Philipp Engelhardt was an officer in the Imperial German Army during World War I. Little of his life appears to have been recorded. His most important contribution to the historical record comes in November, 1914, when, at the First Battle of Ypres, Lt. Colonel Engelhardt was protected from French gunfire by dispatch runners Anton Bachmann and Adolf Hitler. A 1915 report suggests that four runners, Bachmann and Hitler included, took pre-emptory steps to protect Engelhardt, who was not yet under fire. A subsequent report that first appeared not long before Hitler took power in Germany paints Bachmann and Hitler as more heroic figures, risking their lives under fire to save a beloved commander.
Engelbert was badly injured just days later when a shell landed on his make-shift headquarters. He did survive, and appears to have told a few tall tales about Hitler in the years before Hitler took power.
Brigadier Phillip Engelhardt was the commandant of German-occupied Lille. While a stout and devoted officer, he nonetheless was overwhelmed by Feldgendarmerie Sgt. Adolf Hitler's rabid devotion to duty and his arrogance. He congratulated Hitler on his capture of French rabble-rouser Jacques Doriot, but warned him against hubris, a warning Hitler did not understand.