"The woman in the sea – team grief!", or the hard life of the first female sailors of RussiaPictolic
Since it was believed that a woman aboard is bad luck. The ladies want to see on Board otherwise than as a passenger and never as sailors or officers. One could argue that in history there are examples when ladies were not just sailors, but also skilled naval commanders. But most all ended in failure as the little-known marine experiment carried out in Russia in the early 20th century.
Began the story of "Marine female team" of the Russian Navy in 1917 with Patriotic appeals of the head of the Provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. The politician liked to mention the crowd about the so-called "female factor" and insisted that women should also benefit the Fatherland in difficult times.
Period for Russia was really difficult. In the middle was the First world war, and within the country was in a fever many revolutionary-minded political forces. It was at this time on the table first mate marine Minister Mr. B. P. Dudorova formed a petition from certain companies "Russian women unite!".
In the letter, got to the office July 1, 1917, contained the passionate request of the women of the society to empower them in this difficult hour to serve the Motherland and not somewhere, namely on warships of the Russian Navy. In the military were not surprised by the desire of the girls to go to the front of the petition for the creation of a "women's regiment of black hussars" and all female infantry battalions received regularly. But for the first time the case concerned the Maritime service, which has always been considered only for men.
The infantry women were, but in the Navy this never happened
A few years ago, Boris Petrovich just send a strange petition in the trash. But now, after the February revolution, when Kerensky was working the "female factor", and in the army created a unit, consisting of one ladies, he could not ignore it.
People with extensive military and life experience, Dudorov could not imagine, than you can take women on combat ship. But women who signed the document are assured that ready for any stress and hardship and can be "at least laundresses and cooks, though sailors."
Pioneers of a new business decided to become the Kola naval base commanders who agreed to accept the service of women, but only laundresses, cooks, cleaners and typists. Of access to the sea in ships could not be and speeches — only service on the beach, under the watchful gaze of the authorities.
But it was only the first problem. Knowing that will have to serve on the Northern Kola the basis of that unending day of the hurricane was called "the land of flying dogs", young ladies began to take statements about the receipt of the service. Even high pay 90 rubles are unable to attract women, who dreamed of warm countries, sea, romance and tropical constellations.
Evdokia Merkurieva Skvortsova
Therefore, of the 150 women, planned by the Ministry of marine, managed to score a total of 35 of the most desperate. They were put on rations in Maritime training-shooting team and placed in the barracks at Oranienbaum, where the ladies had to learn the basics of naval service, before sending it to the naval base. Led the women's team of the hereditary noble Evdokia Merkurieva Skvortsova, who previously worked as a teacher.
Was the message and template insulting phrases such as "Woman at sea — team grief!". Outraged by the tone and content of the letter lady sent a copy Dudarova, who was forced to call the commander of the authors dispatches and severely chastise him for his bad educational work. Boris Petrovich already realized that this is only the beginning of problems, but to retreat was impossible.
Then came new troubles. It turned out that nobody in town had no idea how and what to teach women. Do I need to train them in the use of weapons and bayonet? They need the skills of unarmed combat and skill with the machines and mechanisms? The answer to these questions is not known in the Russian Navy one.
At 9: 00 everyone went for morning prayer, and then began classes in drill, grammar of the Russian language and exercise. Started at 19.00 dinner, followed by evening prayer. The command "retreat" sounded at 21.00. Women endured not too serious hardships of the marine service, but their training soon ended.
Exactly one month after the creation of the Maritime command of the women entered the order on its disbandment. The reason the command is called a small number of personnel, but in fact, most likely, in the offices of the Naval Ministry and not think of what to do with the ladies in the Navy.
To the Navy, these girls had the attitude is very mediocre, but this did not prevent them proudly call themselves "the Maritime women's team" and dashing to wear the uniform of sailors. Finally, we note that the fault of these women that the experiment failed not. They were disciplined, diligent and tried. Again played the role of stereotypes and old Maritime traditions that prevailed even before the revolutionary winds of change.