What did Maria Bochkaryova become famous for?
at the end of World War I in Russia appeared female combat units, and women served in them under the surnames. One of such divisions - the female shock battalion of death - was headed by the ensign Maria Leontyevna Bochkaryova.
Bochkaryova is the personality legendary. In 1917 its photos did not descend from pages of the Russian newspapers and magazines. And its course of life began it is quite banal. Maria in July, 1889 in the peasant Frolkov`s family was born. In 16 years married Afanasy Bochkaryov, but matrimonial life did not develop. The reason purely Russian - incessant drinking of the husband. Maria threw the husband and met with a certain Yakov (Yankel). This communication was long, but not happy. When the beloved was banished for criminal affairs to Siberia, Maria followed him. By 1914 their relations finally deteriorated, and from the beginning of war Maria decided to throw the beloved and to leave to be at war with Germans. What became the reason of such act - patriotic upsurge or desire to get off the lover - it is difficult to tell.
The military service began for it at the end of 1914 when on personal permission of Nicholas II Bochkaryova was enlisted by the private in the Tomsk spare battalion. At the beginning of the next year Maria as a part of a mid-flight company arrived to the front in 28 - y the Polotsk regiment. Polk did not sit out in backs, and almost all the time saw off on a front line. Maria Bochkaryova caused a stir already in the first fights. During gas attack of the opponent when it took out from a battlefield of several wounded, Bochkaryova received the first award for sure actions - the medal “ For bravery “. Spring of 1917 Maria met an unter - the officer, the commander of a reconnaissance platoon and the gentleman of St. George.
Revolutionary events did not avoid it at the front. On one of meetings the bright speech of Maria Bochkaryova was heard by the Chairman of the State Duma Mikhail Rodzyanko. He also suggested it to create combat women`s units.
At the beginning of summer of 1917 Maria Bochkaryova created female “ death battalion “ before sending to the front in it is mute slightly more than 200 people were registered. Farewell the battalion was arranged with a big pomp. It was handed specially made banner - a golden panel with a black cross and the inscription “ First women`s military team of death of Maria Bochkaryova “. The general Kornilov handed to Bochkaryova made in ensigns an officer saber.
At the end of June the battalion was a part of the 525th infantry regiment. Already on July 8 women for the first time went to fight in which the battalion lost 30 killed and 70 wounded. More he did not participate in active military operations. The battalion became history of World War I as the only female part which under command of the woman - the officer was at war on rossiysko - the German front.
After October revolution Bochkaryova made by then in lieutenants dismissed a battalion. There are data that it met Trotsky, but his offer to enter Red army refused. As well as many women who got used for years of war to the weapon it did not remain away from the events which overflowed Russia. Maria Bochkaryova supported the White movement, for fund raising on war left to the USA and Great Britain, directed large sanitary group in Kolchak`s army. After defeat of a kolchakovshchina it was shot by security officers on May 16, 1920. Materials of interrogation of Bochkaryova in VChK where she is called the Full Cavalier of St. George remained. It is not true. The confusion occurred because it had four awards of St. George - two crosses and two medals, with them it is represented in the photos including made in the USA. And the Full Cavalier of St. George has to have 4 crosses (from degree, the first on the fourth). There were several women who became gentlemen of St. George in World War I in Russia, but Full Cavaliers of St. George among them were not.
Wrong statements occur in some publications that Bochkaryova`s battalion protected the Winter Palace in October, 1917. Actually Winter the second company of the Petrograd female battalion which ordered shtabs - the captain Loskov protected. Even before storm the company was given to revolutionary soldiers of the Pavlovsk regiment and was taken out from Petrograd to the temporary camp at Levashovo`s station of the Finnish railroad. Here other divisions of a battalion which were not entered into Petrograd joined it. Soon the battalion was disarmed and dismissed on houses.
Except Bochkaryova`s battalion in the summer and fall of 1917 3 more female battalions and to ten separate companies and teams were created. But they did not take part in military operations, and officers - men ordered them. During civil war in Denikin`s army on base 3 of the Kuban female battalion (it was formed in the fall - winter of 1917) the women`s fighting group was created, but it it was not succeeded to find data on participation in military operations.
Unfortunately, we know about participation of women in World War I and civil wars very few. These most interesting and tragic pages of our history just wait for the thoughtful researchers.