“For when you absolutely must have the biggest tank on the battlefield. With much greater armor and firepower, it easily dispatches smaller tanks while absorbing tremendous punishment. However it has a very high population cost and the slow rate of fire can cause it to be bogged down by overwhelming odds”
While under German occupation, French tank developers worked in secret on their own projects. These main secret developers of French tanks were involved in the creation of the best French wartime tank, the Char B. Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée (FCM) ended up outside of the occupation zone, but Ateliers de construction de Rueil (ARL) ended up inside of it. Until 1936, this organization was the tank building branch of the APX arms manufacturer.
Aside from the Char B, both companies worked on modernization of the breakthrough tank. Here the B1 prototypes were developed and produced, and work on the improved B40 tank began. In addition, both companies were competing for the contract of making a superheavy tank for the Maginot Line. Prototypes were ordered and full scale models built.
During the occupation, work at FCM and ARL slowed down, but didn't stop. Outside the occupation zone, work to modernize the Somua S35 cavalry tank continued. FCM engineers developed two and three man turrets with a more powerful 47 mm gun. As for ARL, they went even further. In 1942, the design bureau performed a deep modernization of the Somua S35, indexed SARL 42 (Somua-ARL 42).
This machine is an ARL-44.
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