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Violette Szabo.

Violette Szabo was born Violette Bushell in Paris, she had a French mother and an English father. She attended school in Britain until the age of 14. She married Etienne Szabo at the age of 19 and gave birth to her only child Tania. Etienne died during the war and never got to see his daughter. Violette joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service then later the Special Operations Executive.

She was already completely fluent in French so could easily blend in overseas in France but she needed lots of training such as navigation, escape and evasion, weapon training of both German and Allied weapons, unarmed combat, demolitions, communications and cyptography.

Her first mission was on the 5th April 1944 where she was parachuted into France. Under the code name Louise she reorganised the French Resistance which was dwindling. She led them to sabotage roads and bridges breaking the German infrastructure. She sent messages back to the Allies about the location of factories that built war materials. She later returned to Britain on 30th April 1944.

Following D-Day she flew back to France on 7th June 1944 she coordinated the local Maquis (French Resistance soldiers) to sabotage communication lines.

On the 10th June 1944 she and some Maquis soldiers were stopped at a German road block and a gun battle ensued, she eventually ran out of ammunition and and in the attempt to escape was captured but her fellow Maquis members escaped.

She was imprisoned and interrogated by the Gestapo where she was subjected to violent torture and rape but she still refused to answer their questions. She was then transfered to Ravensbrück concentration camp where she endured hard labour and malnutrition. She was executed on or about the 5th February 1945 and her body disposed of in the crematorium. She was 23 years old.

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Velvet Assassin
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