Private (the bear) Wojtek was regular Polish army soldier during World War II.

Wojtek was raised by and „enlisted” into the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps.

Alongside the soldiers of the 22nd Transport Division, Wojtek covered the entire operational route from Iran, via Iraq, Syria and Palestine to Egypt. Here started a new chapter in his adventurous soldier life: the Polish division was boarding the ship MS Batory to sail to Italy, where the Polish soldiers were to participate in the Italian campaign alongside their Western allies. The British passed on clear instructions that no animals were allowed on board. MS Batory was almost ready to leave the port but the army records showed one private missing. “Where is Wojtek Mis?” When in front of the British officer, who was taking the register, there appeared a six foot tall brown bear, he was flabbergasted. “But this is not a man!” he exclaimed.

  • “Private Wojtek Miś (Wojtek the bear) inspires fighting spirit in Polish soldiers!” came the spontaneous reply.
  • „Ah, that is a different story then. Wojtek the bear is welcome.”
  • wojtek-boarding

w005 w008 wojtek-in-the-truck
wojtek szlak bojowy   wojtek rub 1

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In Europe Wojtek carried artillery shells during the battle of Monte Cassino (Italy).