In this masterly new work, acclaimed historian Giles MacDonogh explores the moment when Hitler gambled everything. Until 1938, Hitler could be dismissed as a ruthless but efficient dictator, a problem to Germany alone; after 1938 he was clearly a threat to the entire world.In that year The Third Reich came of age and the Fhrer showed his hand -- bringing Germany into line with Nazi ideology and revealing long-held plans to take back those parts of Europe lost to 'Greater Germany' after the First World War. The sequence of events began in January with the purging of the army, and escalated with the merger with Austria - the Anschluss, and the first persecutions of Viennese Jewry.In the following months Hitler moulded the nation to his will. Elections brought him a 99 per cent approval rating. MacDonogh gives a full account of the nationalist opposition that failed to topple Hitler in September 1938. By the end of the year the brutal reality of the Nazi regime was revealed by Joseph Goebbels in Kristallnacht, a nationwide assault on Germany's native Jewish population.MacDonogh's access to many new sources gives insights into what life was like under the eye of the regime, revealing the role of the Anglican Church after the Anschluss, saving those Jews who were willing to convert, and also the Kendrick Affair -- the still-secret details of the Austrian double agent who brought down the whole MI6 operation in Austria and Germany, just as the Chamberlain government began negotiations with Hitler at Munich. A remarkable and revealing account of Hitler's opening moves to war.