Military Review

Where female “Batalon” strides: what remains behind the scenes

As is often the case, an informational occasion has led to a chain of different social and regional initiatives. A kind of catalyst in this case was the movie "Battalion", released on the screens of the country in February 2015.

The film directed by Dmitry Meskhiev takes the viewer to the distant events of a hundred years ago. The plot focuses on the “female death squad” led by Maria Bochkareva. Enough time has passed since the release of the film to try to analyze what was seen on the screen and compare it with real historical events. Emotions calmed down, disputes calmed down, impressions from watching the movie with the audience settled down.

Who wanted, already looked it. Someone liked the film, some did not. Here it’s a matter of taste and interest in the country's historical past. To some he seemed to be of little interest and they just missed it. But in any case, all this demonstrates the audience position in relation to the film and the historical authenticity of the film version of those distant events. And even a refusal to watch movies is also the attitude of our contemporary to the hectic revolutionary events of 1917 of the year.

Those who liked the movie, do not need our comments. They had the impression of watching a movie. And it suits them perfectly. Otherwise, this part of the audience would look for answers to the questions that arose when watching a movie.

For some part of the audience, the film “Battalion” became just one of the recent ones and did not cause any special emotions or specific questions. Perceived as an ordinary event.

But there are other viewers who show a true interest in the study of Russian history and have a certain reserve of knowledge and facts about the events of 1917 of the year. Among them there are many who meticulously try to get to the truth and separate real historical events from deep-rooted social myths, distorted by people and the time of facts. The task is not easy, since many historically deformed or completely distorted facts have been moving from book to book, from newspaper and magazine publications to pages of Internet portals for decades. They are circulated in television shows, in documentary and feature films dedicated to the fate of Maria Bochkareva and other female volunteers in an era of revolutionary upheaval with persistence worthy of better application. And as a result, the female "Battalion" continues to march away from the road of a real HISTORY.

Combining facts with fiction

Of course, the film "Battalion" is a work of art. The scriptwriters, director and producers fully realized their right to artistic fiction and their own interpretation of historical events related to the personality of the volunteer commander and the First Women's Military Team of the death of Maria Bochkareva formed by it. In this case, the name "Women's Death Battalion" was used in the 1917 year only for propaganda purposes, since it did not correspond to either the battalion structure or the size. According to these indicators, the female team of death Bochkareva was not quite suitable even for the company level. And although the representatives of the authors of the film crew repeatedly stated that the plot was as close as possible to the real fate of people and historical events, they did not fully succeed. Hence, those censures on the historical outline of the events shown, and frank “kinolyaps”, which, apparently, cannot be avoided during any shooting of films on historical themes. Inaccuracies in the presentation, and, sometimes, significant distortions of historical events and facts from the pages of the book, considered to be the memories of Maria Bochkareva in someone else’s presentation, migrated to the screen. This is the book “Yashka. My life is a peasant woman, officer and exile "(hereinafter -" Yashka "). This topic, in our opinion, requires a separate discussion. In the meantime, we will confine ourselves only to assigning the book of memoirs of M. Bochkareva to sources that need clarification and additional verification of the facts and descriptions of specific historical events contained in it.

Returning to the “Batalon” tape, we note that the film really holds the viewer in emotional tension. The rapidly developing events related to the fate of young women and girls who have risen to weapons in the hands of the defenders of the motherland, capture the viewer. They make you worry about them, worry about them, be proud of their actions. For most viewers, especially young people, the main thing is a tense plot, a spiral of events and impressive special effects on the screen. Against this background, the understanding of the fact that young volunteer ladies are dressed in overcoats, while real events took place in the summer of 1917, somehow goes away. And they are placed in the film in Petrograd in the Engineering Castle, where the Bochkareva female formation never happened. It housed the First Petrograd Women's Battalion under the command of the staff captain of the Life Guards Keksgolmsky Regiment Loskova. And it was a completely different female volunteer formation, created in full compliance with the requirements of the provision “On the formation of military units from female volunteers”. The document was approved by the Military Council 29 June 1917 of the year. The women's volunteer formations established after this date were legally part of the Russian army and underwent longer training in infantry training programs, taking into account the military practice of those years. In October, 1917, the company of this particular women's battalion, was fraudulently brought to the defense of the Winter Palace. But this is a completely different story, in no way connected with the fate of the female death team of Maria Bochkareva.

A significant part of the events shown in the film was far from the real story. Here are some more examples of inaccuracies in just one day. At the presentation of the banner of the women's death team shown in the film, which actually took place on 21 on June 1917 of the year (again in the summer without overcoats), there was no War Minister A. Kerensky. From June 14 until the end of the month, he was completely absent in Petrograd. The commander-in-chief of the troops of the Petrograd military district, General P. Polovtsov (sometimes mistakenly referred to as Polovtsev), dressed in a film in a general's overcoat, preferred to wear a Caucasian-style military uniform, in which he was actually on that day when presenting the banners to the female team of death and detachment disabled volunteers. But the audience at this event was much more, judging by the published photographs of the time. The filmmakers have repeatedly saved on extras. And there are a lot of such deviations from historical realities in the film. However, the general patriotic concept and the heroic plot of the film to a large extent smooth out all these historical inaccuracies and inappropriate details.

V. Putin was watching the film among the first viewers. According to the press secretary D. Peskov, the president liked the picture. Later, at a meeting with the film crew, the president confirmed his positive impression of watching the film. The film itself, actors, director, producers and other members of the film crew deservedly received various awards in many categories. It should be noted that several films about female volunteers of that time had already been shot before, but they did not have such success with the audience. Therefore, the film "Battalion" can be easily attributed to the monuments of culture and art in the form of a film, which perpetuates the feminine patriotic impulse and readiness to sacrifice life to defend the Fatherland.

Monuments and memorial plaques

A series of round dates devoted to the first 100 anniversary of the First World War, and then the centenary date of the October Revolution, in which the movie “Battalion” fit into the framework of memorable events, intensified the work of local history and other public organizations. A number of Siberian organizations initiated a discussion of their proposals to perpetuate the memory of Maria Bochkareva as the heroine of that distant war and an active participant in the fateful events for our country. In terms of specifics and implementation options, these proposals envisage a wide range of actions - from the establishment of monuments to the installation of memorial plaques on buildings and the renaming of streets.
However, the joint work of local historians, search engines and historians, we think, is yet to come. Restoring the chronology and description of real historical events involving female volunteers in the battles of the First World War and the Civil War, it would be right to devote individual pages to the most interesting or little studied people, for example, M. Bochkareva, M. Skrydlova, A. Palshina, L. Mokievskaya- Chive and others. At the same time, they do not separate them by decades-old stereotypes and ideological cliches on red, white and other “color” in the palette of political and ideological shades. All of them became victims and hostages of those impetuous events and ideological differences. They all fought for Russia, for its future power and prosperity. They saw only ways and means of achieving their goals in different ways. Yes, and these goals themselves were also different, and, sometimes, just the opposite.

The stronger the truth is no support

With all its inaccuracies and inaccuracies, the film “Battalion” stirred up the mass consciousness and fueled the interest of our contemporaries in those distant events. Since then, a century has passed. Several generations have changed and much has changed in our lives. Serious changes occurred in the assessments and perceptions of those distant and, at times, bloody events. Now, in our opinion, there is a favorable situation for the gradual smoothing of the historical and ideological confrontation between the red and white. And this should be done jointly, moving along the path of harmonization of the public consciousness.

With a view to historical reconciliation between representatives of various ideas and attitudes, strengthening intergenerational ties within Russian society, it is time to think about devoting our historical and cultural monuments and memorials not only to specific, albeit honored persons, but to all women soldiers distinguished themselves in the period military service in different periods of national history. And on the memorial plaques and memorial signs indicate their names, regardless of their political views and ideological positions. At the same time, it is necessary to consistently restore the historical accuracy of the events described, the reliability of the facts and biographical information.

And since in our case we are talking about the difficult fate of Maria Leontyevna Bochkareva, we will immediately note that there is still no complete and reliable biography of this courageous woman - officer. Many gaps can help fill, first of all, local historians and local historians of those regions that were somehow connected with her life and destiny. It is not only about the Petrograd, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk periods of her life. In our opinion, its one-year stay in the Northern region is not enough. Moreover, even the birth date of Maria Leontievna has not yet been documented. Only month and year are known from her words.

Much of what is published today in various publications is often far from the truth and only replicates certain fragments from the book of her memoirs Yashka and the interrogation protocols in the Cheka. It is still not known for certain where, when and how the difficult life of Maria Leontyevna Bochkareva ended. Such uncertainty gives rise to various conspirological versions and assumptions that are not supported by documents and facts.
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  1. bald
    bald 28 March 2018 05: 51
    The film is impressive and in suspense, despite some inaccuracies in the production. Yes, and takes pride in Russian women.
    1. K.A.S.
      K.A.S. 28 March 2018 08: 30
      Well, how does it affect anyone! In addition to laughter and perplexity, I did not cause anything! Starting from the selection of actresses (for example, what kind of actress is Masha Pepets?) And ending with heroism at the forefront, such patriots arrived who wanted the thrill of teaching men soldiers life.
      And my pride is when I watch "night witches in the sky" or "the dawns are quiet," and from this period it is difficult to choose something for admiration for a difficult period that has been subjected to propaganda for a long time!
      The article has a lot of water!
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 28 March 2018 09: 41
        Quote: K.A.S.
        ending with heroism at the forefront, came such patriots,

        Yes, it’s patriots. Sacrificing their lives in the name of the Fatherland.
        Like the cavalry girl in 1812 and women in the Second World War.
        Honor and glory, like Maria Bochkareva, awarded the St. George Cross and three St. George medals, several times wounded in battles.
        The heroine is a monument.
        1. Monarchist
          Monarchist 28 March 2018 11: 50
          But the St. George Cross in the Russian Army for the sake of "beautiful eyes" was not given. In general, in the Republic of Ingushetia and the Soviet Union, at the beginning, awards were given sparingly and for specific merits, and already N. S. Khrushchev began to reward “fashion” by his birthday or some date, and “dear L. I” brought to absurdity
        2. zoolu350
          zoolu350 28 March 2018 12: 01
          Yes, this "masterpiece" is complete bullshit. The ladies came to the war, having run a month and shooting at targets, and in the very first battle they rolled out (in HAND) Veterans of the war for several years! There was an episode when one old German woman was escorted to the rear by two women and turned one leg up and was unable to continue moving, as a result the German killed the rest. My woman was very sad about this when they watched the film, to which I told her that the first girl was very lucky, otherwise there would be TWO corpses.
      2. Vend
        Vend 28 March 2018 10: 11
        Quote: K.A.S.
        Well, how does it affect anyone! In addition to laughter and perplexity, I did not cause anything! Starting from the selection of actresses (for example, what kind of actress is Masha Pepets?) And ending with heroism at the forefront, such patriots arrived who wanted the thrill of teaching men soldiers life.
        And my pride is when I watch "night witches in the sky" or "the dawns are quiet," and from this period it is difficult to choose something for admiration for a difficult period that has been subjected to propaganda for a long time!
        The article has a lot of water!

        It's right. I have some pride and some disgust.
      3. Serg65
        Serg65 28 March 2018 10: 31
        Quote: K.A.S.
        The article has a lot of water

        what Ohh, but more in my head!
      4. Gopnik
        Gopnik 28 March 2018 11: 44
        You might think in the "night witches in the sky" or "the dawns are quiet" propaganda and unreliability there. You would still recall "Heavenly Slow-moving". That's the movie.
      5. Monarchist
        Monarchist 28 March 2018 12: 02
        K. A. S, what I agree with you is that: "a difficult period that has undergone propaganda." Let it be late, but we are beginning to recognize the glorious pages of our history and Heroes of that time. As I wrote below: "in the army, the St. George Cross was not given for the sake of" beautiful eyes. "And courage and achievement are always worthy of respect.
      6. Weyland
        Weyland 29 March 2018 22: 29
        Quote: K.A.S.
        And I’m proud when I watch "night witches in the sky" or "the dawns are quiet,"

        And what principled the difference between Tirgatao, Joan of Arc, Laskarina Bubulina, Maria Agostina, Nadezhda Durova, Maria Bochkareva and the "night witches"? All of them with arms in their hands defended their homeland and all of them are highly worthy of respect!
    2. Gardamir
      Gardamir 28 March 2018 09: 40
      Yes, and takes pride in Russian women.
      Happy for you. But how many Russian women fought in World War II!
    3. rkkasa xnumx
      rkkasa xnumx 28 March 2018 10: 44
      The main reason why the Babalion was filmed is to show that those who are for the imperialist war in the interests of the bourgeoisie are good; and those who are against this war are louts and.
      Plus, the main character - Bochkareva, is very impressed with the current anti-Soviet power. Kolchak in a skirt, though a smaller caliber. But the main thing was also on the side of the interventionists.
      1. Gopnik
        Gopnik 28 March 2018 11: 46
        "When you say, Ivan Vasilyevich, the impression is that you are raving" (c).
        1. rkkasa xnumx
          rkkasa xnumx 28 March 2018 15: 23
          Oh, the monarchist nonsense in his repertoire.
          Arguments as usual, you can not wait?
          1. Gopnik
            Gopnik 28 March 2018 16: 00
            arguments of what, what are you raving about?
            The main reason for filming “Babalion” is to show that those who are for the defense of their homeland, which the enemies attacked, are good; and those who are against the defense of their homeland-louts and traitors.
            Plus, the main character - Bochkareva, is very impressive to any Russian patriot. The same patriot as Kolchak, only in a skirt, a smaller caliber, because love for the motherland is a natural feeling for any real citizen of their country, regardless of ranks and ranks.
          2. Weyland
            Weyland 29 March 2018 22: 32
            Quote: rkkasa 81
            Oh, the monarchist nonsense in his repertoire.

            Oh, the red-bellied "non-cattle type" in his repertoire. Here's an argument for you: the Romanovs created a great power - and the commies destroyed it! Or Teddy Bear am and EBNushka am am am have not been their Bolshevik bonzes all their conscious lives ?,
  2. XII Legion
    XII Legion 28 March 2018 07: 13
    Movie is good
    By the way speaking
    the volunteer ladies are dressed in overcoats, and real events took place in the summer of 1917.

    nothing wrong. For example, in the Baltic States and Belarus, even in the summer they sometimes wore overcoats, depending on weather conditions. Yes, and Polovtsov, despite the fact that he was dressed in the Caucasian Cossack uniform in the famous photo, he could also wear a general one. Quite. Who will say no?
    Incidentally - the battalion participated in the offensive of the 10th army of the Zapfronta in July 1917, operating at Smorgon and Krevo. Novospassky Forest became a place of baptism of fire. He acted heroically and suffered heavy losses.
    By the way, although he is always called in the singular, but the Death Battalion was not alone.
    In addition to the Women's Death Battalion, there was the Women's Battalion of the Women's Military Union and a number of other units.
    Roughnesses and shortcomings (not without it) do not spoil the impression of the film.
    1. soldier
      soldier 28 March 2018 07: 52
      For example, in the Baltic States and Belarus, even in the summer they sometimes wore overcoats, depending on weather conditions.

      Moreover, even a shuffle.
      The photo below is an infantry regiment in the summer of 1916. Part of them are in tunics (when rolling), and part of their overcoats.

      Yes, and Polovtsov, despite the fact that he was dressed in a Caucasian Cossack uniform in the famous photo, he could also wear a general one.
      For example, Brusilov in Caucasian uniform, and then in general.

    2. Monarchist
      Monarchist 28 March 2018 10: 48
      100% agree "Roughnesses and shortcomings" they are always and everywhere present, otherwise it will not do in a feature film
  3. Angina
    Angina 28 March 2018 09: 49
    "Polar night". This is not art. What did you do? As the classics said, "cut money easily".
    Hire any demobilization as a military consultant, there will be more use.

    The special "bravissimo!" so beloved Kommersant. It is worth writing in the name - a completely different matter! This is a story! It was a long time ago, in the days of almost Ochakovo, a completely different sign. And he thought for good deeds, and immediately drew "the boundaries of his circle." A sort of gentleman, even though now this English word is not at all held in high esteem. Hi-Fi, for those who did not realize. At the end of his vibrant life, where he just did not sculpt. No !, it didn’t sound better, but how it looked ...

    Aerobatics of the artist-designer - a book, directors - historical cinema. Speculation, as in the genre of art, is permissible. But within the boundaries of the genre. Not everyone could have swung at this. In the end, we have a great directing school where you can learn how to show a woman in war. This is “Night Witches in the Sky” and the great Soviet film based on Vasiliev’s novel “Dawns Here Are Quiet ...” It is noticeable that the goals were set, unfortunately, different. Not so massive. But after a couple of decades, for natural reasons, this movie can go into the "classics" by which they will learn. In our country, they love this dimensionless category. Previously, Tchaikovsky could have been a classic, and with reservations, some contemporary composers, but now it is both Ovsienko and Hands Up.

    A little for "pride in Russian women." I now find it difficult to decide where this pride is greater or where it is more proud: in the "Battalion" or in the "Armored Train 14-69", or maybe in the "41st"? No, most likely in Dog Heart. Remember, there was a person of uncertain gender in a cap. No, not Schwonder.

    There was such an assessment in my youth. "Spreading Cranberries." Even the early Troitsky did not hesitate to use such an assessment. Spreading Cranberries. Although for cranberries, either to the market or to the swamp. Here, to whom is closer. But not a movie theater.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 28 March 2018 11: 39
      ANGiNe, 1) a badge in the Russian alphabet was present long before the time of Ochakov and the capture of Ishmael. 2) it is a solid part of that era and therefore it is quite appropriate to insert it in the title of the film. 3) for the films: “night witches in the sky” or "And the dawns here are quiet" I agree these are high-quality films, I like the first film adaptation of Vasiliev’s novel, and then it’s not. But comparing these films is not entirely correct: “Night Witches in the Sky” has at least a historical basis: female bombing regiments, “Dawns here are quiet”, as it were, a collective image of Soviet girls in the Second World War, and this film “Battalion L” is dedicated to the specific personality of Maria Bochkareva and the first women's units in the RA.
      1. Angina
        Angina 28 March 2018 13: 00
        1,2 The question is not the relevance of the old spelling in the title, but in the fashionable method today: substituted a sign - historical authenticity is observed.
        3 This film is primarily a feature film, so from the point of view of the genre there is no difference between the listed films. To solve other problems, they make a movie or a film-reconstruction, or what is better than a documentary. Nobody is studying history according to "Prince Igor", "Boris Bodyunov" or "Khovanshchina." For this is cinema, opera films, i.e. art, not science, is history.

        I would be careful not to evaluate the actions of the heroes in a feature film: a historical fact or a director’s intention, who knows ... Although I am a techie and retrained as a humanist, but not as a historian.
  4. DimanC
    DimanC 28 March 2018 10: 55
    In this film, I did not like the fact that many things were shown as a recycling of the All-Metal Shell and other tapes, but it is completely unclear why the men suddenly stopped fighting, why they began to fraternize with the Germans and the like. As if the peasants suddenly became moody children, "Well, I don’t want to fight." But there were specific reasons for this ...
    1. Gopnik
      Gopnik 28 March 2018 11: 50
      Well, firstly, not all men stopped fighting

      Quote: DimanC
      But there were specific reasons for this ...

      This is of course. And we even know what - the defeatist propaganda of the leftists.
  5. Warrior-80
    Warrior-80 28 March 2018 11: 43
    I didn’t like the film, in the film the Russian soldier is shown as a coward and a boor, and the officers are patriots, although when I read the books of Hasek and Pikul I know that in the army among those officers theft and bullying of soldiers flourished, and what happened to Russian soldiers when they always called the most stoic and patient, fearless to death
  6. Robin - Bobbin
    Robin - Bobbin 28 March 2018 12: 47
    The film itself is mediocre, and the war is not ours. Nobody attacked us. And how many people were put for the fucking allies.
    1. Gopnik
      Gopnik 28 March 2018 12: 54
      and who are you? And then we, Russia and the Russians, were attacked, we had to fight (((
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 28 March 2018 15: 22
        Quote: Gopnik
        and who are you? And then on us, Russia and Russiansattacked, we had to fight (((

        T. Robin, in part, is right: no one attacked the bald tourists (and he, apparently, their descendant), who spent the war in Switzerland.
        On the contrary, they attacked .... their country, calling for the transformation of the war ... into a civil one. fool