I’ve finally taken the plunge to do some 28mm World War Two wargaming. I’ve held off for a long time because there weren’t any female sculpts. Well that has changed with Bad Squiddo Games, who have a marvelous range of WWII female Soviet soldiers. I ordered the “Urrah!” deal which is one of every pack, but a few of the packs are backordered, thank you COVID-19. Also, since I play mostly solo, I purchased some plastic Blitzkrieg Germans from Warlord Games.
Bolshevik Gun Molls
While doing some research for the type of encounters I want to play, I watched an old German Newsreel from the early days of Operation Barbarosa. In typical Nazi propaganda, the film portrayed Russian soldiers as brutish and mentally deficient – there were a couple of shots of captured female soldiers, which were referred to by the narrator as “Bolshevik gun molls.”
There is a myth that the Soviet Union had a progressive attitude toward women serving in the military and one would think this meant there was gender equality in Soviet society. The truth of the matter is that there was a manpower shortage in the Soviet army and they desperately needed soldiers. This opened military service up to women. However, it wasn’t equal. Unlike Russian male recruits, women were required to be literate and had to meet intelligence requirements. They also had to be of high “moral character.”
Soviet scouts and snipers often wore camouflage over suits. There were two main patterns, a three color leaf pattern and a two color “amoeba” pattern. The amoeba pattern was dark brown amoebas on a green background (the background was tan for autumn). They look kind of like giant jigsaw puzzle pieces.
If you are like me, when you first hear the words “Lady Death,” you immediately think of the comic book character – a white skinned demoness poised to take over Hell. But before the comic book character and video game characters, the title “Lady Death” belonged to a 24-year-old Russian woman named Lyucmila Pavlichenko, a sniper in the Soviet army. She had 309 confirmed kills – she had killed more, but only 309 were confirmed.
The Soviet Union had over 2,000 female snipers in WWII. It was believed women were more patient and methodical in making their kills. Bad Squiddo makes 4 sniper teams, I have 3 of them with one having been backordered. If you look on the website, there are only 3 packs listed as sniper teams, the fourth one is in the Scouts pack.
There is a scene in a movie where Eleanor Roosevelt meets Lyudmila Pavlichenko and asks her how many men she has killed. Lyudmila’s reply is “Not men, fascists, 309.” The war on the Eastern Front was much more brutal than the war on the Western Front. On the Eastern Front, there were standing orders to immediately execute all “Bolsheviks.” It was not only a war fought between competing ideologies, but it was also a war of ethnic cleansing.
Unlike other multi-pose plastic kits, I really like the Warlord Blitzkrieg Germans simply because the guide sheet shows which sets of arms and weapons go together for various torsos. In my case, that means no silly looking poses.
Red Alert 3
When painting “Bolshevik gun molls,” there’s nothing like listening to a Soviet military march. Here’s a fun fictional one from the video game Red Alert 3:
The Figure Count
At the end of June, the count of painted figures for the year is 224.
- 21 28mm Fantasy Figures
- 86 6mm Ancient Greek Figures
- 34 10mm Seven Years War Figures
- 10 28mm Old West Figures
- 8 28mm Colonial Era Figures
- 32 28mm World War Two Figures
- 33 28mm Science Fiction Figures
- 41 Pieces of Terrain
- Rebased 13 Science Fiction Figures
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.