In the mid-1930s, an Australian journalist visited Germany to report on the rise of fascism and interview Adolf Hitler. The atrocities she saw there, which included the public beating of Jews, forever changed the course of her young life. Nancy Wake, who died Sunday at age 98, would spend World War II fighting Nazism tooth and nail, saving thousands of Allied lives, winding up at the top of the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and ultimately receiving more decorations than any other servicewoman.
Wake made her way from Spain to Britain, where she convinced special agents to train her as a spy and guerilla operative. In April 1944 she parachuted into France to coordinate attacks on German troops and installations prior to the D-Day invasion, leading a band of 7,000 resistance fighters. In order to earn the esteem of the men under her command, she reportedly challenged them to drinking contests and would inevitably drink them under the table. But her fierceness alone may have won her enough respect: During the violent months preceding the liberation of Paris, Wake killed a German guard with a single karate chop to the neck, executed a women who had been spying for the Germans, shot her way out of roadblocks and biked 70 hours through perilous Nazi checkpoints to deliver radio codes for the Allies. (via)
I’m going to keep talking about this until you all buy her god damn biography. Because I don’t think you guys understand.
She was NUMBER ONE on the Gestapo’s most wanted list during the war. There was a 5 MILLION FRANC prize on her head.
They called her the White Mouse because of her skill for escaping certain death.
She was parachuting into a camp once and got tangled in a tree. A French soldier saw her flailing around and said, “I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year.” She answered only, “Don’t give me that French shit.”
She would smuggle messages, food, and supplies in a supply truck and when she passed German posts she’d wink at the soldiers and say, “Do you want to search me?” They never did.
She found out at one point that her men had been hiding a female German spy, protecting her. The rule was to kill them, but the men didn’t have the heart. But Nancy Wake did. And she never regretted it.
When she killed a man with her bare hands, it was an SS sentry who’d spotted her and she killed him to prevent him from raising the alarm during the raid. She would later say of it, “They’d taught us this judo-chop stuff with the flat of the hand at SOE, and I practiced away at it. But this was the only time I used it - whack - and it killed him all right. I was really surprised.”
She died in 2011, 3 weeks before her 99th birthday.
If you don’t think Nancy Wake deserves a movie and a TV show and all the damn recognition in the world, you’re wrong.
Just a note - the German spy they were holding wasn’t been hidden or protected. She was one of three women, the other two being French, who had been captured and held as sex slaves. Under Wake’s orders the other two women were freed (one actually chose to stay with Nancy as her assistant) while the spy was shot. It is true that although the men had no problem with rape, somehow shooting a woman was a step too far and at first they refused. Nancy then grabbed a pistol and threatened to do the job herself until they complied. Nancy actually gave the woman a dress to wear, but just before she was executed the spy tore off the dress and gave the Nazi salute, screaming ‘Heil!’ She was shot as Nancy ate breakfast and watched. She would later note that the sight didn’t even put her off her meal.
As someone who’s worked in the Australian Tourism Industry for about 7 years, I have infinite respect for our Kiwi counterparts. 100% New Zealand is renown as being one of the best and longest lasting tourism campaigns in the world. Australians remain their largest market (mostly because they have awesome mountains and skiing and we have two sad snow flakes and a small hill). The biggest problem they face with other nations is the fact that so many people find NZ to be too far away to be bothered travelling there.
And then I remember that their special campaign just for Australia.
It feels like our relationship has become somewhat stale. They’re not even trying with us any more.
It’s funny how “The Earthquake City” changes over time in New Zealand. We’ll know the country is fucked when places like Hamilton and Palmy become the new earthquake cities.
Each city will have it’s turn. On the bright side at least we haven’t had any giant eruptions since Lake Taupo was formed
What I reckon will happen is that the trend of earthquakes will keep moving northward, and then once every area of New Zealand has had their turn, Lake Taupo and the Alpine Fault will basically be like “lol well this was fun” and then simultaneously explode/rupture/erupt casting New Zealand asunder back into the ocean, making New Zealand the new Atlantis.
We’ll call it Zealandis. The mythical undersea nation, former home to the hobbits.
Which is why we must find and destroy the one ring before the dark lord figures out that he can literally just do that instead of putting butt tons of effort into finding the ring and destroy middle ear….rrr I mean New Zealand manually
Fun fact: The song ‘Into the West’ is actually a tale of the inhabitants of Middle Earth jumping ship and heading west to Australia before that happens.
Australians actually call you the Shaky Isles, and the awesome power you calmly sit upon has us both terrified and impressed.
I’ve known this song for years, as my family’s from the area, and was surprised when others haven’t heard it. This is a moving and true account of the march of the Snowy River Men. Watch this vid, it has a ton of information. The bit at the end really got me.
Now they are nothing more than a name on a country memorial.