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The bear that went to war


​5.  Wojtek was enlisted as a Private and later promoted to Corporal rank in the Polish II Corps.

There is a widely reported story that in order for Wojtek to travel from Egypt to Italy where the Company was assigned early in 1944 to fight in the Italian Campaign, the bear was officially enlisted at Private ranking and allocated a serial number. According to the records held at the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, Wojtek was not issued an army number, nor was he given a rank. He was, however, able to depart Alexandria with his Company on 13 February 1944, on the MS Batory, bound for Taranto in Italy.

There is also no evidence supporting stories of Wojtek’s promotion to Corporal rank.


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