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Corporal Wojtek the "Soldier Bear"

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posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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I came across a fantastic story regarding a bear named Wojtek. He was discovered by Polish soldiers as an orphaned cub and was raised by members of the 22nd Transport Company, Artillery Division, Polish 2nd Corp. He thrived with the soldiers and became a mascot of sorts. He even participated in the battle of Monte Cassino in WW2.


During the conflict, Wojtek found himself at the artillery firing line where he was seen to move crates of ammunition close to a truck where he was chained. Henryk had been assigned to take care of the bear that day but when he was ordered forward as an artillery spotter, he had to leave Wojtek alone. Always inquisitive and willing to copy what the soldiers were doing, he began picking up the crates and moving towards the cannons. The sounds of gunfire did not concern him and he displayed courage in his willingness to participate in the action. After the battle, the official badge of the 22nd Transport Company became a likeness of Wojtek holding a shell. This symbol appeared on vehicles, pennants and on the uniforms of the soldiers.


WOJTEK THE SOLDIER BEAR

The link is to a website that's dedicated to Wojtek and talks about his life and some of the bear's exploits like drinking beer and catching thieves. It even contains several photographs of Wojtek and his friends. I wanted to share this story as I find it fascinating.


edit on 1/29/2016 by EternalSolace because: Spelling




posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: EternalSolace

Apparently, the bear cub that Winnie the Pooh was based off of also has a "military" background. She was an orphan rescued by a soldier who wound up taking her overseas from Canada. Winnie is short for Winniepeg. Since she couldn't go into the trenches, she wound up in a zoo where she made friends with an actual little boy who is the inspiration for Christopher Robin.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 07:04 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I remember hearing that before, but I never looked into much. I might dive into that while I'm at work tonight. When the Polish 22nd Transport was mobilized, they were told Wojtek wouldn't be able to come along as he wasn't a soldier. They ended up getting Wojtek pay, rank, serial number, and everything else needed to enlist him. That's how he ended up at Monte Cassino.

I just love hearing stories about things like that. Sometimes you can come across some interesting animal companions.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: EternalSolace

There is a children's book about it - Finding Winnie. The things I learn while I'm at work.





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