In 1914 World War I started and Hitler volunteered for the German Army. Less than two months after he had first entered the trenches, he was awarded the Iron Cross of the Second Class for bravery. He was given one of the most dangerous jobs in the regiment, that of dispatch-runner, requiring courage without being foolhardy. On October G, 1916, he was wounded in the thigh by a shrapnel splinter and had to be sent to one of the home hospitals for treatment. Within a few months he had recovered and immediately volunteered once more for the front. During the 1918, while carrying dispatches, he succeeded in ambushing a French officer and about fifteen men and brought them back prisoners. For this he was awarded the Iron Cross of the First Class. Later in 1918 he was temporarily blinded by a gas attack and was recovering in a hospital when he heard the news that the war had ended.