1. In 1942 the members of Poland’s 22nd Artillery Supply Company found a war orphan while campaigning in Iran.
Rather than let this poor guy face the wilds himself, the soldiers took him in. They named him Wojtek, which means “he who enjoys war” or “the smiling warrior”
2. Despite his tough appearance, he got along well with everyone and quickly became the local unit’s mascot.
3. He made friends with some of the other military animals.
9. The 22nd Artillery Supply Company trained the soldier bear to carry ammunition as they travelled through Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
10. When the units were ordered to Italy, Wojtek was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a private so that he could sail from Egypt to Italy on an army transport ship.
11. According to all reports, he enjoyed Italy. Like all soldiers, he was fond of beer and cigarettes, although he preferred to eat them, not smoke.
12. Wojtek even helped the Allies win by delivering ammunition during the Battle of Monte Cassino. According to reports, the bear never dropped a single crate as he transported explosives.
13. In recognition of the bear’s service, the Polish Army allowed an image of Wojtek carrying ammunition to become the 22nd Company’s official emblem.
14. After the war, the soldier bear retired to Scotland, where he lived out his days at the Edinburgh Zoo. His friends from the Polish Army would visit him often.
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