Tatiana Markina – Infantry captain
Tatiana Markina served in the Russian infantry disguised as a man during the 18th century.
She was a Don Cossack and lived during the reign of Empress Catherine the Great. At the age of 20, she disguised herself as a man with the surname “Krutochkin” and joined an infantry regiment in Novocherkassk. Since she left no writings, her motivations are unknown. Tatiana was described as “strong-willed, energetic and militant” and was ultimately promoted to the rank of captain.
Her true identity was apparently discovered and someone made a complaint. Tatiana appealed to the empress who ordered physicians to examine her. They found out that she was a woman, which led her to be discharged. Tatiana was nonetheless given a pension and returned to her village.
A woman named Aleksandra Tikhomirova also reportedly served for 15 years in the Russian cavalry in the late 18th and 19th century. She apparently took the place of her brother, whom she greatly resembled. Though she had gained command of her company, she was killed in 1807. Her identity was thus discovered.
Pennington Reina, “Markina Tati’ana”, in:Hingham Robin, Pennington Reina (ed.), Amazons to fighter pilots, biographical dictionary of military women, vol.1