ARL-44 (ACL-1)

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This page is about the heavy tank ARL-44 (ACL-1). For the tank destroyer version, see ARL-44.
ARL-44 (ACL-1)
GarageImage ARL-44 (ACL-1).jpg
ARL-44 (ACL-1)
3.7 3.7 3.7
Research:18 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:47 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The ARL-44 (ACL-1) bears very distinctive characteristics, with a WWI-style track system (similar to the Churchill) which runs across the whole side of its chassis. This tank is a mix of different inspirations, mainly late-war German tank technology such as the Panther series or the Tiger II, from which it takes its sloped frontal armour and tall profile. As France was reviving from WW2, its engineers were hard at work to catch up with tank technology, the ARL-44 series was a training ground for them. This is why this tank has rather weird design choices, coming from both experience and experimentation. Originally armed with a 75 mm cannon, an ACL-1 turret, and a 60 mm sloped front plate in 1944, the design was deemed to weak, and many considered that it would quickly be outdated. It was later improved with a 90 mm SA45 gun with 37 rounds, a 120 mm front plate and a redesigned sloped turret (ARL-44).

It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". The ARL-44 (ACL-1) is a well-rounded vehicle more suited for a medium tank role than an heavy one due to lacking armour (which is still decent). It distinguishes from previous French heavy tanks for having a potent gun. The vehicle features an adequate cannon (although with a limited ammo selection), good frontal and side armour that allows for limited angling, and -10 degrees of gun depression. However, the tank does have a very large profile and the turret ammo storage is very exposed and lightly armoured.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Hull60 / 50 / 35
Turret100 / 60 / 30
Crew5 people
Visibility150 %

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull)
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Turret, gun mantlet, MG port)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 60 mm (48°) Front glacis
100 mm (spherical) MG port
50 mm Hull compartment between the tracks
50 mm (63°) Lower glacis
50 mm
25 mm Tracks cover
35 mm (32°) Rear glacis
35 mm (20°) Hull compartment between the tracks
20 mm
5 mm Radiator vents
5 mm (18°) Engine access panel
Turret 100 mm (0-44°) Turret front
80-100 + 30 mm (spherical) Gun mantlet
60 mm (3°) 30 mm
20 mm Rear hatch
60 mm (52°) Turret overhang
20 mm (13-15°)
Cupola 60 mm 20 mm


  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick and bogies are 10 mm thick.
  • 25 mm RHA plate separates the engine from the crew compartment.
  • The Turret ring is 55 mm thick, with an additional 20 mm of armour behind it.

The armour on this version of the ARL-44 is average as the frontal glacis plate can be penetrated by most foes it encounters up close from the front: with 60 mm at 48°, it is similar to a M4A3 (105). With that in mind, this tank should be kept a fair distance from the frontline. In order to put this "Heavy Tank" to good use, it should be angled at about 25° facing towards the enemy. An even better way to maximise its armour is by keeping a hull-down position, using its -10° depression. Turret armour is ~100 mm thick, with a lot of overlapping armour profiles around the mantlet area. With a bit of distance and angle, most rounds will not penetrate, except from tank destroyers with high penetration.

Another thing to consider is this tank's large elevation mechanism, a penetrating shot to the tank's center of mass may damage or disable it, making it very hard to return fire.


Speedforward / back
AB40 / 9 km/h
RB and SB38 / 8 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
2 back
Weight47.0 t
Engine power
AB1 145 hp
RB and SB600 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB24.4 hp/t
RB and SB12.8 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 40 9 47 775 1,145 16.49 24.36
Realistic 38 8 531 600 11.3 12.77

At 47 tons, this is not a light tank, even more so that its tracks have bad ground traction. What saves this vehicle from feeling too slow is its 600 HP engine, capable of maintaining its top speed even when climbing slight hills. Do not expect too much, as this tank is still heavy and sluggish, especially in highly inclined and soft terrains. Don't forget its reverse speed of "only" -7.5 km/h, it won't get you out quickly of the situations so don't over-extend.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 315 → 1 626 Sl icon.png
RB1 348 → 1 667 Sl icon.png
SB1 766 → 2 184 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications19 800 Rp icon.png
32 500 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost980 Ge icon.png
Crew training13 000 Sl icon.png
Experts47 000 Sl icon.png
Aces330 Ge icon.png
Research Aces280 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
80 / 110 / 120 % Sl icon.png
136 / 136 / 136 % Rp icon.png
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
1 300 Rp icon.png
2 100 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 800 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 800 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
3 200 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
240 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
3 200 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
240 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
1 300 Rp icon.png
2 100 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 800 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
1 300 Rp icon.png
2 100 Sl icon.png
100 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
1 100 Rp icon.png
1 800 Sl icon.png
85 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
1 700 Rp icon.png
2 800 Sl icon.png
130 Ge icon.png


Main armament

Ammunition37 rounds
First-order24 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
9.8 → 7.5 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°
Main article: SA44 (75 mm)
75 mm SA44 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 37 -10°/+20° ±180° N/A 12.1 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0 9.75 8.63 7.95 7.50
Realistic 8.9 10.5 12.8 14.1 15.0
Example shot at a KV-1 (L-11) from a distance of 500 m when not angled.

When compared to other Medium or Heavy tanks at the same battle rating, the gun is somewhere in the middle of the group. The standard shell has enough penetration to penetrate all up to the heaviest armour from the front at a distance of 500 m and less when the enemy is not angled. The most notable disadvantage is the lack of an AP shell with an explosive filler meaning it is often needed to shoot and penetrate more than once to destroy a target. The post-penetration damage while quite deadly, can be quite lacklustre if the armour of the target is just thick enough. This will prevent enough shrapnel from being created to critically damage and/or knock out the crew inside an enemy tank.


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
OR Mle.44 APCBC 125 122 108 93 80 69
OE Mle.28 HE 14 13 12 11 10 10
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
OR Mle.44 APCBC 715 6.4 - - - 48° 63° 71°
OE Mle.28 HE 700 6.44 0.2 0.1 675 79° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the ARL-44 (ACL-1)
rack empty
rack empty
37 25 (+12) 1 (+36) No


  • Rack 2 is a first-stage ammo rack. It totals 24 shells will get replenished over time when not interrupted by firing.
    • The restocking time is longer than the normal reload time of the gun (about 19 seconds). Take this into account when playing.
  • Shells are modelled individually and disappear after having being fired or loaded.
  • Hull empty: 25 (+12) shells

Machine guns

Ammunition5 100 rounds
Belt capacity150 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Fire rate551 shots/min
Main article: MAC 31 (7.5 mm)
7.5 mm MAC 31
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 5,100 (150) 551 N/A N/A

The small calibre of the MAC 31 machine gun makes it largely ineffective against all armoured vehicles but the ones with an open compartment. It still can be used to ping targets as a rangefinding help or to mow down minor obstacles blocking your line of sight.

Usage in battles

Combat tactics

The ARL-44 (ACL-1) is a relatively well armoured vehicle and but should still be played as a support tank. From a distance, take advantage of your armour to shrug enemy fire off while answering with well placed shots. Your frontal glacis and turret armour are strong enough to resist most enemy guns beyond 500 m. But there are weak spots your opponents will prioritize: the front glacis (if not properly angled) and the turret cupola. Refrain from rushing towards the frontline: your sides are weak and your turret traverse speed is slow so avoid close combat. Staying at a distance from the frontline will also prevent from being taken in a pincer move. Your gun has a good penetration power allowing you to stay at a distance but the lack of explosive filler is detrimental to your performance as you'll need two to three shells to take down enemies. Your reload time is a bit longer than most opponents, so aim precisely and make every shot count. Your mobility is rather poor, with a rigid suspension, outdated tracks and a long and cumbersome chassis. Terrain irregularities will make you slow down and hinder your progress. Position your hull carefully when getting to a shooting spot to avoid hull twitching that will impact your targeting process.

Notable enemies
  • Tank destroyers with powerful guns that can penetrate you from afar: M10, StuG III F, YaG-10 (29-K), ASU-57, SU-85A, Achilles, Na-To, 90/53 M41M, Breda 501, Pvkv II and Pvkv m/43 (1946). You can add the Pz.IV F2, the Pz.IV G/J to the list as they sport powerful cannons too.
  • Tanks firing HEAT shells that can defeat your frontal glacis: 75/34 M43, P40,
  • Tanks whose cannon is powerful enough when in close proximity: any M24, any Sherman (M4, M4A1, M4A2, M4A4, M4A5), any T-34 (1941, 1942, 1943, E STz), any KV-2 (1939, 1940, 754), the Chi-Nu and the AMX-13 (FL11).
  • Heavy tank able to resist your fire and get close enough to damage you: KV-1S, MK-II "Matilda"
This piece of armour will detonate the shell, leading to the knock out of at least 1 crew member
How to defeat ARL-44 (ACL-1)
  • One might assume that the ARL's side armour is also very thick, complex, and hard to penetrate at an angle but the ARL can actually get penetrated frontally even with 3.7 tanks despite the fact that the tracks and hull sides somewhat resemble the structure of a Churchill heavy tank. Behind the track and front sprocket wheel lays an unangled armour of only 50 mm thickness. The effective thickness of all these components combined are no more than 100 mm when aiming from the front. Therefore even a 3.7 tank can shoot at the track and the shell will most certainly go through the frontmost wheel, then penetrate the 50 mm armour, sending shrapnel into the crew compartment with its explosion. Of course, solid shots will not work as good since you are shooting at the very edge of the tank after all, you need explosive filler to knock out the crew who are beside the point of penetration. This weak spot remains small and requires close proximity.
As seen through protection analysis, this weak spot only has an effective thickness of less than 100 mm, meaning almost any tank can reliably penetrate there
  • Do not attack the ARL-44 (ACL-1) frontally unless you have enough armour to afford it.
  • Sneak around it and target the turret from the back or the side. The ARL-44 (ACL-1) has a slow turret traverse and flat side and rear armour, making it especially vulnerable to flanking.
  • If you have no other option than to attack it frontally, blind it with smoke before closing the gap. Target either the turret cupola or the lower part of the front glacis when the ARL-44 (ACL-1) is not angling as they are weak spots.

Pros and cons


  • Thick side armour enables strong angling
  • Complex side armour can negate HEAT round effectiveness
  • 5 crew members increase the survivability
  • Good mobility for a heavy tank, suited with a powerful engine
  • Hull turning is fast due to wide hull
  • Potent gun for the battle rating
  • -10° of gun depression angle
  • By taking 25 rounds of ammunition, the hull is completely empty of shells, increasing survivability.


  • Large silhouette makes it a priority target
  • Many tanks can reliably penetrate its frontal glacis
  • Thin roof armour
  • Weak 20 mm plate in turret back protects one of the main ammo racks
  • Many weak spots in the armour, including shot traps
  • Track traction is subpar (pre-war track pattern)
  • Slow reverse speed
  • No explosive filler in available shells
  • Limited ammunition choice
  • Longer reload time compared with tanks of the same battle rating
  • Large elevation mechanism, often get damaged


Main article: History of the ARL-44


The ARL-44 (ACL-1) was the initial variant of the ARL-44 in 1944, with a 75 mm SA 44 gun, a 60 mm sloped front plate and an ACL1 turret designed by the shipyard "Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire". Isolated from the latest evolutions of tank design, the tank was deemed too weak and sent back to the drawing board to equip the tank with better armour and firepower. The design evolved towards the known version of the ARL-44: a 90 mm gun, a Schneider turret and a 120 mm sloped front plate. While 60 ACL1 turrets were ordered, the ARL-44 (ACL-1) never made it past the prototype stage.

Combat usage

The ARL-44 (ACL-1) saw no service or combat action.



See also

Vehicles equipped with the same chassis
Other vehicles of similar configuration and role

External links

France heavy tanks
B1  B1 bis · B1 ter
2C  2C · 2C bis
ARL-44  ARL-44 (ACL-1)
AMX-50  Somua SM · AMX-50 Surbaissé · AMX-50 Surblindé
USA  ▄M4A3E2