German involvement in the Spanish Civil War
In 1936, Spain had descended into Civil war as the socialists and republicans, who had won control of the Government in 1931, tried to abolish the monarchy.
Hitler sent a squadron from the German air force (Luftwaffe) to Spain where they practiced a new tactic of dive bombing towns instead of military targets, bringing fear and terror on the population.
Hitler believed that if he was able to form a Spanish-Italian-German Alliance, he would be able to weaken France by surrounding her.
However, Franco and Hitler disliked each other and Franco demanded that Spain be rewarded with overseas territories if they assisted Germany in the war.
Despite Spain not becoming a German Ally, Hitler was able to strengthen his relationship with Mussolini and it gave the German air force valuable experience which would help them to conquer Europe in WW2.