20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.

20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.

Jacob Miller - July 9, 2017

Corporal Wojtek Perski was a Syrian Brown Bear and a hero of World War II. In 1942, Wojtek was purchased by the 22 Transport Company, Artillery Division, II Corp of the Polish Army in Iran. As a small cub, the soldiers fed Wojtek condensed milk from a bottle. As Wojtek grew up, he developed a taste for beer, wine, and cigarettes.

Wojtek had his first brush with valor, while still in Iran, when he captured a thief who had broken into an ammunitions compound where he was sleeping. The ensuing commotion allowed the human soldiers to come and arrest the thief.

As the 22 Transport Company prepared to enter the war zone in Italy in 1943, the soldiers and Wojtek encountered a logistical problem. Animals were not allowed to accompany the army during conflict. To resolve this issue, the Company gave Wojtek a salary in the paybook, an official rank of Private, and a serial number. Wojtek became an enlisted soldier.

The Polish II Corp was tasked with breaking the Nazi defenses at Monte Cassino. During the conflict, Wojtek was at the artillery firing line and was seen moving crates of ammunition from the trucks to the cannon lines. He was not dissuaded by the sounds of war. The Poles were successful in taking the Nazi stronghold.

After the battle,Wojtek was promoted to Corporal. The 22 Transport Company was also permitted to change their official badge to a silhouette of Wojtek holding an artillery shell.

On November 15, 1947, with the war over, Wojtek was given to the Edinburgh Zoo where he lived out the rest of his days in peace. Wojtek died in December, 1963, at the age of 21.

20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
In the Spring of 1942, a group of Polish soldiers came across a little bear (Syrian brown bear) in the mountainous region of Persia (modern day Iran). The cub was an orphan following the death of his mother at the hands of hunters. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
The bear was taken to the 22nd Transport Company, Artillery Division, Polish 2nd Corp where the men would become his companions for the next few years. He was given the name Wojtek (Walt). thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek as a cub in Palestine. Pinterset
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek would attract attention and his antics would cause a sensation as he loved to entertain people. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
In Iran, Wojtek became a hero one night by capturing a thief who had broken into an ammunition compound where the bear was sleeping. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek and a trainer. Wikipedia
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Two of his closest friends were two young soldiers, Dymitr Szawlugo and Henryk Zacharewicz. the chive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek wtih Dymitr Szawlugo and Henryk Zacharewicz. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek playing. thechive

20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek was stung on the nose by a scorpion. The Company thought that he would not make it through but Henryk Zacharewicz, his friend, nursed him back to health. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
He would often be found in the kitchen area and he ate everything he was fed and even developed a taste for beer and wine together with cigarettes which he would only accept when lit. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek with a soldier. The Soldier Bear
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek with his platoon. STV Edinburgh
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
1) As the Polish Army prepared to enter the war zone in Italy during 1943, the problem confronting the Polish soldiers was the question of Wojtek’s status. Animals were not permitted to accompany the army during the fighting. By giving the bear his own paybook, rank and serial number there would be no question that he was on the list of soldiers. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
Wojtek, thirsty in the desert. Pinterest
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
1) Wojtek found himself in the Battle at Monte Cassino WWII at the artillery firing line where he was seen moving 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. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
With Wojtek’s help, the Polish were able to capture the Nazi stronghold at Monte Cassino. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
The official badge of the 22nd Transport Company became a likeness of Wojtek holding a shell. thechive
20 Images of Corporal Wojtek, the Polish Bear and Hero of WWII.
After the war, Wojtek went to a zoo in Edinburgh where he lived out his days until 1963. Pinterest

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