French Navy and the First World War

After 1870 France feared a land attack from the German Army. The government therefore decided to concentrate on building up its French Army to protect its frontiers from attack. This resulted in a decline in the money spent on the French Navy.

The growth in the German Navy at the beginning of the 20th century forced the French government to review its defence policy. As a result, spending on the French Navy almost doubled between 1910 and 1914.

By 1914 the French Navy had 2 modern dreadnoughts, 32 cruisers, 86 destroyers, 19 battleships (pre-dreadnought design)and 34 submarines.