The Führer Was Wounded In A British Gas Attack - 10/14/1918

World History |


In October 14, 1918, Adolf Hitler was among the German soldiers that were wounded in Ypres Salient in Belgium; he was blinded temporarily because of a British gas shell blast. Immediately, Hitler was moved to a German military hospital at Pasewalk, in Pomerania.

At a young age, Hitler enlisted into Austrian military service, which he later turned down due to lack of fitness. He later moved to Munich, and at the beginning of the First World War in the midsummer of 1914, young Hitler requested for and was granted special permission to enlist as a German soldier. He was named as a member of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment; afterwards he travelled to France in October 1914. During the first battle of Ypres, Hitler saw heavy action, which earned him the Iron Cross award for saving the life of a wounded soldier in December.

Two years that followed saw Hitler take part in some of the deadliest offensive part of the war, which include the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, the battle of Ypres and the Battle of the Somme. Near Bapaume, France in October 7, 1916, young Hitler was wounded in the leg by a shell blast. He was move to a treatment camp near Berlin, and 4 months later, he returned to his unit by February 1917. One of the soldiers in Hitler's unit, named Hans Mend, said, "Whenever Hitler has the chance, he will preach on the lack of confidence by soldiers and then move on teaching on dedication to the cause on the home front Germany. He will sit in the corner of our mess with his head buried in his hand in deep thought. Then suddenly, he would jump to his feet, start running around and feeling excited.

The following year, Hitler received more awards for bravery, and in August received an Iron Cross 1st Class for single handedly catching a group of French soldiers that were hiding in a hole during the German final offensive on the Western Front. However, the injury he sustained in October of that year ended Hitler's career in WW1. While recovering at Pasewalk, he heard the news of German surrendering; he felt the German people had betrayed him and his fellow soldiers. Angry and frustrated he wrote down the in his own account "when I heard the news, I almost collapse and hurriedly I went back to the ward where buried my head in between the pillows and sobbed bitterly".

By the beginning of 1941, when Hitler named himself the fuller, it was obvious and clear to an extent how far he had been shaped by the experience of the First World War. In his words, I came back from the war with the experiences I gathered at the front, and from them I built the National Socialist community. 

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