by Megan S.
Picture this. A beautiful, cunning spy and a bon vivant. She saved the lives of countless innocents and hundreds of allied troops during the War. She could drink guerrilla fighters under the table and loved men who could dance the Tango. She parachuted into occupied territory and even killed an enemy with her bare hands. She never went anywhere without her Chanel lipstick. She was the kind of woman that would put Sydney Bristow and James Bond to shame and, best of all...
unlike them, she was real.
Ms. Nancy Wake passed away on August 7th at the age 98, bringing an end to her incredible tale of heroism, moxie, and a zest for life. Her story, however, lives on.
The opportunity presented itself after Wake married French socialite Henri Fiocca. She used her position in France's high-society as cover to shepherd resistance fighters to safety following the German invasion. Wake claimed that being a woman offered more options to finagle her way out of tight situations. She left the country for England when her existence was discovered by the Nazis. Fiocca stayed behind to take care of family matters before joining her. He was murdered when he refused to tell the enemies her location.
The spy was awarded numerous medals of honor by France, England, the United States and Australia. She used the sale of those medals to fund her retirement. In her last few years, she lived in a retirement community in England, spending most of her time with a gin and tonic in hand at the first bar she actually enjoyed when the War ended.
Nancy Wake died not just a heroine because of all the lives she saved but because of the trails she blazed for women all across the globe.
Read more about Ms. Wake on the Washington Post and New York Times.