Nancy Wake may not have been a Christian, however her life shows that God’s hand was definitely on her. Wake was continually in danger of being found out and captured by the Nazis, yet managed to narrowly escape each time. One time was in December 1943, when Wake’s network was found out, she had to quickly leave the French city of Marseilles. At this time, Wake was number one on the Gestapo’s most wanted list. Wake tried six times to cross the Pyrenees Mountains to make her escape from France. She ended up being arrested and interrogated, however she was released four days later. She eventually made it to Britain and was safe.
Nancy Wake was very helpful to the D-day invasion of WWII. In April, 1944, Wake had orders to parachute into France and locate and organize French troops for D-day. She was also in charge of getting ammunition ready for the invasion. She was to organize the French resistance in preparation for the D-day invasion. Wake was in charge of more than 7,000 troops which she led into guerilla warfare against 22,000 Germans. Her men caused 1,400 casualties. Without her efforts, the D-day invasion may not have gone the way it did. The United States may not have been as successful at helping take back Europe and shutting down the Germans without the efforts of Nancy Wake.
Not a lot is known about Nancy Wake’s personal life, however it seems that she was greatly influenced by her family. She was the youngest of six children, so she was strongly independent and much a rebel, wanting to be like her older siblings. This may be the reason she decided to run away at the age of sixteen. She also adored her father who was a tall, good looking extrovert that walked around “without a care in the world.” He was also a journalist. Wake had much of the same attitude. She also went into journalism for a short time before her involvement with the war.
Henri told me it was better if I leave France and go back to Britain since I now have a five million franc price on my head. He urged me to leave without him, so I could go in a hurry and he would meet up with me later. As I walked out the door, jokingly, as I usually do, I told him I’d just go do some shopping and I’d see him later. That was the last time I saw my beloved husband. After the war, as I led my troops back into Vichy for our victory celebration, I found out that Henri had been captured and tortured by the Germans. They wanted to know where I was. Henri was able to withstand the torture, and he would never give up my location, so they just killed him.
I can’t stop crying as I think about the last 72 hours. Three days ago one of my wireless operators was forced to destroy secret codes. Without the codes, there would be no fresh supplies or weapons. I had to do something. I decided that, being a woman, I would be the best person to send to get new codes. I grabbed a bike and peddled for 500 km in 71 hours. I cycled through countrysides, mountaintops, and so many German checkpoints. I don’t know where the energy came from, but I peddled nonstop to pick up the codes and back. As long as I was focused on the mission, I was steady as a rock, but the minute I was back, safe and sound, I lost it. I couldn’t do anything but cry.
Women are not the weaker sex. Nancy Wake was not formally educated at being a spy but was a huge asset to stopping Hitler in WWII. Many times she explained that she just used what God gave her as a woman to her advantage with the Germans. Her tactics included flirting or simply talking her way out of bad situations. In a specific instance, she winked and said, “Do you want to search me?” Wake also practiced her training, using it to kill a German guard with her bare hands. She said, “They’d taught 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.” Wake inspires me to use what God gives you to your advantage, don’t let it hold you back, and practice what you are taught. Use everything you have to your advantage, and you can succeed at anything.