The Bear That Fought In World War II

Meet Wojtek, the 490-pound Syrian brown bear that might have been the most intimidating solider during World War II. Read more about how a bear became an official solider below.


In 1942, a small bear cub, orphaned by hunters, was sold to Polish soldiers in Iran. THAT BEAR WOULD BECOME A MEMBER OF THE 22ND ARTILLERY SUPPLY COMPSource:Edinburgh News


The bear was named Wojtek. He was bottle-fed by the soldiers and accompanied them on their travels. HE WAS LIKE A BIG DOG, NO ONE WAS SCARED OF HIM,Source:Edinburgh News


In 1944, the Polish troops were joining comrades fighting in Italy, but no pets were allowed on the boat. IT WAS THEN HE WAS OFFICIALLY ENLISTEDAS ASOSource:Edinburgh News


Wojtek would play-fight his fellow soldiers, eat cigarettes, drink beer, and even sleep in soldiers' tents. HE HELPED KEEP UP THE SOLDIERS' MORALE. CRSource: BBC


HE WAS ALSO USEFUL. HE CARRIED MORTAR SHELLS AND EVEN ONCE CAUGHT A SPY. As a furry animal in a desert, Wojtek loved cold showers. One day he was deliSource: Mail


HE RECEIVED HERO STATUS DURING THE BATTLE OF MONTE CASSINO. Several accounts confirm that during the chaos of battle, the bear copied his comrades by Source: Edinburgh News


AFTER THE WAR, HE WAS MOVED TO THE EDINBURGH ZOO. He was said to perk up whenever he heard Polish. Ex-servicemen would visit to feed him cigarettes. HSource: Edinburgh News