morale, it was decided to build sixty vehicles, even though there was no longer any real need for them. In March 1946 the first prototype could be tested. The Atelier et Chantiers de la Loire built the ACL1 turret, fitted with the American 76 mm M1A1 gun; this was later replaced by a Schneider turret based on the one designed for the FCM F1 and fitted with the 90 mm DCA 45 naval anti-aircraft gun, which had a muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s (AP: 1130 m/s HE) and a muzzle brake — the ARL 44 was thus the first French tank to feature this item. Firing trials began on 27 June 1947; the gun often proved to be more accurate than that of a Panther used for comparison.

Mainly due to the change in armament, the development and production of the turret would be drawn out; it was not until 1949 that turrets could be fitted to hulls produced in 1946 and placed into storage. Forty hulls had been completed by FAMH and a further twenty by Renault. They were fitted with captured German Maybach HL230 600 hp engines (real output 575 hp), brought back by a mission headed by General Joseph Molinié in the summer of 1945, repeating the course of events with the Char 2C, which after the previous war had also received captured Maybach engines.

Description

The ARL 44 was fairly closely based on earlier French heavy tank design. The hull is long, over 9 metres, but relatively narrow, just as a vehicle meant to cross wide trenches. The covered suspension, with its many small road wheels that had already become outdated in the 1930s, is the most obvious sign of its basic Char B1 ancestry; it is in essence identical to that of the Char B1 ter. The ARL 44 has often been compared to the many "Super Char B" projects from before the war. Its speed is likewise limited, the lowest of any 50 ton tank built after the war. This was also partly due to the lack of a sufficiently strong engine; it had originally been intended to compensate for this by using a more efficient petro-electrical transmission. This kind of transmission has a major drawback in that it very easily overheats and the ARL 44 as a result was fitted with an impressive and complex array of ventilators and cooling ducts; the engine deck was made to extend behind the track to accommodate them all. The hull glacis plate was 120 mm thick and inclined at about 45°, giving a line-of-sight thickness in the horizontal plane of about 170 mm. This made the ARL 44 the most heavily armored French tank until the Leclerc, which came much, much later. Within the glacis, low on the right side, a 7.5 mm machine-gun is fitted in a fixed position.

The turret was the most modern looking part, but it too was also an obvious makeshift solution, somewhat crudely welded together, made necessary by the simple fact that Schneider as yet couldn't produce complete cast turrets large enough to hold a 90 mm gun. The turret front was a single cast section though. As the turret was positioned near the middle of the tank, even when pointing to the back the long 90 mm DCA 45 gun would have a large overhang; in order to facilitate transport it was therefore made retractable into the turret. The turret was rotated by a Simca 5 engine.

In all, the ARL 44 was an unsatisfactory interim design, afterwards often called the "Transitional Tank", whose main function was to provide experience in building heavier vehicles. The main lesson learned was for many engineers that it was unwise to construct too heavy types and this opinion was reinforced by the failure of the tank project that the ARL 44 formed the transition to: the much more ambitious heavy AMX 50. Only after a gap of sixteen years France would in 1966 again build a main battle tank, the AMX 30.

Operational history

The ARL 44s equipped the 503e Régiment de Chars de Combat stationed in Mourmelon-le-Grand and before the end of 1950 replaced seventeen Panther tanks used earlier by that unit. In service the ARL 44 was, at first, an unreliable vehicle: the brakes, the gear box and the suspension were too frail. A special improvement program remedied most of these shortcomings. The ARL 44 made only one public appearance, when ten vehicles participated in the Bastille Day parade on 14 July 1951. When the American M47 Patton became available, which also had a 90 mm gun, they were phased out in 1953 and used as targets. The rumour that most ARL 44s were exported to Argentina is unfounded.

Three ARL 44s survive today. An ARL 44 can be seen in the Musée des Blindés in Saumur; another one at the 501-503e Régiment de Chars de Combat, Mourmelon-le-Grand, a third is a wreck on the technical zone of the base of the 2nd Dragoon Regiment at Fontevraud. It is relatively complete but the gun is dismounted from the turret.

Historical Inconsistencies

  • The stock ARL 44 turret (the "ARL 44 experimentale") is the large turret from the FCM F1 heavy tank. There is no documentation indicating that this turret was ever mounted on the ARL 44, nor was that turret ever fitted with the 76 mm Gun M1A1, which was fitted historically to the Loire ACL1 turret.


Historical Gallery


France
Light Tanks IRenault FT IID1 IIAM 39 Gendron-Somua IIAMR 35 IIFCM 36 IIRenault R35 IIHotchkiss H35 IIIAMX 38 IVAMX 40 VAMX ELC bis VIAMX 12 t VIPanhard AMD 178B VIIAMX 13 75 VIIHotchkiss EBR VIIAMX 13 57 VIIAMX 13 57 GF VIIIPanhard EBR 75 (FL 10) VIIIPanhard AML Lynx 6x6 VIIIBat.-Châtillon 12 t VIIIELC EVEN 90 IXAMX 13 90 IXPanhard EBR 90 XPanhard EBR 105 XAMX 13 105
Medium Tanks IIID2 IIISomua S35 IVSARL 42 VRenault G1 VIBretagne Panther VIIIBat.-Châtillon Bourrasque VIIILorraine 40 t VIIIAMX Chasseur de chars VIIIM4A1 Revalorisé IXAMX 30 1er prototype IXChar Futur 4 IXBat.-Châtillon 25 t AP XBat.-Châtillon 25 t XAMX 30 B
Heavy Tanks IVB1 VBDR G1 B VIARL 44 VIIAMX M4 mle. 45 VIIIAMX 50 100 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 Liberté VIIIAMX 65 t VIIISomua SM VIIIFCM 50 t IXAMX 50 120 IXAMX M4 mle. 51 XAMX 50 B XAMX M4 mle. 54
Tank Destroyers IIRenault FT AC IIIFCM 36 Pak 40 IIIRenault UE 57 IVSomua SAu 40 VM10 RBFM VS35 CA VIARL V39 VIIAMX AC mle. 46 VIIIAMX AC mle. 48 VIIIAMX Canon d'assaut 105 IXAMX 50 Foch XAMX 50 Foch (155) XAMX 50 Foch B
Self-Propelled Artillery IIRenault FT 75 BS IIILorraine 39L AM IVAMX 105 AM mle. 47 VAMX 13 105 AM mle. 50 V105 leFH18B2 VIAMX 13 F3 AM VIILorraine 155 mle. 50 VIIILorraine 155 mle. 51 IXBat.-Châtillon 155 55 XBat.-Châtillon 155 58
Heavy Tanks
USA VT14 VT1 Heavy Tank VIM6 VIIKing Tiger (Captured) VIIT29 VIIIChrysler K VIIIChrysler K GF VIIIT26E5 VIIIT26E5 Patriot VIIIM54 Renegade VIIIM6A2E1 VIIIT32 VIIIT34 VIIIT34 B IXAE Phase I IXM103 IXT54E1 XT110E5 XT57 Heavy Tank
UK VChurchill I VExcelsior VIChurchill VII VITOG II* VIIBlack Prince VIIFV201 (A45) VIIICaernarvon VIIICaernarvon Action X IXConqueror XFV215b XSuper Conqueror XT95/FV4201 Chieftain
Germany IVPz.Kpfw. B2 740 (f) IVDurchbruchswagen 2 VITiger 131 VIVK 30.01 (P) VIVK 36.01 (H) VIIVK 45.03 VIITiger I VIITiger (P) VIIIVK 100.01 (P) VIIIVK 168.01 (P) VIIIVK 168.01 Mauerbrecher VIIIVK 75.01 (K) VIIIE 75 TS VIIILöwe VIIITiger II VIIIVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. A IXE 75 IXMäuschen IXVK 45.02 (P) Ausf. B XE 100 XPz.Kpfw. VII XMaus XVK 72.01 (K)
France IVB1 VBDR G1 B VIARL 44 VIIAMX M4 mle. 45 VIIIAMX 50 100 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 VIIIAMX M4 mle. 49 Liberté VIIIAMX 65 t VIIISomua SM VIIIFCM 50 t IXAMX 50 120 IXAMX M4 mle. 51 XAMX 50 B XAMX M4 mle. 54
USSR VChurchill III VKV-220-2 VKV-220-2 Beta Test VKV-1 VIKV-1S VIKV-2 VIKV-2 (R) VIKV-85 VIObject 244 VIT-150 VIIIS VIIKV-3 VIIKV-122 VIIIS-2M VIIIS-2 shielded VIIIS-2 VIIIIS-3 VIIIIS-6 VIIIIS-6 B VIIIKV-5 VIIIKV-4 VIIIIS-5 (Object 730) VIIIIS-3A VIIIKV-4 Kreslavskiy VIIIObject 252U Defender VIIIObject 252U VIIIIS-M VIIIObject 703 Version II VIIIIS-2-II IXT-10 IXObject 777 Version II IXObject 257 IXObject 705 IXIS-3-II IXST-I XIS-4 XIS-7 XObject 260 XObject 705A XObject 277 XObject 279 early XST-II
China VIIIS-2 VIIIWZ-111 VIIIWZ-111 Alpine Tiger VIII110 VIII112 IXWZ-111 model 1-4 X113 XWZ-111 model 5A
Japan IIIType 91 Heavy IVType 95 Heavy VO-I Experimental VIHeavy Tank No. VI VIO-I VIIO-Ni VIIIO-Ho IXType 4 Heavy XType 5 Heavy
Czechoslovakia
Sweden VIIIEmil I VIIIEMIL 1951 IXEmil II XKranvagn
Italy
Poland VII45TP Habicha VIII50TP prototyp VIII53TP Markowskiego IX50TP Tyszkiewicza X60TP Lewandowskiego
ko:Tank:F06 ARL 44ja:Tank:F06 ARL 44