The Richelieu was a French battleship, and the lead ship of her class. She was the first French 35,000-ton battleship, designed to counter the Italian Littorio class battleships, the first modern battleships built since the 1922 Treaty of Washington. Ordered in 1935, she was a scaled-up version of the Dunkerque class battleships, featuring a main armament of eight 380 mm guns in two quadruple turrets in forward superfiring positions. Her armour and underwater protection were equal to her contemporaries, except the Japanese Yamato class battleships. Her speed was surpassed only by the fastest U.S. Navy battleships.