Hitler's wartime role is challenged in Dr Thomas Weber's book
Dr. Thomas Weber's book Hitler's First War claims Hitler exaggerated his early role in battle, and that he was instead what was known as a "rear area pig". Dr Weber said he had uncovered new archive material and personal documents which challenged popular understanding of Hitler and the Third Reich.
He said: "I discovered we know next to nothing about Hitler."
Dr Weber claims the Nazis worked to suppress and discredit accounts of Hitler's early war role. He said as a dispatch runner Hitler was significantly distanced from his regiment's front line troops and was clearly despised by them.
Dr Weber said:
He said: "The myth of Hitler as a brave soldier and the camaraderie of the trenches was used by the Nazi party from the beginning in order to extend its appeal beyond the far right. The reality was a gulf between the majority of soldiers and Hitler. The commonly held view that Hitler had the dangerous job of running between trenches to deliver messages simply does not stand up.
Hitler's First War will be available from 16 September.