The White Mouse Nancy Wake Dies

Nancy Wake, 1912-2011 -- Australian Nancy Wake, who as a spy became one the Allies' most decorated servicewomen for her role in the French resistance during World War II, has died in London, officials said Monday. She was 98. Code named "The White Mouse" by the Gestapo during the war, Wake died Sunday in a London nursing home, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said. "Nancy Wake was a woman of exceptional courage and resourcefulness whose daring exploits saved the lives of hundreds of Allied personnel and helped bring the Nazi occupation of France to an end," Gillard said in a statement. Trained by British intelligence in espionage and sabotage, Wake helped to arm and lead 7,000 resistance fighters in weakening German defenses before the D-Day invasion in the last months of the war. While distributing weapons, money and code books in Nazi-occupied France, she evaded capture many times and reached the top of the Gestapo's wanted list, according to her biographer, Peter FitzSimons.

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