What did Adolf Hitler do in the war?
The man who led Germany into World War II almost died in the ﬁrst global conﬂict of the century. On the outbreak of war in 1914, Hitler, who had been living as an artist in Munich, signed up with the Bavarian army. He spent the next four years as a dispatch runner, delivering messages between units on the Western Front. Hitler spent much of his time behind the front lines, but that’s not to say he didn’t have his brushes with danger. He narrowly avoided death when a shell exploded next to him in a trench in October 1916 – he spent the following two months in hospital with shrapnel wounds to the leg. Over the course of the war, Hitler was awarded two Iron Crosses for his services. In October 1918, Hitler found himself back in hospital after being temporarily blinded by a British gas attack. It was while in recuperation from this that he learned Germany had lost the war. His bitterness at the news was among the many reasons that he would eventually propel Europe back into conﬂict in 1939.