A prototype of the ARL 40. The vehicle was intended as an assault SPG. Mass production was to be launched in 1940 but never started due to the occupation of France.
The ARL V39 requires quite a bit of patience to operate with efficient competence, as while the ARL V39 doesn't have the armor to withstand frontal shots, it does gain improved mobility compared to its predecessors. The gun traverse arc will be quite a downgrade coming from the magnificent S-35 CA; instead, the ARL V39 gains better gun handling and reload to compensate.
The ARL V39 leads to the AMX AC Mle. 1946.
Pros and Cons
- The 90 mm DCA 45 AC offers the best penetration of Tier 6.
- The 105 mm Canon de 105 mle. 1930 Schneider offers the second best alpha damage of Tier 6, coupled with an excellent rate-of-fire.
- Decent forward speed.
- Second best view range of the Tier 6 tank destroyers (after the M18 Hellcat and M36 Jackson).
- Slightly more HP than the other Tier 6 tank destroyers.
- Weak armor.
- Poor hull traverse and reverse speeds.
- Very narrow gun traverse arc.
- Prominent non-functional commander's turret coupled with large size and poor camouflage rating makes it difficult to conceal.
- Gunner/driver nearly always killed or injured on first front hit.
- Urgently needs enhanced suspension equipment - stock grind is near impossible!
On the surface, it would appear that the ARL V39 would be a good tank destroyer, based on the statistics shown ingame. It has two excellent gun choices, along with decent mobility and view range. Unfortunately, there are some things about the ARL V39 that the ingame statistics do not mention. Being based on the BDR G1B heavy tank, the ARL V39 is a very large tank destroyer, especially compared to other tank destroyers like the JagdPz_IV. There is also a completely useless turret on top of the ARL V39, which only serves to act as a way for enemy tanks to detect it even if the rest of the tank is hidden.
There are only two gun options worth considering: the 90 mm DCA 45 AC and the Canon de 105 mle. 1930 Schneider. The 90 mm DCA 45 AC has the best penetration of any gun available to Tier 6 tanks, and is the "top tier" gun of the ARL V39, but many players prefer the 105 mm gun for a few reasons: The accuracy of the 105 (in essence as the 2nd generation version) will be very comparable with the DCA-45. The DCA-45 (we'll say its the first generation version) is very finicky on accuracy and penetration. The rpm rate of the 105 is also very comparable to the DCA-45. The aim time of the 105 is significantly lower then the DCA-45. Starting with the ARL V39, the "top tier" guns of the French tank destroyers will usually have significant limitations in terms of 'soft stats' such as aim time, rate-of-fire, and accuracy. Thus, the DCA 45 AC has significantly worse aim time than the Canon de 105. This is important, as the ARL V39 has an extremely narrow gun traverse arc, which means that the aim time will be reset very often when tracking a moving target. The Canon de 105 also deals significantly higher damage-per minute, with far superior alpha damage. While the penetration is not quite as high, it is usually enough for most tanks that the V39 faces, and APCR ("gold rounds") will help against the few that the 105 mm struggles with. The 75 mm guns and the 90 mm DCA 30 AC are very poor options on the ARL V39. The 75 mm APX 1897 is especially poor, as it is the exact same stock gun as that on the Somua SAu-40, which is two tiers below the ARL V39. However, the stock ARL V39's weight limit will not allow anything heavier to be fitted until the suspension has been upgraded, and it is highly advisable that you save up the 5,375 free XP you will need to unlock the suspension upon purchase, or use the enhanced suspension equipment.
The armor of the ARL V39 is exactly the same as that of the BDR G1B, which was iffy at best at Tier 5, and will absolutely not save you against most things the V39 faces at Tier 6. The few things that can't penetrate the AL V39's frontal hull armor can simply target the commander's turret instead.
The mobility is mediocre, with decent top speed, but very poor hull traverse. Fast and agile light tanks are a very dangerous opponent for the ARL V39, as a result.
- The ER 53 radio carries over from the S-35 CA and can be installed immediately. The Canon de 105 mle. 1930 Schneider AC and 90 mm canon DCA 30 AC guns also carry over, but require additional weight capacity. The Renault T14 engine can be researched on the BDR G1B.
- Research the ARL V39 bis suspension first, as nothing else can be mounted without it. Alternatively, use the enhanced suspension equipment.
- Next research the Renault T14 engine, if it has not already been researched.
- Finally, research the 90 mm DCA 45 AC.
In the middle of 1935, France started the development of a new assault self propelled gun, and two companies responded with their suggestions. Somua (Société d'Outillage Usinage Mécanique et d'd 'Artillerie) started a project that was to become the Somua SAU S40, and ARL (Atelier de Construction de Rueil) developed the ARL 39V prototype.
The ARL V39 heavily relied on the parts developed for, and used by the Char B1 tank. Its frontal armor had a maximum armor thickness of 50 mm. Its main armament was a 75 mm APX gun; a modification of the model 1292 de Casemate gun originally developed for destroying fortifications. The gun had a semi-automatic breech, automatic charging machine and a very odd feature; its main gun could be retracted inside the hull to decrease the vehicle length. The ARL V39's secondary equipment consisted of a 7.5 mm machinegun placed in the small turret on the roof, which was similar to the competing Somua SAU-40 vehicle. The development was officially finished in 1938, and army field trials were conducted between 23 and 25 March, 1939. The French army was satisfied with the performance of the new vehicle, and approved the start of its serial production.The numbers vary from source to source, but apparently between 72 and 80 vehicles were ordered in the first series, together with 24 command vehicles. The fall of France stopped all production plans, and only two prototype vehicles were built. Both prototypes were evacuated to Morocco, but their fates remain a mystery.
- ARL V39 in Czech.