The Bretagne class was the first French battleships to carry a 13.5" gun. The design was inhibited by not having large docks available for construction.
To allow for a larger gun size it was decided by the Counseil Supérieur de la Marine to not have the wing turrets that were in the Courbet class but a single Q turret amidships and also the armor belt was made thinner.
The Bretagne and la Provence were ordered on May 1, 1912, and the Lorraine on July 15, 1912. The Lorraine was to replace the Liberté as it had blown up on September 25, 1911.
The 13.4" L/45 (34 cm) M1912 could fire a 1,268 lb armor piercing shell out to 29,090 yards at 2,559'/sec. The maximum elevation was 23°.
There were two 75 mm War Model anti-aircraft guns.
A total of seven 47 mm L/40 QF Hotchkiss M1885 guns were mounted.