Voytek the Soldier Bear

This is SO awesome =D

Voytek was a Syrian Brown Bear cub adopted by soldiers of the Polish II Corps. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped to move ammunition.

In 1942 a local boy found a bear-cub near Hamadan in Persia (Iran). He sold it to the soldiers of the Polish Army stationed nearby for a couple of canned meat tins. As the bear was less than a year old, he initially had problems swallowing and was fed with condensed milk from an emptied vodka bottle. The bear became quite an attraction for soldiers and civilians alike, and soon became an unofficial mascot of all units stationed nearby. Because of that, he was officially drafted into the Polish Army and was listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. Together with it he moved to Iraq and then through Syria, Palestine and Egypt to southern Italy.

The bear was fed with fruits, marmalade, honey and syrup, and was often rewarded with beer, which became his favourite drink. He also enjoyed eating cigarettes. As one of the officially enlisted “soldiers” of the company, he lived with the other men in their tents or in a special wooden crate transported on lorries. According to numerous accounts, during the Battle of Monte Cassino Wojtek helped his patrons by transporting ammunition – and never dropped any crate. In recognition of the bear’s popularity the HQ approved an effigy of a bear holding an artillery shell as the official emblem of the 22nd Company (by then renamed to 22nd Transport Company).

More here. (Beware, crude language)

Advertisements

~ by humblemonkey on March 16, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: