Russia’s Military has during this century been on the cutting edge in the development and implementation of secret weapons little realized until today. These are armaments so deadly they played major parts in the overthrow of several oppressive regimes within Russia and were instrumental in twice bringing Germany to it’s knees. First seen well in advance of the Bolshevik Revolution, then during WW1, Russia’s female military contingent proved themselves brilliantly at Stalingrad during the Nazi invasion of WWII and played a significant role in the climatic destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich.
Russia is one of the first modern societies to employ women extensively in its armed forces. Together with their destructive potential, the Russian military early on realized the psychological value women played to encourage and bolster the moral of male troops, and correctly rationalized that the battle of the sexes would prove a valuable motivational tool spawned in the bedroom and fired for effect on the battlefield…
The common historical perception of the woman in the Russian Army is that of a heroic, highly motivated, well-disciplined, tenacious soldier fighting in defense of the Motherland. In some cases women and girls have been known to make their way into the service disguised as men. In this case it appears likely that we are dealing with a sexual-pathological satisfaction of impulse, and in other cases the predominantly
Accounts of Russian women fighters from an Austrian soldier during the Austro-Hungarian conflict: “Especially in attack did they show themselves brave and not infrequently blood- thirsty soldiers. Naturally we were quite far from feeling any knightly sentiments towards these Penthesileas. Nevertheless these battles of men against women were thoroughly abominable as they contradicted our esthetic which the war had made hard enough. And so whenever possible we avoided fighting them and just tried to capture them.”
Segregated women’s battalions were first formed by Russia’s provisional government during the February Revolution of 1917 following Women’s Day demonstrations demanding, among other things, equal rights for the fairer sex. In May 1917, Maria Bochkareva, a peasant woman turned soldier at the outbreak of WWI, formed the first women’s combat unit of 2,000 troops dubiously dubbed The Women’s Death Battalion. But after intense fighting for three months on the front-lines, the all female company’s numbers fell to 250. Initial reports included that of a 14 year old peasant girl who found herself right next to a German, ran him through with her bayonet and at the same time shot him and took his helmet for a memento.
Thereafter the demands of thousands of libertine femmes was granted and the government formed special “units” comprised of eager women biting at the bit to serve alongside their men in battle. The concept was to embarrass, cajole and otherwise spur war weary male troops to finalize the war. It worked flawlessly, and a new chapter had begun for the emancipation of women in fatigues.
During WWII the Soviets drafted unmarried women although many thousands had volunteered. More than 70% of the 800,000 Russian women who served in the Red Army during WWII fought at the front. One hundred thousand of them were decorated for defending their country. Komsomol, the Communist youth organization, mobilized a half-million women and girls for military service. The women trained in all-female groups but were afterwards posted to regular army units and fought alongside the men.
Many women in the Russian Air Force were made night bombers who flew U-2 aircraft made of wood and fabric. Flying low, the lipstick pilots would cut their engines and glide silently to bomb the Germans in their sleep. They were called by the Nazis Night Witches. Beautiful and tempting witches they were. Reported to be freshly bathed, coiffed and made up before each potentially deadly mission they added a unique and murderous dimension to the term Femme Fatale. Their attitude may have been the beginning of the mindset of modern Russian women, who have taken the stance that they live for today, and want to be as beautiful as possible every moment as they know not what tomorrow may bring.
Of over 1,000 women aviators trained as fighter and military transport pilots, 30 were awarded the Gold Star of a Hero of the Soviet Union for heroism in combat including dive bomber pilot Mariya Dolina who in addition was awarded The Order of Lenin, 2 Orders of the Red Banner and the Order of the Great Patriotic War. Major Tamara Aleksandrovna commanded an all female fighter regiment on more than 125 combat engagements. She and her command shot down 38 enemy aircraft. Polina Gelman was a bomber pilot who flew 18 combat missions and was decorated five times. Lydia Litvak and Katya Budanova were pilots in the Battle of Stalingrad where Captain Budanova downed eight enemy aircraft and Livak nine before being wounded and forced to crash land. She recovered from her injuries and returned to battle where she was killed during a 1943 dog-fight with 8 Messerschmitt.
Women also served with ground combat units as snipers, machine gunners, and tank crew members. Before the war, countless women were sharpshooters in the many hunting and marksman clubs that proliferated in Russia. On the Eastern Front this lifestyle served the Red Army deviously well. Ludmilla Pavlichenko, a trained sniper, is credited with killing 309 Germans, many in the battle for Stalingrad where women played a pivotal role in the city’s defense.
Russian girl soldiers who fell into the hands of Russian counter-revolutionaries or the clutches of German units during both World Wars were treated with no more quarter than their male colleagues. Tat’yana Baramzina was a kindergarten teacher before graduating in 1944 from the Central Woman’s Sniper Training School in Moscow. She was immediately thereafter assigned to duty at the Belorussian front where she killed 16 enemy soldiers in her first 3 months of combat. Soon thereafter, in what was to be her final engagement, Baramzina, after slaying a further 20 Germans and being wounded by artillery fire, was captured, atrociously tortured then hideously murdered at the hands of her Nazi captors. She was 24. Tat’yana was posthumously awarded the Gold Star and made a Hero of the Soviet Union in March of 1945.
From the peak WWII strength of over one million, the number of female soldiers in today’s Russian military is still significant. Although women have had the legal right to volunteer in the military throughout the post-1945 period, the influx of women into the armed forces did not rise until contract or professional service was introduced. Current estimates range to 160,000 Russian women serving their country, which represents approximately 10% of the personnel in the armed forces. In peacetime, however, women who have medical or other specialized training are still listed on military rosters and occasionally called to active duty, so the actual number under arms may be much less. In the active force, women serve in traditional occupations carefully separated from operational activities particularly in the health and medical services.
82 women contract soldiers served in Chechnya during the 1994-1996 conflict during which 23 were awarded medals and special recognition by the Russian government. Women soldiers also serve in the hardened units of the airborne forces and in the Spetsnaz or elite special forces. In May of 2008, for the first time in its illustrious and completely testosterone fueled history, the elite Ryazan Paratroopers Military School near Moscow presented the Russian public a graduating class of 20 female cadets. The platoon is comprised of women from across Russia, many who are champion athletes in national competition. In addition to required army training, the vigorous and polished girl soldiers also passed the same demanding course of training that is dished out to their male counterparts.
The number of female officers in Russia’s service has risen to over 2,000, with more than 400 senior officers, including over 100 colonels and lieutenant colonels. The highest ranking woman in the Russian armed forces to date is retired former cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who held rank of General-Major.
Through all the fighting and dying, toil and tears, Russia’s women have managed to not only rise to the occasion with flying colors, but look great doing it with their own inimitable style and grace. Clich? has women swoon over a man in uniform. But in Russia this is doubly true of an already genetically beautiful, naturally appealing female specimen in parade dress. A prime example of world class military pulchritude is Oxana Fedorova who served as an investigator in the Pskov militia for several years before becoming first Miss Russia in 2001 then Miss Universe in 2002. As a cadet Fedorova specialized in hand to hand combat and weapons. Her speed in disassembling and re-assembling the Kalasnikov assault rifle is one of her specialties. She continued her career as a police major, now retired, after her accolades as a model and beauty queen.
Join the modern military and see the world of ravishing women. As in Russian society, women in Russia’s armed forces set the standard for breathtaking beauty and fascinating charm. In a formal uniform or fatigues, they exude a distinct class of sensuality and charisma as is the bastion of Russia’s women…