Expansion of Nazi Germany before the war
At first, they moved into German-speaking areas that had been taken away from Germany by the Versailles Treaty. Hitler did not think the nations of the world would fight for Germany as they did in World War I. He thought they had gone soft. And he was right. They did not fight. The Saar Basin was the richest coal area in Europe. It was taken away from Germany by the Versailles Treaty, which was administered by the League of Nations, with the coal going to France. In January, 1933, Germany re-incorporated the Saar Basin. They re-militarized the Rhineland, violating the Versailles Treaty. In March, 1938, they entered Austria; one month later, 99.7% of Austria voted for union with Germany. And the final capstone was the German-speaking southern part of Czechoslovakia, Sudetenland. Hitler said he wanted it because there were many German nationals in Sudetenland. There was one problem: Czechoslovakia had a mutual treaty with Britain and France. If Czechoslovakia was invaded, Britain and France would have to respond.