Baśka - polar bear that lent Polish troops a helping paw

After the formal end of World War I, in Russia, Poles created, with the consent of the British, units of soldiers who had previously fought in the Imperial Russian Army. The real star among the troops of the so-called Murmansk Group, was the female polar bear - Baśka.

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Under the command of General Józef Haller, these Poles fought the first battles in the far north against the Red Army.

Baśka could parade, learn the basics of military drill, and could even walk on two legs. She was very nice, she even played with the children of the soldiers who served there.

With Polish troops she walked the entire combat route near Murmansk, beyond the Polar Circle in the north, and was evacuated to Edinburgh. In the fall of 1919, she came to Poland and took part in a great parade in Warsaw, where she caused a sensation.

The friendly female bear lived in the Modlin Fortress near Warsaw. There, she enjoyed all the military privileges, but also had to abide by the regulations, among which were going outside the premises only on the basis of a pass and taking a bath at least once a week.