As Weber shows, much of what we know or assumed we knew about Hitler was based on select materials utilized by the Nazi regime to wrap the former corporal in a shiny veneer of courage, heroism, and forethought. Hitler's regiment often occupied quiet sectors of the front and although casualties were plentiful, they were not enough to create a distinctly separate war experience. As it turns out, Hitler's role as a regimental dispatch runner rarely put him in physical danger, unlike many of his comrades who fulfilled the role of regular infantrymen on the frontlines. That he received the Iron Cross says more about his relationship with those working in regimental headquarters than any type of courageous and noteworthy behavior. Iron Cross holders were few and it was mainly connections with those working in headquarters that resulted in receiving an Iron Cross than any type of bravery in the midst of battle. Finally, the gas attack Hitler suffered through was wildly exaggerated, his temporary blindness was a psychological rather than physical ailment.
Weber concludes that Hitler's war experience did not influence him to turn toward politics, turn against Jews, or lead Germany toward the Second World War. His actions in the war were utilized and manipulated during his rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s as an example of heroism and courage endured in the defense of the Fatherland, but they were a tool to raise Hitler's popularity with little evidence showing that his time on the front resulted in a defining transformation. What influenced Hitler's outlook occurred after the First World War, and still remains something of a mystery for historians.