Why Grigory Potemkin created a company “ amazons “?
Through the southern haze fly on the steppe a cavalry company. Horse manes creep downwind, white ostrich feathers develop over the heads of riders, gold laces and a fringe burn on the sun. It seems, still the instant and a cavalry will overflow small group of the people standing under a lonely tree. But horses drop into a walk and fade in an equal system.
Having blinked the only eye, the high grandee in carelessly open caftan admires riders. And to admire is than: long a crimson velvet of a skirt and green jackets emphasize symmetry of figures, under the turbans covered with spangles the faces of young women excited with a fast gallop, at everyone on a graceful sling the small, decorated with gilding saber, and the long-barreled gun behind the back facilitated.
The lightest prince Grigory Potemkin is happy - the idea managed to create an Amazonian company obviously. Will be what to please the mother Ekaterina who is going to visit Taurida annexed to Russia.
The created by Grigory Potemkin`s efforts in the spring of 1787, Amazonian company indeed turned out magnificent. Under the leadership of skilled fighting officers of the Balaklavsky regiment from noble maidens, the majority of whom were wives or daughters of officers, created the real division. Women learned to ride perfectly, being skillfully reconstructed and observing a system, to fence on sabers and to fire in a volley from guns. The commander over a female company Potemkin put the wife captain Elena Ivanovna Sarandova (subsequently - Shidyanskaya).
In an honourable system the company met Ekaterina at the village of Kadykovka bliz Balaklava. Potemkin`s invention was pleasant to the empress. The Amazonian company bravo looked, worked harmoniously. That - that, and Ekaterina was an expert in military perfectly and was able to thank them, considering that even the tender word told the soldier will pay off a hundredfold. The empress appropriated to the commander of amazons Elena Sarandova a rank of the captain at once and awarded with expensive diamond ring. So in Russia there was the first woman - the officer. But besides Sarandova received honor of which the officer wife from remote garrison could not even dream. The new appointed captain of amazons in the face of all meeting was kissed by two monarchs - Ekaterina and Joseph II, the emperor of Austria. An award also all company - 10 thousand rubles received, money for those times considerable.
Amazons accompanied an imperial train to Bakhchisarai. Participated in ceremonial ceremonies, striking even skilled military with knowledge of an ekzertsition and ability to work in a horse system. But on it their service practically also came to the end. Soon after Ekaterina`s departure the company was disbanded. And then at all forgot about it. Remembered only in the middle of the next century when from the former captain “ amazons “ exchanged the ninth decade, came the application on a grant. Reported on this case on the emperor. Nicholas I disposed to give to the petitioner 300 rubles silver and to send to her the official in detail to write down data about “ to a company of the Russian amazons “. Perhaps, it was one of those few cases when according to instructions of the monarch of reminiscence of the veteran wrote down simply “ for the history “. And it that is more important for us that history kept very few certificates on service of women in army.
At the time of Ekaterina one more woman, the Don Cossack Tatyana Markina, reached the captain`s rank, but she received it under a man`s name. At twenty-year age Tatyana, having changed clothes in a men`s dress, entered the soldier the Novocherkassk infantry regiment. The vigorous and strong-willed soldier quickly toadied in an unter - officers, and then received also an officer rank. But as soon as it became known that the captain Kurtochkin (under such surname she served) is the woman, to military career the end came. The captain was granted pension and dismissed.
In 1807 the Guards officer Tikhomirov was killed in battle. What amazement of colleagues when it was found out that the gallant guardsman, the commander of a company - the woman was. It turned out that 15 years, having replaced the died brother very similar to it, the hereditary noblewoman Aleksandra Tikhomirova did military service.
Received the greatest popularity in Russia shtabs - the captain Nadezhda of Durov famous from an easy hand of Pushkin as “ the cavalryman - the maiden “. But also it served under a man`s name - Alexander Alexandrov. Only Alexander I, Barclay - - Tolly, Kutuzov and some more people knew that Alexandrov - the woman. Nadezhda of Durov participated in several wars, battled at Gautshtadt, Geylsberg, Friedland, at Borodino was wounded in a leg, in a foreign campaign caused a stir in fight near Hamburg. Still being the private of an ulansky regiment, became the gentleman of St. George, having received a distinction of the Military Order of Saint George for rescue in fight near Gautshtadt of the officer. After resignation Nadezhda wrote memoirs which were edited by Pushkin and are published in the " magazine; Contemporary “ and then left also the separate book. Belongs to its feather several stories and novels popular in due time.
Unfortunately, we so never also learn how many the women movable by feeling of patriotism or a romantic rush, cast in the lot with the Russian army. Often they not only served, but also died under man`s names.