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Women in the Imperial and White army

Article about: The first women's shock bataillon was created by Maria Botshkaryeva. Born in July 1889 in Siberia from a peasant family. When the WW1 began, Maria goes to the army as soldier. In November 19

  1. #1

    Default Women in the Imperial and White army

    The first women's shock bataillon was created by Maria Botshkaryeva.

    Born in July 1889 in Siberia from a peasant family. When the WW1 began, Maria goes to the army as soldier. In November 1914 in the city of Tomsk she calledl to the chief of 25th Reserve bataillon, and then he ordered Maria, to join as a Nurse, but Maria don't accept it, with her last 8 rubles she send the telegramm to the Emperor, and after that, to the big surprise to the chief, receives back Nikolay II's statement, that she start to serve in army as a private-volunteer. By an unwritten rule, soldiers gave each other a nickname. Maria asks to call her- "Yashka" from the man's name Yakov.

    Yashka fearlessly went in to the close-combat, pulled out wounded men from a battlefield, and was sometimes wounded. Her first combat, she called:- " with most brutal of all German military inventions " Germans use the irritant gas on the battle field. "Our gas masks were imperfect. Terrible gas got inside, causing the eyes. But we were soldiers of the Mother-Russia, to whose sons not a first time to be in a that atmosphere and consequently we have stay on, of these irritating".

    Being four times wounded in the field, in 1916 for valour, Maria receives all four classes of Georgian Crosses and for the first time in history becomes the first woman, awarded with 4 of them, and she got a rank of junior Unterofficer, and later, senior Unterofficer.

    After the February Revolution, in the beginning of May 1917, Maria goes to Petrograd. Here she realized her idea - to create special military units containing only women-volunteers and together with them to continue to protect the Motherland. The chief of defence Alexey Brusilov considered the idea a joke. He has noticed, that similar formations was not present anywhere in the world. He ask her:-:Whether you hope for females? " Maria says:- "I guarantee, that my battalion will not shame Russia!"

    In circulation the Moscow female union it was spoken: "Any people in the world did not reach such shame that instead of men-deserters there were fought females. The female battaillon will propagate to recover the army". Instead of a cockade on the caps they use skull with the crossed bones ( similar to German Freikorps).

    The idea was supported by public patriotic female organizations, and over two thousand women joined her bataillon. Under order of Kerensky women-soldiers have allocated a separate house, and ten instructors for training. After the unit came to the front: Unities and the consent in a female battalion was lost. Women had many reasons to be dissatisfied: Maria was rough and beat women. She forbade in the battalion the organizations and committees, as this was popular in the army all over, and any party propagation. Some of ladies-soldiers has written letters addressed to General Polovtsev,the chief of Petrograd military district, that he needed to punish Maria. But Maria tell him that she want a good unit with discipline

    Eventually in a formed battalion there was a split - with Botchkaryeva have remained about 300 women, and the others have formed an independent shock battalion. On a twist of fate, a part of a "shockers", sacked by Botchkaryeva "for easy behaviour", take a part of new 1st Petrograd female battalion which units on October, 25th, 1917 unsuccessfully defended the Winter Palace, last residence of Provisional Government.

    On June 21st 1917, near the Issakievsky Cathedral there was a ceremony of delivery the White banner with an inscription "The First female military command of death of Maria Botchkaryeva" to the new female military unit. Maria got her first officers rank - Praporstchik

    Denikin observed one of the female battalions in action, and wrote:
    [I] "The Female battalion … has valorously gone to the attack, not supported by " Russian warriors ". And when the enemy artillery fire was made a hell in the battlefield, weak women, having forgotten the techniques of the battle, were compressed together - helpless, lonely, together with German bombs. Loss have had. And "warriors, parts having turned back, and parts did not even leave the trenches".

    In all of Russia there were formations of females. Officially in October, 1917 these were:
    1st Petrograd female battalion of death
    2nd Moscow female battalion of death
    3rd Kuban female shock battalion.
    Female communication units have been organized also:
    Petrograd - 2,
    Moscow - 2,
    Kiev - 5,
    Saratov - 2.

    Spontaneous formation of female groups were in Kiev, Minsk, Poltava, Kharkov, Simbirsk, Vyatka, Smolensk, Irkutsk, Baku, Odessa, Mariupol.

    In June the order has been declared. In June the order of the formation of the first Naval female command had been declared. Formation occured exclusively on the voluntary basis.

    After the October revolution she dismissed the corps, and itself again has directed to Petrograd. After that she was arrested and sent to the Peter and Paul Fortress, then have let out, having given an opportunity to have a talk with Lenin and Trotsky. But Botchkaryeva has not accepted revolution:- " You will make Russia not fortunately, and you'll destruct Motherland ". Then Botchkareva all the same has supported White Army. On behalf of General Kornilov she is supported with counterfeit documents in the Nurse's uniform has made the way over the Russia captured by Civil War to make in 1918 a propaganda trip to the USA and England. Later, in the autumn 1919, she met "Supreme" - Admiral Koltchack. Grown old and exhausted by wanderings, Maria Botchkaryeva has come to ask about resignation, but it has persuaded to Botchkarev to continue service and to generate voluntary sanitary group. Maria has make propagation in the two of theaters of the town Omsk, and for 2 days got 200 female-volunteers. But this unit was not useful, becuse the war comes to the end.

    When the Red Army too the town of Tomsk, Botchkaryeva goes to the city commandant ,and has handed over to him a revolver and has offered to the Soviet authority the co-operation. On Christmas night 1920, she was arrested and then sent to Krasnoyarsk. On all questions of inspector- Botchkaryeva gave clear and honest answers. No any counter-revolutionary activity was found, and Maria never fought against Red Army. Finally the special department of 5th Army has born the decision: "For further information we'll send to the Moscow to the special department of VChK-Maria and her files".

    Probably, it promised to be a favorable situation due of the death penalty in RSFSR has been once again cancelled by order of VCIK and SNK. But, unfortunately, to Siberia there has arrived the deputy chief of Special department of VChK A.Pavlunovski allocated by emergency powers. "The representative of Moscow " make his final the decision - to shoot". On May, 16th, 1920 Maria Bochkaryeva was shot...

    (Yashka. My Life as Peasant, Officer and Exile, 1918)
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    my Skype: warrelics

  2. #2

    Default re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    Very interesting history Dimas , amazeing , cheers Raymond

  3. #3

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    I really enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos. The girls even shaved their heads!

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    nice job and very interesting

  5. #5

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    An area that's been overlooked by many, great.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

  7. #7

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    Thanks for the link

    my Skype: warrelics

  8. #8
    pjm is offline

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    She could be called the Siberian Joan of Arc .

  9. #9

    Default Re: Women in the Imperial and White army

    Sorry, i dont post attachment
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