The horrendous events that took place between 1939 to 1945 has forever scared this planet. However, when it comes to the events prior to WWll few people know as to what occured. My research question is, How successful was Hitler in achieving German expansion prior to WWll? The two sources that I have chosen are both internet sources. Source one is titled Germany: Territorial Expansion (1935-1939), and source two is titled German Prewar Expansion. The reason as to why I chosed these two sources is because, I believe these two sources to be most insightful and straight to the point, out of the six sources. Regarding the value of source one. Source one is very insightful, this source gave multiple events prior to WWll and explained in detail as to what the causes and effects of the events, and included some background information on some of the events. This source even included a map, so that one may visually where Hitler sent his troops to conquer/take back land. From what I could distinguish, this source was not biased. This secondary source has no clear distinction as to when it was published, or who specifically it was published by. However, the map does have a clear distinction. The map which shows the territorial changes, between 1935 and 1939, in Germany and the Second World War, was edited by the Research Institute to Military History, Freiburg Im Bregisgau, Germany Volume I, The Build-up of German Aggresion, by Wilhelm Deist, . limitations with this source is, the fact that this is a secondary source, on the internet, so there can be a question of authenticity. In addition, it is most likely that this source was written some time after these events occurred, which could lead to questioning of memory. The purpose of this source is to iprovide information on Hitlers effects on German expansion prior to WWll, and the causes and effects of the expansion. The value of source two is also insightful, but not as much as source one is. Source two does include an array of different information on German expansion prior to WWll but, not as muc information as source one has. However, source two does go a little more in detail to as what Hitler, and his troops did in the countries he had conquered. I believe there to be no bias in this source, however, there could be some, due to the origin of this source. Source two was published by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D. C.. The limitations of this source is, that it was made after the events had already happened, so there are questions of memory. In addition, there is question of authenticity due to this source also being an internet source. The purpose of this source is to inform on Hitter’s effect on German expansion prior to WWll, and what other countries did/did not do in response. B. Identification and Evaluation of sources In order for Hitler to effectuate his desire of Germany rising to power and becoming the Third Reich/the third empire, Hitler needed to expand the German colony. For this to happen, Hitler needed to accomplish a few things first. First, he needed to augment the German/Nazi army. Then, he needed to spread his ideology of Nazism and Lebensraum. Lastly, he needed to conquer those who opposed his reign. The exploration of how other countries reacted to Hitler’s tactics is also needs to be investigated in order to see how successful Hitler was in achieving German expansion prior to WWII.Unable to grow the German army to “more than 100,000 men,” (Spartacus Educational) due to the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles(after the end of WWI, the Allied powers imposed this treaty on Germany, blaming German for the war and demanded reparations.), Hitler had to think of a way to over-come this feat if he ever wanted to expand into other countries. The Sturmabteilung (SA), better known as Brownshirts, was one of Hitler’s ways of dealing with this condition. Hitler allowed the rapid growth of the Brownshirts whom were Hitler’s secret police(an organization of police officers operating for the government in secrecy.), and carried out any wishes that Hitler desired such as, crushing any political parties who disagreed with Hitler and his regime, which allowed Hitler to climb the political ladder, and gain supporters, some out of fear of his secret police task force. In 1935 , Hitler brought about military conscription(obligatory enlistment of people 18 years and older, in the military.) , enabling him to increase the size of the German military, which was against the Treaty of Versailles . Even though Germany clearly violated the treaty, The Allied powers (countries allied in opposition of the Central Powers (Germany and its allies) )did nothing. In fact, Britain even made a naval agreement, known as the Anglo-German Naval Agreement with Germany, allowing Germany to expand its navy, which also violated the Treaty of Versailles. The reason why the Allied powers did not intervene when Germany violated the terms of the treaty was due to the still lingering presence of the after affects from WWI. Most of the Allied powers were unable to financially, and physically (in retrospect to military power) prevent Hitler from breaking the conditions of the treaty, and expanding German territory so, the Allied powers focused more on policies of appeasement rather than stopping Hitler. Hitler used the lack of intervention from the Western powers to his advantage, allowing Hitler to invade territories such as Rhineland, and increase his military power. In 1936, Germany invaded Rhineland, not only breaching the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, but also violating the conditions of the Locarno pact, which established the previous borders of Germany that were established in the Treaty of Versailles, and that Germany would have to demilitarized Rhineland, and would have to agree to resolve any disputes through the league of nations. Hitler claimed that the Dual Alliance treaty between France and Russia ( military pact) threatened Germany’s safety, and that “he gave his commanders orders to retreat” (gerbreaks) out of Rhineland, “if the French army tried to stop them” (gerbreaks), but since France did nothing, and The League of Nations whom at the time was too busy with the “Abyssinian crisis” (gerbreaks), too did nothing to stop Hitler’s troops from entering Rhineland. This allowed Hitler success in expanding Germany. Hitler also decided to stop paying the reparations, which demanded that Germany pay for damages to European countries as stated in the Treaty of Versailles. Instead of giving the money to the European countries, Hitler was able to use that money to not only strengthen Germany’s economy, but he could also use the money to fortify the German army so he could invade countries such as Rhineland. The liquidation of Czechoslovakia was another territory Hitler was able to conquer due to the influence of the German artillery and reluctance from the allied powers to intervene. “First, he demanded the incorporation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland – a region inhabited by ethnic Germans – into the German Reich. After prolonged negotiations with the Western Allies (above all Great Britain), who feared another European war, the Sudetenland was ceded to Germany in the Munich Agreement (gave Germany Sudetenland) In March 1939, German troops went on to occupy the rest of Czechoslovakia where they established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Slovakia was declared a German satellite state, and a protective zone (When a larger, much powerful country brings a smaller less powerful country under its protection. In the same month, German troops occupied the Lithuanian Memel region, which Germany had lost under the Versailles treaty. Lithuania, which governed the region, was forced to sign a treaty that returned the Memel region to Germany” (GHDI – Map). Due to the reluctance of the allied powers to intervene in Hitler’s affairs, and Hitler’s ability to increase the size and power of his army, he was able to be successful in expanding Germany. Figure one is a visual representation of a few of the Territories that Hitler was able to invade, due to his success in expanding his army. In addition, one could say that another reason why Hitler was successful in expanding into territories such as Sudetenland is, due to the amount of German lineage present in said territories. This could be an additional reason as to why Hitler was able to invade these territories with such success because, due to the high presences of German citizens, they could also agree with Hitler’s ideology of Nazism (the belief of racial hierarchy, social Darwinism, and identifying the German race as the Aryan or Nordic master race, and Lebensraum (“Hitler’s notation that additional territory, or living space was needed for Germany and its survival.”) (Definition of Lebensraum). Both ideologies consisted of the notion that Germany needed more living space, and Germans being the superior race. Hitler used propaganda of strong German nationalism in order to instill national pride in German citizens, which Hitler used to justify the need for expansion to the citizens of Germany, and those of German blood. ” In the year 1938, German troops marched into Austria with the purpose of Anschluss, or annexing the German speaking nation.” ( “Germany Annexes Austria”). When conquered by Hitler’s troops, the citizens of Austria welcomed them enthusiastically. On March 13, the Anschluss of Austria was made official, and Hitler imputed a new Nazi government in Austria. Expansion into territories such as Austria made expansion even more effortless for Hitler, due to the larger German population, whom a majority shared the same ideology with Hitler. Another essentially effortless expansion into another territory was the Saarland. The Saarland was a small territory, that was deemed an “autonomous territory ( freedom to govern itself) to be administered by France until 1935, when a plebiscite ( an electorate vote) would determine the final status of Saarland.” ( Second Nazi Referendum). Knowing that they would assimilate into the current ideals of Hitler, the citizens chose to join Germany. In conclusion, by augmenting the German army, uniting German speaking countries under two common principles, and crushing those who opposed him. Hitler was able to successfully expand the borders of Germany prior to the exposition of WW2. In addition, Hitler using the reluctance of the allied powers to get involved to his advantage further helped him in expanding Germany prior To WW2. Reflection This investigation has allowed me to acquire a greater insight into the methods used by historians, as well as the challenges that historians faced when carrying out their investigations. By carefully analyzing the sources, some of which presented different viewpoints, I have gained a skill that is detrimental in the study of history. Through investigation of multiple internet sources, as well as books. I was able to acquire a greater understanding of the success that Hitler was able to achieve in German expansion prior to World War two, and what Hitler had to achieve before he could expand into other countries. By comparing evidence provided by different types of sources that relate to my research question, I became more aware of the challenges that historians faced, one of the challenges being authenticity of a source. As I began researching about this subject, it was very clear that not all sources were appropriate to use. As I carefully read the articles, and books, I had to take into account the validity of the information that was written, and the stance of whom the source is coming from, and whether or not the source’s information is heavily bias or not. This is a very important skill because, in order to effectively analyze how successful Hitler was in achieving German expansion prior to World War Two, I needed to look at not only just sources that talked about Germany, and what Hitler did in order to expand Germany, I needed to also look at the effect that the German expansion had on the country which Hitler expanded into, and why Hitler choose to specifically expand into certain countries. Although I initially found it difficult on how to structure my the paragraphs, as I continued the investigation, I began to wonder how a historian would of structured the paragraphs effectively, and structured them accordingly. All in all, this investigation has provided me with a valuable insight on the level of difficulty that historians go through in order to effectively convey their point. Taking this into account, I was able to effectively take into account the biasness of the historians, and convey the differences in opinions in a way that displayed both sides . In addition, visual aids such as Figure one, helped me to understand more.