This story now
IN History & Culture ON 11 May, 2015
When we think about wars, what comes in our mind are the sacrifices made by men. But you will be amazed to know that several daring women in history played a vital role in biggest wars. I bet you never knew about these brave women spies, who were responsible for the downfall of the Nazis in World War II.
Hats off to their bravery!
Andree eventually joined Special Operations Executive (SOE) in 1942 in Portugal and was sent to France. She was one of the female agents who were responsible for the attack against Nazis. Her team invaded a power station and several other landmarks. Andree gave her best to protect the nation but was arrested along with three other people during her mission. She was tortured inside the concentration camp and, later on was cremated alive.
During the invasion of France, Virginia Hall worked as an ambulance driver. She was named as the ''Limping Lady'' by the Germans as she was one of the most dangerous Allied spies. She carried out several raids and was the biggest threat to the enemies. She can surely be called as the most impressive female spy. In 1944, she was sent to France through parachute where she trained many French resistance troops.
Cecile Pearl Witherington joined SOE in 1943. Initially, she worked as a messenger. Later on when her seniors were captured, she took the responsibilities. She became a leader of the Wrestler Resistance Network and was responsible to bring more than 1,500 fighters who were in the Normandy landings. Germans announced a 1,000,000 Franc bounty on her. She also fought single handedly with 2,000 German soldiers which lasted for 14 hours. Under her command, 1,000 German soldiers were killed. During her active days, she led the task where 18,000 Germans surrendered.
She was one of the clever British agents during World War II. Nancy Wake was a journalist in pre-war Nazi Germany. After her marriage, she worked to help the British airmen. She was trained by Britishers to perform various courageous tasks and was skilled in killing people with bare hands. Wake got arrested in December 1940. After lots of ups and downs, in the year 1944, she came to France. There she operated a raid against Gestapo headquarters and other gun factories.
Violette Reine was a French citizen who went to London and got married there. After the murder of her husband in 1942, Reine started working for Special Operations Executive (SOE). She actively participated in sabotaging missions against the bombing targets for the British. When she was on a mission against France in Britain, she got captured and was taken to Saarbrucken. In 1945, she was executed.
In 1942, Odette Hallowes got accidentally enrolled into SEO and was dropped into France. She worked as an assistant of Peter Churchill and courier. They both were arrested and tortured when their operation was infiltrated. After this incident, they created a fantasy and claimed Peter (Odette's supervisor) as the nephew of British PM Winston Churchill and Odette as his wife. Later on, they were taken to the concentration camp. In 1950, Odette was hanged.
Diana Rowden was a French journalist who joined the SOE in 1943. She spent her active days in delivering messages to the agents. She also planned the attack on the Peugeot factory. At the end of the year, she got arrested right after her network was betrayed. She was then killed in the concentration camp.
Vera Leigh was recruited in the SOE in 1942. Following year, she got involved in a network of the resistance group. During her mission, she was arrested and sent to the concentration camp. Leigh was also killed inside the camp.
Krystyna Skarbek joined Secret Intelligence Service in 1939. She was arrested in 1941 and later on went to England. In 1944, SOE had sent her to Southern France. She performed many heroic deeds. She crossed 2,000 ft cliff to reach the Col de Larche fort. Sadly, she was tortured and killed in 1952.
Lise de Baissac joined SOE in 1940 and was one of the first female agents to parachute into France. She was involved in several missions risking her life during World War II. In 1942, in France, along with her team she worked to build a house in Poitiers aiming to settle the new agents safely. Lise worked as an amateur archaeologist for the success of their missions. In 1944, she returned to France and participated in a mission to gather information on the troop movement.