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|This page is about the heavy tank ARL-44 (ACL-1). For the tank destroyer version, see ARL-44.|
The ARL-44 (ACL-1) is a Rank III French heavy tank with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". The ARL-44 (ACL-1) is the second heavy tank in the French tree. It is a well-rounded foe more suited for a medium tank role than an heavy one due to lacking armour (which is still very good). It distinguishes from previous French heavy tanks for having a potent gun. The ARL-44 (ACL-1) is a prototype design that would be finalized as the ARL-44.
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 slope 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.
Survivability and armour
The armour on this version of the ARL-44 is subpar as it can be penetrated by most foes it encounter from the front: with only 60 mm at 48°, it is weaker than a stock M4A3 Sherman (not even the Jumbo version). With that in mind, this tank should be kept a fair distance from the frontline. In order to put this "land battleship" 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 an hull-down position, using its -10° depression : turret armour is ~100 mm thick, with a bit of distance and angle, most rounds will not penetrate.
Be advised that this tank has 3 main ammo racks: between driver and machinegunner, in the turret's back and in the plain middle of the right track, shooting them down can be an easy ammo-rack explosion. Another thing to consider is this tank's large elevation mechanism, a penetrating shot to the tank's center of mass may damage/disable it, making it very hard for this foe to return fire.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 60 mm (48°) Front glacis
60 mm (63°) Lower glacis
100 mm (1-80°) Machine gun port
|50 + (25-50) + 50 mm|| 20 mm (72°) Top
35 mm (32°) Bottom
|Turret|| 100 mm (0-44°) Turret front
80 (0-79°) + 30 mm Gun mantlet
|60 mm (3-44°)|| 30 mm (0-51°)
38 mm (0-21°) Rear hatch
|Cupola||60 mm||10 mm|
- Suspension wheel are 15 mm thick while tracks are 20 mm thick.
- 25 mm RHA plate separate the engine from the crew compartment.
- Turret ring is 55 mm thick, with an additional 20 mm armour behind it.
At 47 tons, this is not a light tank, even more so that its tracks have bad ground traction. What saves this vehicles from feeling too slow is its 954 HP engine, capable of maintaining its top speed even when climbing slight hills. Do not expect too much from this tank, especially in highly inclined and soft terrains. Don't forget its reverse speed of only -4 km/h won't get you out quick of the situations: don't overextend.
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armour
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
"Decent" might be a word that comes to mind while firing this tank's main gun. When compared to other tanks at the BR, it has about the same characteristics as other medium tank's gun, the only thing being its lack of HE filler. In order to get out of a fight alive, seek some allied fire as this tank as bad reload rate. Do not bring more than 24 shells in order to avoid filling that obvious turret ammo rack.
|75 mm SA46|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
|75 mm Obus de rupture||APC||124||120||103||81||70||60|
|75 mm Obus de explosif||HE||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|Ammunition|| Type of
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
|75 mm Obus de rupture||APC||700||6.5||N/A||N/A||N/A||°||48°||63°||71°|
|75 mm Obus de explosif||HE||700||6.2||0.4||0.1||675||+0°||79°||80°||81°|
|37||25 (+12)||13 (+24)||1 (+36)||no|
Turret empty: 25 (+12)
|7.5 mm MAC 31|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in battles
The ARL-44 (ACL-1) should be played as a medium tank. Combining a good penetrating gun, decent mobility and average but sloped armour, the tank is more suited to this role as most tanks (e.g. PzIV F2, G, H, J, KV-85, T-34-85(D-5T)) and tank destroyers (e.g. Marder III, Achilles, M10, ASU 57) it meets at its BR and above will be able to penetrate its upper glacis reliably at standard combat ranges (~500 m). Im the hands of a capable commander, this tank can be quite deadly. The key word with this tank is "do not expect too much".
Utilize the ARL-44 (ACL-1) as a medium tank. If possible, flank. Otherwise forward engagements are also an option, however, do not trust your armour. Always take out turret rings/gunners first, or, go for ammo racks. When the BR average is 3.0, you can also play this tank as a heavy, as most enemies will not be able to penetrate your armour.
Pros and cons
- Good gun
- Okay mobility for a heavy tank, suited with a powerful engine
- Hull turning is fast due to wide hull
- 5 crew members for increased internal survivability
- Thick side armour enables strong angling
- Complex side armour can negate HEAT round effectiveness
- -10° of gun depression
- Large profile makes it a well-known battlefield target
- Many tanks can reliably penetrate its frontal armour.
- No explosives in APC shots
- Large elevation mechanism, often get damaged
- Bad ammo storage layout makes ammo rack shots frequent
- Track traction is subpar (pre-war track pattern)
- Thin roof armour
- Many shot traps
- Long reload time
- Only 2 shell choices
- Weak 20 mm plate in turret back protects one of the main ammo racks.
- Subpar reverse speed
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|France heavy tanks|
|ARL-44 (ACL-1) · AMX-50 Surbaissé|
|B1||Char de bataille B1 bis · Char de bataille B1 ter|
|USA||▄Assault Tank M4A3E2 Jumbo|