16 March – Today in German History

1935

  • On March 16, 1935, Adolf Hitler announced that he would rearm Germany in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler revealed that Germany had begun to construct an air force, and unveiled plans to reinstitute conscription and create a German army of more than half a million men. Britain, France, Italy, and the League of Nations all issued statements condemning Hitler’s decision but did little else to penalize Germany.

1939

  • Germany finishes occupying what remained of Czechoslovakia. German forces started the invasion on March 15 with then finished occupying all of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on the 16th.

1940

  • Germany bombed the Scapa Flow naval base near Scotland.32 German Junkers Ju 88 bombers attack the Royal Navy Home Fleet base at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. HMS Norfolk was hit with one bomb, blowing a hole below the water line and killing 6. James Isbister became the first British civilian to be killed by a German bomb when his house was hit in the nearby village of Bridge of Waithe.
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