Friday, February 24, 2012

The Impending Weekend

Well once again Friday is here upon us. I sit and examine the pile of work that needs to be done and just sigh. The painting table has my 80% finished groups of Romano-British Levy from Khurasan. There is something that is blocking me from just knocking these out. I did get in another two packs of Russian WWI figures from Peter Pig that are tempting me to go off track and do those instead. But I am trying to stay on target and not succumb to my "Oh Shiny" impulses. In terms of writing, I made some headway on the WWI East Front material. I found the autobiography of the founder of the Women's Battalion of Death. Very interesting story. Maria Bochkareva who was known to her fellow troops as Yashka, had appealed to no one less than the Tzar himself for permission to serve in combat. She fought against the Germans as early as 1915 and her stories generated two scenarios so far. The first is a rather brutal encounter where the Russians were ordered to charge across open ground against entrenched Germans that had not been properly softened up by artillery. They had to run over a half a mile from their trenches to reach the German wire that was left undamaged by the artillery barrage. She was awarded a medal for bravery as she rescued some 50 men who were wounded in the engagement. Of the 240 men and woman that formed her company prior to the attack 83 were killed in the charge and only 48 were combat effective once they made it back to friendly lines. The second scenario is based on her description of Russian and German scouting parties in 1915. She mentions conducting such missions on a regular basis and that in the void of no-mans land, occasionally scouting parties from either side would have their own small battles at night. Should prove interesting. I have much more to read and hope that I have the material to have at least one good scenario involving the Women's Battalion of Death. If for no other reason than the name of the unit. For some reason my writing inspiration has left me the past week. I find myself playing FreeCol in my free time rather than something useful. Hopefully I will snap out of it soon. Also, the Blog has now exceeded 15500 page views and 48 followers. I am amazed. Thank you for reading. I think I will post a scenario that I write from Maria's story here because of that.


  1. Fascinating stuff, Chris. I had heard that were some women in the Czar's army but didn't know about Yashka or the Battalion of Death. Does anyone make figures for them?
    Don't worry about the slump, we all get them.
    Glad you're blog is doing well, it's deserving of note.

    1. Agreed. Actually, Peter Pig has a figure pack in their WWI range: 82. Womens Battalion of Death(!). I am thinking of getting it to make a Big Woman figure of Yashka.

      The Auto-Biography is conveniently in English! That saves me from having to interpret Google's translation into sensible English. It is an excellent read and provides some nifty insights to small unit combat at that time. During an offensive, there would be a mad rush across no mans land only to be slowed by enemy fire. Then the defenders would counter charge and slug it out hand to hand until one side broke. The casualties she describes are unbelievable. One can see why the Russians collapsed in 1917 after sustaining those kinds of losses.

    2. Oops, forgot to post the link to her book: