Corporal Wojtek was no ordinary soldier. He commanded the love and affection of his fellow soldiers, fought by their sides, enjoyed beer and cigarettes with them, and officers and politicians traveled to see him after his service with the Polish II Corps in Italy.
Wojtek was a bear.
As a cub, he was adopted by the exiled Polish army in Iran and travelled with them throughout their reformation into General Ander’s Polish II Corps. When his army group was mustered into the British Army, who’s regulations forbade animals and mascots in the ranks, the Poles mustered Wojtek into service as a soldier. As a member of the 3522 22nd Artillery Supply Company, the Soldier Bear assisted his fellow soldiers by carrying 100lb artillery shell crates, which typically required 4 men to move, and placed them in trucks for transportation to the front lines at Monte Cassino.
His company adopted Wojtek carrying an artillery shell as their official emblem.