The Bretagne was one of seventeen ships of the line ordered in 1762 as a result of the Duc de Choiseul’s campaign to raise funds for the navy from the cities and provinces of France. She was completed at Brest in 1766.
During the French Revolution she was renamed Révolutionnaire. In May 1794 she fought in the skirmishes before the Battle of the Glorious First of June, dropping to the rear of the French fleet to drive off the pursuing British ships. In action against five or six 74-gun ships she was badly damaged, lost all her masts, and was only saved from capture by confusion among the enemy. She was towed to Rochefort by the battleship Audacieux, escorted by the corvette Unité.
After repairs, the Bretagne took part in the Croisière du Grand Hiver, where she was very heavily damaged.
Too damaged by the battle to be repaired, she was broken up between January and May 1796.
A scale model of the Bretagne is on display at Brest naval museum.