Monday, August 22, 2011

Nancy Wake, the "White Mouse" of WWII

You have to read this obituary of a woman who was a British spy during WWII.  She was badass.

Some quotes from the article:

As her involvement in the war deepened, Ms. Wake was trained by the British to kill with her bare hands (she delivered a fatal karate chop to a sentry at an arms factory), parachute into enemy-held territory and work a machine gun.
She chomped on cigars and bested guerrilla fighters in drinking bouts. She traveled nowhere without her Chanel lipstick, face cream and a favorite red satin cushion.
In 1939, she married Henri Fiocca, heir to a Marseille shipping concern. She later told the Daily Telegraph: “He was tall. He could dance the tango. And if you dance the tango with a nice, tall man, you know what eventually will happen, don’t you?”


In recent years, she lived in a nursing home for retired veterans. She passed much of the day clutching a gin and tonic at the nearby hotel bar, the same watering hole where she had her first “bloody good drink” after the war.

Ms. Wake was the subject of two biographies in addition to her 1985 memoir. A TV miniseries aired in the late 1980s; she was typically scornful of its factual liberties.
“For goodness sake, did the allies parachute me into France to fry eggs and bacon for the men?” she asked. “There wasn’t an egg to be had for love nor money, and even if there had been, why would I be frying it when I had men to do that sort of thing?”