The Suffren class was an interwar treaty cruiser built by France for the French Navy. The design was based on the preceding Duquesne-class cruiser and traded speed for protection while retaining the same armament. The first ship, Suffren, was completed to this design. The following ships, Colbert, Foch, Dupleix, were completed to a modified design with heavier secondary armament and rearranged topside. The ships entered service from 1930 to 1933, with Suffren being the sole survivor of the Second World War.
Prior to the London Naval Treaty, the French Navy classified cruisers as armoured (croiseur cuirasse) or light (croiseurs legers); afterwards cruisers were divided between first class (croiseur de 1ere classe) and second class (croiseur de 2e classe). The Suffren was initially classified as a light cruiser, and then as a first class cruiser on 1 July 1931.
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