The 8 Most Bad-Ass Women Of World War Two

Published June 14, 2016
Updated February 10, 2017
Published June 14, 2016
Updated February 10, 2017

Nancy Wake


DSK/AFP/Getty Images

The Gestapo called her the “White Mouse” for her ability to elude capture. For a time, Germany considered her the most wanted woman in the country. Meet Nancy Wake.

Wake, the wife of a wealthy Frenchman, was the most decorated woman of the Allied forces. During her early days in the Resistance, Wake spent her time smuggling men out of France and transporting falsified documents and contraband supplies. While at one point captured and interrogated for several days, Wake never once gave up any secrets.

After escaping in 1943 to Britain, Wake joined the Special Operations Executive, an agency of British intelligence. After being trained in skydiving and weapons, she was dropped back into France as an official British spy.

Wake would go on to lead 7,000 Maquis guerilla troops, blowing up Nazi buildings and sabotaging vehicles and supplies. She once killed an SS Sentry with her bare hands.

Not losing her spunk with age, an 89-year-old Nancy Wake said, “Somebody once asked me, ‘Have you ever been afraid?’ … Hah! I’ve never been afraid in my life.”

Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind.