Ships in class: Dunkerque, Strasbourg
The Dunkerques were designed to counter the German Deutschland-class pocket battleships. Their main armament was two quadruple 330 mm turrets forward, with a 225 mm (8.9 in) thick armored belt. They were smaller, with a 26,500- to 27,300-ton standard displacement and a smaller main artillery caliber, than the battleships authorized by the Washington Naval Treaty, but their speed was 7 knots higher than any of the battleships built from 1920 to 1937. When they were commissioned, only the last existing battlecruisers of the British Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy were their equals.
Two ships, Dunkerque and Strasbourg, were completed. Together they formed the 1ère Division de Ligne ("1st Division of the Line"), and saw service during the early years of the Second World War.