This is a list of Frenchbattleships of the period 1859-1970. Note that the dates given are the ships' launch date.
The French Navy pursued three main lines of development with these ships:
Large sea-going battleships. The first generation were broadside ironclads; the next generation were central battery ships with some guns in barbettes to give all round fire. The French then abandoned the central battery in favour of a narrow armoured belt and a main armament in barbettes. Two French battleships Brennus and Charles Martel were abandoned in the 1880s, in part because it was believed that more money should be spent on high-technology weapons such as torpedo boats. The French adopted the lozenge layout in the 1880s and 1890s, and only adopted the 'pre-dreadnought' layout in the late 1890s. Like other powers the French laid down 'dreadnoughts' before the First World war, but their dreadnought programmes were cut short by the war. During the 1930s, the French laid down new fast battleships; the Dunkerque class were rivals of the German Scharnhorst class, the Richelieu class were rivals of the German Bismarck class. The last French battleship was scrapped in 1970.
Stationnaire battleships. These were smaller versions of the large battleships, and were often used on foreign stations where they did the job of a battleship. Development of this type was abandoned in the 1880s in favour of armoured cruisers.