THE WHITE MOUSE by Russell Braddon


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The true story of Nancy Wake- the heroic girl who led a Maquis band against the Germans in France"" is a far more presumptuous sub-title than its subject whom Russell Braddon found, in the interviews on which the book is based, both casual-careless about dates- and self-deprecatory. Certainly something of this impersonal quality filters through her story- as well as the seemingly impulsive fashion in which she began to work for the Resistance. New Zealand born, she married one of the wealthiest men of Marseilles, an older, charming, worldly man, and in 1941 formed part of an escape circuit for evaders and ""refracteurs"". Sensing that she was watched by the Gestapo, she made her sudden decision to leave for England- finally got out via Spain- and there was trained with Colonel Buckmaster's Special Operations group. With the maquis, as a saboteur, she was one of a band of 7000 who outwitted and outmanoeuvered a German force three times their number; as an admiring officer commented -- she is a ""most feminine woman... until the fighting starts. Then she is like five men""; and having endured months of discomfort and danger, she was faced at the end of the war with the loss of her husband- and her wealth.... It's a story with many unusual facets- not the least of them Nancy Wake.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1957
Publisher: Norton