Simone Segouine dead – famous teenage French Resistance fighter who captured 25 Nazis in WW2 dies aged 97

FRANCE’S most famous teenage Resistance fighter who captured 25 Nazis in World War Two has died aged 97.

Simone Segouin passed away in the town of Courville-sur-Eure, France, on Tuesday, February 21.


Renowned French Resistance fighter Simone Segouin has died at age 97
Simone has been hailed war hero


Simone has been hailed war hero

She was first acclaimed around the world in August 1944 when Hollywood director George Stevens filmed her with a submachine gun slung over her shoulder.

Simone was 18 at the time and had just helped capture 25 German soldiers in her home village of Thivars, about 63 miles southwest of Paris.

Days later, she was again hailed a hero after storming into Paris to help liberate the French capital from the Nazis.

The woman’s fame was further cemented when she was snapped by legendary war photographer Robert Capa, who published the images in Life magazine the following month.

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In an interview in 2015, she said: “I was a Resistance fighter, that’s all.

“If I had to do it all again, I would, because I don’t regret anything.”

Simone was born into a farming family near Chartres, around 55 miles from the French capital. 

In 1944, at the height of the Nazi Occupation, she joined the Free-shooters and Partisans – a combat alliance made up of militant communists and French nationalists. 

False identity papers gave Simone a new name and a cover for the daring missions she would take on. 

Her first mission was to steal a bicycle from a German military administrator.

She succeeded and the bike was re-sprayed so it could become Simone’s “reconnaissance vehicle” allowing her to deliver messages and stake out targets.

While fighting, Simone started a relationship with Roland Boursier, commander of the Thivars operation. 

After the war ended, Roland told local media: “I studied her for a while to see what her feelings were.

“When I discovered she had French feelings I told her little by little about the work I was doing.

“I asked her if she would be scared to do such work and she said ‘No, it would please me to kill Boche’.”

The couple never married but they had six children – all of whom were given her maiden name on their birth certificates.

It was during a visit to Chartres by General Charles de Gaulle, the Free French leader and future president, that Simone came to the attention of international journalists. 

De Gaulle was on his way to Paris and after a service of thanks at Chartres Cathedral he made a speech on the steps of the local post office.

Simone was spotted nearby eating a baguette smeared with jam, her machine gun by her side, and wearing an FTP armband. 

American reporter Jack Belden interviewed Simone, while Robert Capa took the pictures for a Life magazine feature headlined “The Girl Partisan of Chartres”.

After the war, Simone was promoted to lieutenant and was awarded the Croix de Guerre medal. 

Simone went on to become a paediatric nurse in Chartres, and campaigned for women’s rights.

She also has a street named after her in Courville-sur-Eure.

A statement released by the French government reads: “Her photograph had gone around the world and symbolised the eminent role of women in the Resistance. 

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“With the disappearance of Simone Segouin our country lost a woman whose life was more than an image, and will remain a lesson.

“The President of France salutes the memory of a woman who risked everything to defend our universal values and liberate France.”

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