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"Wojtek the Soldier Bear." Topic


9 Posts

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754 hits since 25 Feb 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 9:11 p.m. PST

Interesting history about WW2.

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So, if you are doing the British 8 Army you had to buy a bear in 28mm. (smile).

Hope you enjoy!.

Amicalement
Armand

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member25 Feb 2012 9:24 p.m. PST

He is part of the FoW Poles in Italy briefing,
PDF link

More information and photos on him here,
wojtek-soldierbear.weebly.com

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Robert

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2012 10:54 p.m. PST

I remember him in Edinburgh Zoo as a youngster a very large good looking animal at that time.

x42

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2012 7:07 a.m. PST

My dad gave me a book a week or so ago about the bear--

"Wojtek the Bear: Polish War Hero" by Aileen Orr. Published by Birlinn Limted, copyright 2010, ISBN 978 1 84158 845 2.

recon3526 Feb 2012 5:35 p.m. PST

Didn't Battlefront do a mini of the bear?

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 5:41 p.m. PST

"Didn't Battlefront do a mini of the bear?"

Yes they did. Robert

TMP link


picture

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tuscaloosa26 Feb 2012 6:04 p.m. PST

Wojtek the Bear is when BF officially jumped the shark.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 Feb 2012 6:16 p.m. PST

That's what the TMP thread I linked implies. Robert

TMP link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member13 Jul 2012 1:58 p.m. PST

Just a little more about 'Wojtek' that was posted today. Robert

"Honoring 'Wojtek' the Bear Who Fought the Nazis
By Ben Waldron | ABC OTUS News 1 hr 5 mins ago

It's a story worthy of a Hollywood adaptation. A cuddly bear cub, orphaned in the mountains of northern Iran, grows up to become a soldier in the Polish army and helps fight the Nazis during World War II.

"Wojtek" the bear, Polish for "The Smiling Warrior" or "He Who Enjoys War," continues to be honored today, German news magazine Der Spiegel reports.

According to legend, the bear was rescued by a young boy in the mountains of northern Iran after hunters had shot the cub's mother, and was later sold to the Polish army.

The soldiers were part of the so-called "Anders Army," a unit composed of Polish prisoners of war released by the Soviet Union after it was attacked by Germany, and the cuddly bear cub provided an instant morale boost for the soldiers, many of whom had endured Soviet internment camps.

The troops treated Wojtek like one of their own. "He was just like a dog," said Polish Veteran Augustyn Karolewski to the BBC in 2008, adding "He drank a beer like any man" and reportedly had a taste for cigarettes, which he would swallow whole.

Get more pure politics at ABC News.com/Politics and a lighter take on the news at OTUSNews.com

When "Anders Army" was scheduled to be transferred to Naples to join the allied campaign in Italy, Wojtek was initially denied passage because port officers in Alexandria, Egypt, said only soldiers could make the journey and refused to allow wild animals on board.

The solution? The soldiers made Wojtek an official soldier, complete with a service number and rank.

'"Corporal" Wojtek reputedly saw combat at the bloody Battle of Monte Cassino in the Spring of 1944. By then, he had grown into a 6-feet, 485 pound bear. Resolved to take advantage of Wojtek's strength, soldiers trained him to carry heavy crates of artillery rounds. One British veteran was reportedly shocked to see a large brown bear calmly carrying mortar rounds past him during the battle, Der Spiegel reported.

The company soon changed its official emblem to one showing a bear carrying a massive artillery shell.

After the war, Wojtek eventually found a home at the Edinburgh Zoo, where he was a huge draw until his death in 1963 at the age of 22. Today, the unusual bear is remembered fondly as a symbol of solidarity between Poland and Scotland.

A documentary has also been made about Wojtek's extraordinary journey titled, "Wojtek – The Bear That Went to War."

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