The 1926 / 1927 / 1929 Program called for a cruiser that would just be used for training. The order was placed on October 8, 1928.
The Jeanne d'Arc class would sacrifice some of the usual warship features to allow for more crew space. There were only two torpedo tubes, only two shafts with the reduced number of boilers and turbines.
There was no catapult to launch the aircraft. There were two Loire-Nieuport 130 flying boats that had to be lowered by cranes into the water.