This is a list of French battleships 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 battleships were designed to counter the Deutschland-class cruisers and were rivals of the German Scharnhorst class, the Richelieu-classbattleships were designed to counter the Italian Littorio class and 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.
Coastal service ships. The first of these was the steam-powered ironclad 'floating batteries' used to attack Russian fortifications in the Crimean War. More were built in the early 1860s; then they built a series of low freeboard turret and barbette ships, some of which were arguably sea-going battleships.
Jean Bart (1911) – renamed Océan 1936, disarmed for use as a training ship 1938, used for explosives trials by the Germans and sank 1944, sold for BU 1945, broken up (BU) 1946–47.
Courbet (1911) – training ship 1939, taken over by Royal Navy 3 July 1940, transferred to Free French and used as AA guardship, scuttled on 9 June 1944 as part of a Mulberry harbour during the Normandy landings.
Paris (1912) – training ship 1939, taken over by Royal Navy 3 July 1940, transferred to Free French and used as accommodation ship, towed to Brest August 1944, used as a pontoon from 1950, sold for BU December 1955, BU 1956
Tonnant (1880) barbette ship 5,010 tons. Originally intended to be similar to Tempête, but redesigned as a small battleship with increased freeboard and a gun at each end in barbettes. – stricken 1903.
Furieux (1883) barbette ship 5,925 tons. Similar to Tonnant for the same reasons. – stricken 1913.
Terrible class 7,530 tons. Small battleships based on the Amiral Baudin, and intended for operating in the Baltic in case of war with Germany. The British sometimes considered these to be sea-going battleships, and sometimes coastal service warships.