An uneducated peasant woman from Siberia, Maria Bochkareva received a special dispensation to join the active army in 1914. She won military honours for her courage on the front line, and later became a stalwart supporter of the Provisional Government.
In 1917 Kerensky authorised her to establish a ‘women’s battalion of death’, made up of some 2,000 patriotic women volunteers. Although the battalion did see frontline service, its primary function was to shame non-combatant men into serving in the army.
Bochkareva was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1920.
- Full title:
- Yashka: My Life as Peasant, Officer and Exile. By M. Bochkareva. As set down by Isaac Don Levine
- London: Constable & Company
- Usage terms
- Public Domain
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Katie McElvanney
Katie McElvanney explores how women’s lives changed during the Russian Revolution, tracing the history of female revolutionaries in Russia and the different ways women documented and participated in events.