10 The Story of the Furry Soldier

The Story of the Furry Soldier

Posted on April 26, 2015 by team

A hundred years ago they were forming the Russian task group for the special brigade going to help France in WWI, one of its officially included members was … a bear cub caught in Ural. The Russian troops saved France from occupation and the bear, that accompanied Russian soldiers, created a real sensation.

They brought the animal to France as a symbol of Russia and its power and as an entertainment. It had been bought from Gypsies for the sum big  enough to buy a cow. They fed up the skinbound bear cub named Misha, and provided him with care, soon he became a favourite for everyone.

Just as any other soldier the bear was given a standard set of foods: meat, lard, salt, sugar, bread, cheese, cereals, vegetables and even coffee! Sometimes Misha was treated to cakes, sweets and … cognac!

But the bear that was provided with everything like an ordinary Russian soldier, had to serve as well. As Misha knew his own people in green uniform very well and could easily tell Russians from foreigners, he was used for guard service.

He was doing his job well and once even suffered from combat actions – gas attack of Germans in Champagne province in early 1917. Three dozens of Russian soldiers died then, but the bear was a lucky one – he was seriously poisoned his life was saved.

Soon the discipline in the regiment got seriously worse and soldiers started to disobey commands and behave really bad. Misha became one of the victims – someone poured scalding water over the poor animal.

These horrible incidents became the beginning of a new life for the bear – without those who loved him, with no merry and happy days in the company of human friends. Many soldiers returned to Russia, but the bear left his military service in France only in the end of the war. They didn’t think too long what to do with the furry soldier and Misha was given to the zoo in Paris where he died from cold in 1933.



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10 Responses to “The Story of the Furry Soldier”

  1. Kuba says:


    To get him on a British transport ship when the unit sailed from Egypt to fight with the British 8th Army in the Italian campaign, he was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a Private and was listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps.

  2. mark says:

    This Bear is Famous Russian soldier
    called Comrade “ed brown”

    also have a nickname “Alain”

  3. Maryelen Lechinhosk says:

    Very stupid, everything. Why Russians like this stupid things? Why?

  4. Froggy says:

    Alain we recognised you under your disguise !! :-)

  5. Muzzlehatch says:

    What is it with Russians and their bears? Any other people would have their faces taken off.

  6. Jo says:

    What a tragic story. It really makes me sad how he was abused after all the love and attention he received at first :(

    • Froggy says:

      you mean bears are to the Russians what Goats are supposed to be to the French Foreign Legion ??
      Sounds a bit dangerous to me … :-)

  7. Mister Twister says:

    Poor burr.

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