Friday, August 12, 2011

Nancy Wake Dies at 98

No, I didn't know who she was either but she was someone we should know.  I happened to see a World News bit about her today.  She died, in London, on August 7th at 98 years old.     She's one of those people that I think "why don't I know this?




During World War II, Nancy Wake saved at least 1000 Allied soldiers from certain death in Nazi occupied France, by helping them escape over the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain then on to England.



She went from glamour girl, married to a wealthy playboy industrialist, before the war, to hiding downed allied soldiers in her home and leading them on to safety.  Many time the Nazis thought they had her but she was constantly able to slip out of their traps, earning her the nickname "The White Mouse" by the Nazis.

Eventually, with the Nazis closing in on her, she escaped using the same route she always used, leaving behind her husband to cover for her.  They would not meet again.  He was tortured and killed my the Nazis.   Not deterred, she went on be to trained by the British in how to kill with your bare hands, how to parachute into enemy held terrain and how to fire a machine gun.

 When a German attack against the Maquis interrruprted lines of communication, Nancy covered 200 kilometers by bike over hostile ground to get and receive crucial messages. She slept in haystacks or in the open during her 72-hour journey, which resulted in reestablishing radio contact with London.

One-third of the 39 women serving in the British Special Operations Executive in France did not come home.


It is said that she never traveled without her Chanel lipstick, face cream and her favorite red stain cushion.                               



These 2 videos tell her story.  She is on them, telling some of it herself.  If you have time to watch, you will be amazed at all this woman accomplished.  I am speechless at such bravery.


   We women should not let this kind of achievement be forgotten.  This was an amazing woman.

10 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

Very interesting - who knew all that!

bburcroff said...

Amazing is right! Thanks for posting this!

Mary said...

Very inspirational! thank you for sharing her story.

mary said...

What an incredible life she had. She was apparently rewarded for her good deeds with a long life! Learning about her husband's death must have been very hard, however.

Sweet Tea said...

WoW!
What a brave woman!!

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing. I love learning about amazing and courageous women and often wonder why we don't hear about them until after they die...

Deanna said...

That was fascinating. I can't believe I took the time to watch it but I sure am glad I did. What an amazing woman.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Thanks for this post, I wonder how many woman today are as brave as she was:)

(Florida) Girl said...

Her amazing story deserves to be told. Thank you for sharing this.

Intense Guy said...

The men of this world are slow to realize how important the "better half" are... and how amazing they can be.

There were many brave women during the horrors of WWII... and there are many quietly brave ones today experiencing other horrors (famine in Africa for one, youngsters with tragic terminal illness is another - unfortunately this list is way too long).

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