​​​​​​​​​​W O J T E K

The bear that went to war



WOJTEK STORIES – TRUE OR FALSE?

Although stranger than fiction, the story of Wojtek, the Syrian bear who became a much-loved member of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps, is true! Exaggeration is however often part of the telling of a good story, as a result of which some myths and inaccuracies have arisen about Wojtek.


Reliable sources of information about Wojtek include the DVD, The Bear That Went to War and How Wojtek, a Bear, Became a Soldier, a publication in comic format, which is available online in  PolishEnglishItalian and French language versions. This was part of an eTwinning Project and was produced with the support and guidance of Professor Wojciech Narębski, who as a member of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company, witnessed Wojtek's story. 

How much do you know of the true story of Wojtek? A list of statements about parts of his story follows. By clicking on TRUE or FALSE for each one, you can find out which are true, and also obtain the real facts behind those that are false. 

1.  Members of the 2nd Transport Company (later the 22nd Artillery Supply Company) adopted the young orphaned bear cub from an Arab boy near Hamadan in Iran, in exchange for tins of food, some chocolate, and a Swiss army knife.
TRUE or FALSE


2. Wojciech Narębski (Mały Wojtek), a member of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company, named the young bear after himself.
TRUE  or FALSE?


​3.  Wojtek liked dancing and wrestling with his Army companions.
TRUE or FALSE?


4.  Wojtek was a heavy beer drinker and cigarette smoker.

TRUE or FALSE?


5. Wojtek was enlisted as a Private in the Polish II Corps.
TRUE or FALSE?


​6. This is a photograph of Wojtek sailing on the MS Batory from Egypt to Italy.















TRUE or  FALSE?


7.  Archibald Brown, a British official, had the surprise of his life in Naples in February 1944 when processing Polish soldiers who had just arrived from Alexandria in Egypt. He called the last name on his list - a soldier named Wojtek, but no one came forward. An amused officer approached him and led him to a cage which housed a fully grown brown bear: Wojtek.

TRUE or FALSE?


8.  Wojtek would sometimes ride in the front passenger seat of army vehicles.
 TRUE or FALSE?


9.  Wojtek loaded heavy crates of ammunition onto trucks during the Italian campaign.
TRUE or FALSE?


10.  Wojtek carried mortar shells on the field of battle at Monte Cassino. 
TRUE or FALSE?
 
11. 
These are photographs of Wojtek with his army companions.












TRUE or FALSE                                                                                                                                 

12.  Wojtek was the only animal accompanying the 22nd Artillery Supply Company.
 TRUE or FALSE?


13. After the war, children rode on Wojtek's back during his time at Winfield Camp near Berwick on Tweed.
TRUE or FALSE?


14. Wojtek did not receive adequate care during his years at Edinburgh Zoo.

TRUE or FALSE?


​15. This is a photograph of Wojtek at Edinburgh Zoo.


















TRUE or FALSE?


​16.  Following Wojtek’s death on 2 December 1963, his remains were preserved through taxidermy.

TRUE or FALSE?


Back to Wojtek Intro
Wojtek Songs
Wojtek Books
Wojtek Films and Videos

Wojtek Memorials



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