A few years ago I painted up some female partisans and thought these two figures from Stoessis Heroes would be good additions to the collection.
Simone Segouin, aka Nicole Minet, was just 14 when Germany invaded France. Nonetheless, young as she was, she joined a local partisan unit in 1944, the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans, a communist-led force which became the largest and most effective French partisan organization during the war.
Simone participated in the liberation of Chartres and then joined the resistance fighters traveling to free Paris. There are several pictures of her participating in the street fighting in Paris, to which she became a bit of a cause celebre. Simone was awarded the Croix de Guerre and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In 2016, at age 91, Simone was presented the 'Soldiering On Award', which recognizes outstanding achievements, acts of personal sacrifice or comradeship demonstrated internationally, by individuals, groups or associations, which have supported the British Armed Forces Community.
|Simone Segouin, at age 91, receiving the Soldiering On Award|
Nancy Wake is perhaps one of the most famous partisans who served in occupied France during the Second World War. Not French herself, Wake was in fact a New Zealander, raised in Australia, who became an agent of Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) after running her own operations in Marseilles earlier in the war.
|Nancy Wake - 'The White Mouse' of Auvergne|
|One of the many fake identity papers used by Nancy Wake, aka 'The White Mouse' while she operated as a resistance leader.|
From April 1944 to the final liberation of France her force tied down approximately 22,000 SS personnel, inflicting over 1,400 casualties while only taking around 100 themselves. For her service Wake was awarded: the Croix de Guerre, Officer de la Legion d'Honneur, the Medal of Freedom (USA), the George Medal (UK), the RSA Badge in Gold (NZ) and the Companion of the Order of Australia. She died in the UK in 2011, aged 98. At her request, her ashes were spread in the same area of France where she had fought with the resistance. Another very grand lady.
|Ms. Wake later in life.|
In honour of both of these brave women, Stoessi's Heroes has produced 28mm models of Segouin and Wake. These are lovely castings, very finely featured and full of character.
I found a colour picture of Simone taken when she was fighting during the liberation of Paris and I've made my best efforts reflect what she wore at that time.