Did You Know A Bear Once Served In The Polish Forces?

Hard to believe, but a Syrian brown bear cub was adopted by polish troops when they found him in Iran. The ‘soldier bear’ was named Wojtek, which means smiling warrior.

Wojtek The Polish Soldier Bear

The troops had bought the bear from a local boy for a few canned meat tins. He was fed with foods such as honey and syrup and at times was given beer which turned out to be his favourite drink. He even enjoyed smoking and eating cigarettes!

Wojtek was taught to salute when greeted and travelled with the soldiers through the middle east. He was given the rank as Private and listed amongst the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II corps.

It is claimed that during the battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped his fellow troops by transporting ammunition and never dropped a single crate.

Today, the emblem of the 22nd Company depicts a bear carrying an artillery shell.

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