Some of My Favorite Books

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nancy Wake: SOE's Greatest Heroine by Russell Braddon


I finished another female spy book the other night but hadn't had a chance to list it here till now. Nancy Wake was a 20-something woman during World War II. She was originally from New Zealand who had immigrated to England. When World War II broke out, she was living in Marseille, France, married to a Frenchman. 

She started her spy efforts by aiding the French Resistance by giving them money and food since her husband was wealthy. She gradually took on more duties like being a courier delivering messages by train to other French cities. For her own safety in 1943, she went to England but signed up with the SOE and returned to France to work undercover.

Buy the end of the war she was a full-fledged spy, arranging parachute drops of supplies, weapons, and people, as well as whatever else needed to be done to defeat the Bosch/the gerries/the Germans.

This book was written relatively soon after the war, in 1956. I found the writing to be almost comical in places, but it was partially just the style of the time, I think. Fascinating woman though she could be irritating as hell at times, almost playing dumb, but she was obviously intelligent and probably used her feminine wiles to her advantage to get what she wanted.

I read online that the first two seasons of Wish Me Luck were based on some of her experiences. I wrote a Squidoo article on Women Spies in World War II, if you want to read about more of these brave women.

Book Read: Nancy Wake:  SOE's Greatest Heroine
Author:  Russell Braddon
ISBN:  978-07524-5485-6

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