字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Adolf Hitler lacked leadership ability. Or he was a cowardly soldier. Or his personality and his ideology have their origins here. Or he was an excellent soldier. I’m talking about things people have said about Adolf Hitler’s time served in World War One, and they are many and conflicting. The fact is that Hitler was stationed at the front from the beginning of the war until the end of the war and he himself called it the best time of his life. I'm Indy Neidell. And welcome to another Great War episode of who did what in World War One. Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father Alois Hitler was a customs officer and his mother, Clara Pölzel, was Alois’ third wife. Hitler’s father adopted the name of his stepfather and it’s still a mystery who Hitlers grandparents and ancestors were, though in his later years Hitler spared no pains in designing an extensive pedigree for the public. Adolf grew up with his step siblings Alois jr and Angela and his younger sister Paula. His father was transferred several times during Adolf’s childhood, so the family moved as well: from Groß-Schönau to Passau and then to Linz. Adolf struggled in middle school in Linz and a stubborn and defiant behaviour marked his schooldays. Alois Hitler died when Adolf was only 14. Hitler tried another boarding school, but his grades were still poor. Actually, he had to repeat two years of school in total, finally dropping out and returning to Linz in 1905. We’re not entirely certain what young Adolf did in Linz. We know he posed as an educated artist while living off his half-orphan pension from his father’s death, but it’s not very specific. In 1907, he traveled to Vienna to apply for the Academy of Fine Art, but he failed the entrance exam and returned home, though when his mother died in December that year he soon left Linz for good and moved to Vienna. Again the following year, he failed the Academy’s entrance exam. He lived off of his now full orphan’s pension, though without a permanent residence, and posed as an art student. A year before the war, in 1913, he settled abroad, in Munich, Germany. He may have been trying to avoid the Austrian draft, but that failed, for in January 1914, a policeman took him into custody and brought him to the Austrian consulate. He was was declared unfit for military service at medical exam in Salzburg and returned to Munich. Hitler later wrote that when the First World War broke out, he was so stunned by the enthusiasm of the German crowds reaction to the public proclamation he sank to his knees. He asked the following day if, even though a foreigner, he could enlist in the German army. The request was accepted and on August 16th he became a member of a Bavarian Reserve regiment. Ten weeks of training followed. His regiment, called regiment “List” named after the commander, first saw action October 29th, 1914 at the ongoing First Battle of Ypres. This battle lasted for weeks and was a very bloody affair. Afterward, in November, Hitler was promoted to corporal and was given an Iron Cross, though we don’t know specifically why. It’s quite likely that he won it for reliability, since he served mostly as a dispatch runner. Hitler strongly disapproved of the Christmas Truce in 1914. The somewhat shy, ordinarily reserved soldier became a fanatic. “Something like that cannot be at issue”, he said as German and British troops met in no man’s land between the trenches and shook hands. Between March 1915 and September 1916, Hitler’s regiment fought in the static warfare in the trenches of Formelles. They defended a front line about two kilometres long. After fighting in the second battle of Formelles, regiment List marched South and fought in the battle of the Somme. Near Le Barqué, Hitler took shrapnel in his thighl. He would not return to active duty till March 1917. His regiment was stationed near Vimy and during the summer in Ypres. In September, Hitler took a two week vacation in Berlin. As he returned, his regiment moved to Champagne - we now are in October, 1917. Half a year later, in May 1918, Hitler gained a regimental diploma and a wound badge for his bravery. His regiment then fought in the second battle of Marne. Actually, by this point a German victory did not seem unlikely. The two front-war was finally over and Eastern troops were moved west to mount new offensives. Still running dispatches, often under heavy fire, Hitler won another Iron Cross in August 1918, but the German offensives ground to a halt. On the 8th of August, the day German General Ludendorff called “the black day of the German army”, the allied powers counter-attacked. At the end of August, Hitler was sent to Nürnberg for specialist training to become a telephone operator. He took a second vacation in the mid of September and spent his time in Berlin again. After he returned to the front lines, his regiment was defeated the night of October 14th where an allied gas attack left Hitler nearly blind in a field hospital. His sight began to return in November, but still not even enough to read a newspaper. He was crushed by the German defeat in the war, and what he considered the infamous treaty of Versailles, but a big thing was that he now lost the feeling of unity, of belonging, he had during the war. He later spoke of his service as “unforgettable and the greatest time of his earthly life”. After the war, Hitler still was kind of a loner with only a few friends and acquaintances. The people who got to know him described him as a quiet and serious, but also volatile. His biographies picture him as someone who never fully fit into the civil world and only found some sort of salvation in war. His life had been directionless but he had gained respect and found a new home in his regiment, and since no job waited for him back home, remaining in the army almost suggested itself. Let’s play it out: As Hitler hears about the German revolution at the end of the war, he is indignant. He sees it as a betrayal of everything he believed in and fought for, and he searches for an explanation and people to blame. His racist and anti-semitic mindset slowly becomes an ideology. Years later he would state that he had blamed the Jews for the German defeat during World War One. Hitler stays at the army and leaves for Munich, and this is where we leave you since what came next is not in our purview, but how do you feel the years at the front may have changed and shaped Hitler and his beliefs? What would his fate have been had he remained in Austria? Tell us in the comments. You can check out Episode about the first battle of Ypres right here. Don't forget to subscribe, see you next time.