Battle of Monte Cassino, Italy, Jan 1944: The crew of this disabled Panzer is feverishly trying to repair a blown track while under fire. Manhandling hundreds of kilos of steel into place is a hard job under ideal conditions, let alone under machine gun fire. Fortunately for the Panzer troops, their tank provides cover while the job proceeds.
‘Wojtek (1942–1963) was a Syrian brown bear cub found in Iran and adopted by soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. He enjoyed wrestling and was taught to salute when greeted. With the company he moved to Iraq and then through Syria, Palestine and Egypt. ‘He was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a private. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped move ammunition. ‘Following demobilization on November 15, 1947, Wojtek was given to the…
Ruins of the Town of Cassino, Italy, April 1944. The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a costly series of four WWII battles fought by the Allies between January 17, 1944 and May 19, 1944. The Allies intent was to break through German lines and seize Rome. These operations resulted in casualties of over 54,000 Allied and 20,000 German soldiers and destroyed the historic abbey of Monte Cassino and the town below.
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy held by Axis forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The intention was a breakthrough to Rome.
This bear cub drinking milk from a bottle was found in Iran by Polish soldiers of 22nd artillery company in 1942. He was named Wojtek (meaning happy or smiling warrior) and travelled with them all over North Africa & Europe. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped move ammunition. Afterwards, an effigy of a bear holding an artillery shell was the official emblem of the 22nd Company
The bear, named Wojtek, reportedly even fought alongside his fellow Polish soldiers at the savage Battle of Monte Cassino in the spring of 1944, carrying heavy crates of mortar shells. With the approval of the Polish high command, the company's emblem was then changed to one showing a bear carrying a massive artillery shell. After the war, Wojtek lived in Edinburgh Zoo until his death in 1963. Books, statues and even a documentary keep the memory of his unique service alive.