The Olympic Games gave Nazi Germany a chance to show the world that the Third Reich was a well-ordered, powerful society. For propaganda purposes measures against Jews were relaxed, and Berlin became the home of fraternal international friendship, albeit temporarily. However, away from the Olympics the Germans re-occupied the demilitarized Rhineland and began to channel military aid to the Franco’s Nationalists fighting a civil war in Spain. As they did so, Great Britain and France, the major powers of Europe, did nothing but watch idly.
Armed Forces, Navy
The battlecruiser Gneisenau is launched. She is a small battleship, with smaller guns and armour on the battleship scale. Designed to allow replacement of triple 11in guns with dual 15in, she and her sister Scharnhorst is a reply to the French “Dunkerque” class.