007's Got Nothing on This Woman

It's March which means we get to party in green, wake up earlier and celebrate women! Women's History Month is a time to celebrate all the astounding contributions women have made to society, and countless women have practically performed miracles across history. Yet there are some women who are often forgotten, and those are the ones who not only serve their county but the whole of society. The following is a woman I wanted to highlight for her fearlessness and bravery. She helped save hundreds of lives and end a war. She was Nacy Wake, and she was a brilliant spy.

On Aug. 30, 1912, Nancy Wake was born in New Zealand, the youngest of six children. After her father had left her family, Wake moved to London and got a job as a journalist which led her all over, including Vienna. There she saw the cruelty of the Nazis first hand. In a later interview Wake described the experience, "The Germans and Austrians had set up a kind of Catherine wheel and tied these Jews to it, and as it went around they were beating them and throwing things at them...I thought ... what had they done, poor bastards? Nothing. So I said, 'God almighty, it's a bit much, and I've got to do something about it'." And she did.     

While in Paris for a job, Wake meet Henri Fiocca, the French playboy she married in 1939. A year later, the Germans invaded France, and Wake soon began her work. She started as an ambulance driver, driving an ambulance Fiocca had bought. Wake then moved to delivering messages and food for the French resistance, the Maquis, and eventually, she was helping Allied soldiers escape and return to Britain. Her work did not go unnoticed by the Germans. The Gestapo called her the "White Mouse" due to her elusive nature and the Gestapo even put a five million franc bounty on her head. Eventually, Wake escaped to Britain where she enrolled in the Special Operations Executive(SOE). Unfortunately, her husband, Fiocca, was captured and killed. Wake put her SOE training to good use she jumped out of planes, recruited thousands to the local resistance, riding more than 300 miles to replace lost codes and radios, killed a sentry with her bare hands and much more. She chomped on cigars and bested the toughest of guerrilla fighters. She also never traveled without her Chanel lipstick, face cream, and a favorite red satin cushion. 

 After the war, she married Englishman John Forward, who also served in WWII. Wake attempted several political positions but was unsuccessful in her campaigns. She was awarded numerous medals and honors. Wake settled down in England and died in 2011. In her prime, Wake was described as, “the most feminine woman I know until the fighting starts — then she is like five men."

Nancy Wake was a powerful and inspiring woman who wanted to change the evil she saw in the world. There are thousands of other women out there just like her who want to change the world for the better. As Women's History Month continues I hope you think of all the courageous women, who have impacted your life. 

Thank you to all those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

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Sources 1, 2, 3