A newly published book claims that one of history's most notorious mustaches was borne of necessity.
According to a newly published biography of the writer Alexander Moritz Frey, Der Führer used to sport a larger, bushier mustache popular at the time in Bavaria when he joined the German army in the first world war. However, the long bushy mustache didn't fit under the newfangled German army gas masks, and so Hitler's superiors ordered him to give it a trim to comply with the new safety regulations. Frey recalls meeting Hitler in 1915:
"A pale, tall man tumbled down into the cellar after the first shells of the daily evening attacks had begun to fall, fear and rage glowing in his eyes. At that time, he looked tall because he was so thin. A full moustache, which had to be trimmed later because of the new gas masks, covered the ugly slit of his mouth"
Even the trim wouldn't prevent Hitler from being badly hurt in an English gas attack in 1918, which temporarily blinded him. In the battle of iconic mustaches, however, even Hitler's instantly recognizable facial hair was no match for the mighty bristle of his Georgian adversary, who sported perhaps the mightiest dictator mustache of all time: