Greek Battalion of Balaklava – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Τhe “Amazons” of the Battalion

In 1767 Catherine the Great embarked on a long inspection tour in Tauris which lasted from January to July. Invited to the tour were the diplomatic delegates of England, France and Austria, Stanisław Poniatowski, king of Poland, and Austria’s emperor Josef II. The tour was aiming to show the economic and military abilities of the New Russia and the newly acquired territory. For the occasion Grigory Potemkin, one of the Russia’s highest officials and Catherine’s favourite, was inspired the formation of a military unit of women as a re-enactment of the mythic Amazons who used to fight in the Russian plains led by a queen. Under the orders of the commander K.G. Zaponis and his friend Pavlos Sarantis (Sarantov) some one hundred wives and daughters of the Greek soldiers were enlisted and formed an “Amazons battalion” headed by Eleni Ivanovna Sarantova, the wife of the Greek Ioannis Sarantis. The latter was Potemkin’s friend and later was appointed councillor in Crimea’s Court. The women followed an intensive military training in riding, swordplay and firing guns.

via Greek Battalion of Balaklava – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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