Wojtek the Bear

Polish War Hero

By Aileen Orr

Format: Multiple Formats

New, updated edition in advance of the unveiling of a statue of Wojtek next to the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, in May 2014. Journalist and historian Neal Ascherson reflects on the Polish experience in the Second World War. Wojtek has memorials at the Imperial War Museum, London, Edinburgh Zoo and in Canada, and he is a national hero in Poland

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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This is the inspiring and charming true story of one of the Second World War's most unusual combatants - a 500-pound cigarettesmoking, beer-drinking brown bear. Originally adopted as a mascot by the Polish Army in Iran, Wojtek soon took on a more practical role, carrying heavy mortar rounds for the troops and going on to play his part as a fully enlisted 'soldier' with his own rank and number during the Italian campaign. After the war, Wojtek, along with some of his Polish compatriots from II Corps, came to Berwickshire, where he became a significant member of the local community before subsequently moving to Edinburgh Zoo. Wojtek's retirement was far from quiet: a potent symbol of freedom and solidarity for Poles around the world, he attracted a huge amount of media interest that shows no sign of abating almost 50 years after his death.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 1 Jun 2014
SKU 9781843410652-grouped
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

'hilarious and moving' - Scotsman 'It is both moving and amusing' - Lord David Steel

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