Although Hitler was Austrian by birth, he was living in Germany when World War I started. He enlisted in the German army in 1914 and was sent to France. He served on the front lines in France as a message runner, was wounded twice, and won the Iron Cross. On one occasion he was gassed (poison gas was used for the first time in World War I) and temporarily blinded. Hitler liked the excitement and the orderly nature of army life. He was very bitter when Germany lost the war.