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====Rearmament and Expansionism====
Hitler had achieved power by constitutional means in 1933. He soon established an authoritarian state with himself as the all-powerful leader or Führer. The German government was determined to end the Treaty of Versailles. Their ideology encouraged government to embark on two policies that greatly destabilized Europe and led directly to war. These were military rearmament and territorial expansion.<ref>Hillgruber, Andreas (1995). ''Germany and the Two World Wars'', translated by William C. Kirby, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, p. 67.</ref>
Under the Treaty of Versailles, the German army was limited to 100,000 men. After 1933, the Germany ignored these limitations and expanded the military. The country also began an ambitious rearmament program. This at first did not alarm other nations but as the German army and navy grew in numbers they became extremely worried. This was especially the case after the German army occupied the Rhineland, which was technically, under a de-militarized zone. Hitler was technically breaking international law but the western allies were reluctant to challenge Germany over their rearmament program. Rearmament was a key component of the National Socialist's policy. The growing might of Germany alarmed its neighbors and by 1939 there was a full blown arms race throughout Europe and various nations were readying for war.