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Sister ships: BÉARN (completed as CV); FLANDRE, GASCOIGNE, LANGUEDOC all broken up before completion
Notes: The NORMANDIE class battleships were ordered in 1912 and 1913 as improvements on the preceding BRETAGNE class; a fifth ship was ordered to join the three BRETAGNEs and form two four-ship divisions. These ships were to be fitted with their main battery guns in quadruple turrets; the savings in weight (from five turrets in the BRETAGNE class to three in the NORMANDIE class) allowed two extra guns to be carried. The original plans were for the secondary guns to be carried in double casemate mountings; this plan was not adopted, and the guns were in traditional casemates. The mixed machinery of the class was designed to lower fuel consumption, but was considered an unsatisfactory arrangement.
The NORMANDIE (and her sisters) were left lying unfinished in their shipyards when World War I broke out in August, 1914, as workers joined the Army for the defense of France. Equipment, such as boilers, which had been earmarked for the class were installed in other warships. Some of the 13.4" and 5.4" guns were placed at the disposal of the Army and were put into action on various fronts. A few of the 13'4" guns were eventually used as replacements for the BRETAGNE class.
Before the ships of the NORMANDIE class were stricken and their orders cancelled, consideration was made of modifying their design, to make use of experience gained during World War I. Increased protection and armor, improved machinery, and lengthening the hull and adding torpedo bulges were among the items considered necessary. But French naval specialists were of the opinion that these ships should not be completed; this, combined with an overall shortage of funds, meant that the building program was stopped. And when the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 was signed, France was already at her limit of 175,000 tons of battleships, and the NORMANDIE class (save BÉARN, which was converted to an aircraft carrier) was finished. NORMANDIE was broken up in 1924-25.