Though the early years of World War II saw a string of German military triumphs, 1938 was probably the most successful year for Adolf Hitler. The removal of Blomberg and Fritsch ensured the total loyalty of the army, which de facto became an unthinking tool of Hitler’s will. On the international front the union of Austria and the Sudetenland with the Third Reich was a stunning coup, and one achieved without firing a shot. At home Hitler was viewed as a genius, a leader who could do no wrong and who had kept his promise to bring ethnic Germans back into the Reich.
Armed Forces, High Command
Hitler becomes Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces with Keitel his chief of staff and Brauchitsch succeeding Fritsch. Ribbentrop is appointed Foreign Minister. Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg is called to Berchtesgaden and given an ultimatum to allow the Nazis in Austria a free hand.