Wojtek the Bear was adopted as a young cub, in 1942 by soldiers of the 22nd Transport Company, Artillery Division of the Polish 2nd Corp. The 2nd Corp was made up of Polish Prisoners, and deportees, released from labor camps in Siberia. They fought in the Middle East, North Africa, and Italy. Wojtek, was given his own pay-book, rank and serial number so he could accompany his adopted family. He loved to wrestle his companions, share their rations, including beer and cigarettes. The bear considered himself a soldier, and would copy what they did.
When his Company fought at the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped carry ammunition, never dropping a shell. After the battle, a likeness of Wojtek holding a shell became the official badge of the 22nd Transport Company. At the end of the war Wojtek was demobilized in Scotland. He was placed in Edinburgh Zoo. He was very popular with the visitors, and became especially excited when he heard anyone speaking the Polish Language. Wojtek died in 1963. Many books have been written about his exploits. There are numerous pictures and films showing his exploits available online. Several statues of Wojtek have been erected in many parts of the world. Wojtek's memory will live on.
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To discover more about Wojtek during WWII, his stay at Edinburgh Zoo and to see original video's. Just Google Wojtek and you will discover lots of fascinating information on this famous bear. Also Google Soldier Bear, Monte Cassino
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