Adolf Hitler Painting Depicting A World War I Battlefield Goes Up For Auction

Tim Butters

As well as being a bloodthirsty tyrant, Adolf Hitler was also a failed artist who fought in World War I, and an artwork believed to have been created by the Nazi dictator from that period is going up for auction.

The Express reports that a painting depicting a World War I battle scene from the Somme is going under the hammer in Shropshire in the UK.

The cartoon painting is expected to generate a lot of interest because it is signed "A. Hitler." The Nazi leader who was fascinated by both art and war is thought to have combined his two hobbies in 1916 and produced the sketch during the industrial carnage of the first World War, which saw millions of young men lose their lives.

Despite failing an initial medical exam and being an Austrian citizen, Hitler served in the Bavarian army during World War I and his experiences would reinforce a lot of the traits and attitudes he would display upon taking the helm of the Nazi Party.

Hitler fought in the infantry during the first battle of Ypres. His regiment began with 36,000 men, but by the time the fighting was over, the number was just 611.

Hitler was one of the survivors, and it has been argued his psyche took a major blow after being a witness to such widespread slaughter. Eyewitnesses recall he became far more aloof and withdrawn for the rest of the war, which he saw out as a regimental message-runner who was decorated with two Iron Crosses for bravery.

On October 15, 1918, Hitler was temporarily blinded by a British mustard gas attack. Whilst recovering in a Prussian hospital, he learned of Germany's defeat, and his subsequent outrage at the Treaty of Versailles would form many of the Nazi party's later policies and willingness to provoke another war in Europe.

The painting coming up for sale in Shropshire portrays a captured British tank covered in German markings, which is situated in front of a bombed brick wall on the Somme battlefield.

The painting is one of two attributed to the Nazi monster that is being auctioned in Shropshire.

The other artwork in question depicts a more tranquil winter river view, thought to have been painted by Hitler in 1916.

The two works follow hot on the heels of an oil painting unearthed last April which depicted a French lady in a red-and-white headscarf holding a pitchfork. The woman in question was thought to be Charlotte Lobjoie, Hitler's lover during World War I when he was stationed in northern France.