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"Soldaderas and the Mexican Revolution" Topic

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19th Century
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429 hits since 19 Dec 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2018 3:55 p.m. PST

"Women fought on the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution. Soldaderas or female soldiers, with rebel or federal forces, fought either by choice or coercion. Soldadera comes from the word soldada, or soldier's pay. The men gave their wages to women to pay for food, meal preparation, clothes cleaning, and other services. Soldaderas often did many things besides domestic chores. Some women willingly followed soldiers, believing it safer than remaining where they were. Most were unmarried and without children and could move freely. When the troops took a place, they often seized guns, horses, and women, some of whom became soldaderas.

During the Revolution, soldaderas were so important that leaders among the Zapatistas included coronelas (female colonels) in their lists of troops with the coronels (their male counterparts). When the Secretary of War, Ángel García Peña tried to keep soldaderas from fighting, federal leaders warned of revolts among the troops. Yet, Villa believed soldaderas slowed troop progress. Villa let them march because he needed more troops and the men wanted soldaderas. After Villista forces lost the battle of Horcasitas, Chihuahua in 1917, Villa angrily massacred a group of 90 women in the city of Camargo.

Friedrich Katz's account of the massacre explains that the wife of a man Villa's forces had killed attacked Villa, whose troops shot the rest of the women they had abducted on the spot. Elizabeth Salas says a rival hiding in a crowd of soldaderas supposedly shot at Villa, who ordered all 90 of them to be killed when the shooter failed to come forward. Both accounts tell of an infant who survived the episode. Katz says the child's image, covered in its mother's blood, figured in Villa's decline. Nevertheless, Villa honored courageous women for their service."
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Richard Baber20 Dec 2018 12:25 a.m. PST

For those interested, I highly recommend Elena Poniatowska`s – "Las Soldaderas"

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 11:08 a.m. PST



Henry Martini23 Dec 2018 7:05 a.m. PST

I have one unit of soldaderas in my Zapatista army. Using CLA I made it distinctive by rating it above average for morale, but with a -1 penalty in close combat. I used the Old Glory figures.

Richard Baber24 Dec 2018 7:32 a.m. PST

I converted 20 various SCW milicianas & WW2 resistance fighters :)

Early War Miniatures now does some Mexican women in their 20mm Revolution range.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2018 3:21 p.m. PST



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