Wojtek, The Brave Bear That Fought Nazis!

G E A R D O S H I T

During World War II, an orphaned brown bear went from being a cuddly pet to an officially enlisted soldier in the Polish army, and reportedly saw fierce combat in Italy.
Decades after the war and his death, “Wojtek” continues to be honored.

Archibald Brown had already seen a lot during the war but nothing like this. It was mid-February 1944, and the courier for British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was in the port of Naples to help process a unit of Polish soldiers that had just arrived by ship from Alexandria, Egypt, to advance with British soldiers against German and Italian forces. Among his everyday duties was checking crew manifests and speaking with freshly arrived soldiers. But this would be no typical day. Brown had already spoken with every single member of the new unit, the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps except one.

“We looked at…

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