One of the leaders of the attack was an Australian woman that Resistance Captain Henri Tardivat called “the most feminine woman I know.” Her name was Nancy Wake. But as she and her men approached the factory that night, there was a problem. A sentry spotted them. Wake sprang at him just as he was about to shout a warning, clamped a forearm beneath his jaw, and snapped his head back.

The man’s body slipped quietly to the ground.

“She is the most feminine woman I know,” Tardivat added, “but when the fighting starts, “then she is like five men.”

This deadly resistance fighter was the Wonder Woman of WWII
Wake had a bounty of five million Francs on her head. (Auckland Museum)

From April 1944 until the liberation of Paris the following August, Wake served as a top British agent in German-occupied France. She personally led attacks on German installations, including the local Gestapo headquarters in Montluçon, sabotaged bridges and trains, and once during a German attack took command of a section whose leader had been killed and directed suppressive fire as the group withdrew.

 

This article was written by Chuck Lyons and originally published on WE ARE THE MIGHTY.