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Meet Voytek, the Nazi-fighting bear
Gohlico at 2:07PM, May 12, 2009
posts: 158
joined: 2-27-2006
“He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man.” - Polish soldier commenting on Voytek

I read this article over and over again and I still couldn't believe that the Poles had a frickin' bear in their army in World War 2.


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
AQua_ng at 3:01PM, May 12, 2009
posts: 7,830
joined: 4-6-2006
It's quite difficult to find words that will give an alcoholic, spy smacking, Nazi-fighting bear justice.

But my God, that bear is awesome.

K.A.L.A-dan! Brigade Captain :D
K.A.L.A.-dan forums!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:59AM
Gohlico at 4:32PM, May 12, 2009
posts: 158
joined: 2-27-2006

A picture of Voytek


last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
lba at 5:10PM, May 12, 2009
posts: 2,684
joined: 5-29-2007
And all we had was Audie Murphy for the US. Damn, that would be pretty freakin' scary to see charging at you with a company of riflemen right behind him.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
BffSatan at 12:15AM, May 13, 2009
posts: 1,478
joined: 3-2-2008
Thank you for posting this. In my head I have a list of things that are totaly awesome that need to happen. A bear fighting a nazi was one of these.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 6:32AM, May 13, 2009
posts: 24,789
joined: 1-2-2006
Umm… There's two things going on here; some fantasy involving the idea and then there's the actual story.

So a captured baby animal was raised by troops, used to carry shells and as a sort of mascot. Not as rare as you'd think actually, this sort of thing was extremely common.

Just the other day I read about the brave Russian Black Sea fleet who had to sail all the way around the globe to try and relieve their forces at Port Arthur after the Japanese had attacked it- When they stopped off at Madagascar (just off Africa) to refuel, The sailors were made to drop off all the monkeys, boa constrictors, leopards and whatever other animals they'd bought aboard.

A while ago I read about a Jewish man who as a boy became a mascot for a group of Waffen SS soldiers. They gave him a miniature black uniform, hat, boots and everything.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
bravo1102 at 6:56AM, May 13, 2009
posts: 3,225
joined: 1-21-2008
Waffen SS units did that with a Polish linguist (he spoke most European languages so was invaluable) He had the uniform and officer's rank, but they made sure he was never given ammunition for the pistol he was obliged to wear. He was treated as a mascot. He got his revenge after the German surrender by talking (that is not a typo) his way across Europe to surrender to the Allies in France! (to make doubly certain he would not get shipped back to the Soviets)I met him while in college when he came to speak to my WWII class about the Russian Front.

As far as mascots, they are very common even now in Iraq. There is one story of a dog that is passed from deployed unit to deployed unit. Then the dog who would hear the returning aircraft before the humans would and run out and wait for them on the airfield.

The pigs, chickens who were taken for food but became pets.

Among the most infamous were the dogs trained by the Soviets to run under German tanks with explosives. I've read that the Soviet soldiers couldn't bring themselves to set them off or the dogs would return to their master before the charge went off…

How about the eagle mascot of a Pennsylvania regiment in the American Civil War? They carried him on a stand into battle beside the flag. He often flew off to soar over the battlefield but always returned.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Product Placement at 7:01AM, May 13, 2009
posts: 7,078
joined: 10-18-2007
I remember a cat that was a mascot in some ship during the second world war. The ship sunk and very few survived. Among the survivors was the cat who was adopted by the ship that rescued him. A week later that ship also sank and the cat survived again.

They transported the cat to land after that.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
Gohlico at 8:44AM, May 13, 2009
posts: 158
joined: 2-27-2006
Well, Voytek is still frickin' awesome in my book.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM

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