Milka Kufrin was a Yugoslav partisan who fought against German occupation during the Second World War.
The daughter of Croatian peasants, Milka attended school as a child and as a young woman studied agriculture at the University of Zagreb. During her time as a student she also became a member of the Communist Youth Organisation.
In 1941 Yugoslavia was invaded simultaneously by the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Hungary, and in response the Partisan Resistance was formed. Kufrin, then in her early 20s, immediately volunteered to join the resistance but was refused. After continuous persistence she was accepted in October 1941 and assigned to a unit stationed in Kordun.
In 1942 Kufrin was given the task of sabotaging the Zagreb-Rijeka railway line. Every night for a period of eight months she approached the railway to plant explosives, no simple feat due to how heavily guarded the rail-line was. For her efforts she was proclaimed a national hero by the Yugoslavian government.

Milka Kufrin was a Yugoslav partisan who fought against German occupation during the Second World War.

The daughter of Croatian peasants, Milka attended school as a child and as a young woman studied agriculture at the University of Zagreb. During her time as a student she also became a member of the Communist Youth Organisation.

In 1941 Yugoslavia was invaded simultaneously by the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Hungary, and in response the Partisan Resistance was formed. Kufrin, then in her early 20s, immediately volunteered to join the resistance but was refused. After continuous persistence she was accepted in October 1941 and assigned to a unit stationed in Kordun.

In 1942 Kufrin was given the task of sabotaging the Zagreb-Rijeka railway line. Every night for a period of eight months she approached the railway to plant explosives, no simple feat due to how heavily guarded the rail-line was. For her efforts she was proclaimed a national hero by the Yugoslavian government.

Yamakawa Futaba (1844-1909) was an educator in the Japanese region of Aizu. While little is recorded of her life, it is known that she was trained as a fighter and took part in the defense of Tsuruga Castle when it was besieged during the Boshin War. While the castle’s defenses were eventually breached, Futaba survived the siege and following the war went on to lead the movement demanding improved education for women and girls in Japan.

Yamakawa Futaba (1844-1909) was an educator in the Japanese region of Aizu. While little is recorded of her life, it is known that she was trained as a fighter and took part in the defense of Tsuruga Castle when it was besieged during the Boshin War. While the castle’s defenses were eventually breached, Futaba survived the siege and following the war went on to lead the movement demanding improved education for women and girls in Japan.

Bà Triệu, or Triệu Thị Trinh, was a Vietnamese warrior and military commander in the 3rd century who fought against the occupying forces of the Chinese Wu Kingdom.
An orphan of noble birth, Triệu grew up among her brother’s family as a slave. At the age of 19 she declared her intention to become a warrior to fight against the Wu, who controlled Vietnam at that time and had purged more than 10,000 people. When her brother tried to prevent her leaving she is famously quoted as rebuking him with the words: "I want to ride the storm, tread the dangerous waves, win back the fatherland and destroy the yoke of slavery. I don’t want to bow down my head, working as a simple housewife."
Triệu was successful in raising an army of around 1000 men and women, which she led north from the Cu-phong District to engage the Chinese in open rebellion. Despite the relatively small size of her army she was successful in defeating the Wu in over 30 separate battles within a period of 2 years. 
While Triệu’s war effort allowed her to carve out her own portion of Vietnam for a time, her success was a humiliation for the Wu, especially as their Confucian beliefs emphasised the natural inferiority of women. In response the Taizu Emperor of Wu sent huge numbers of troops to the Vietnamese frontier. While Triệu’s army held out for several months in the face of this new onslaught, she was ultimately killed in battle in the year 248.
Following her death and the consolidation of Chinese rule, Triệu was immortalised in Vietnamese folklore as a supernatural hero, often depicted riding into battle astride an elephant wielding dual golden swords.

Bà Triệu, or Triệu Thị Trinh, was a Vietnamese warrior and military commander in the 3rd century who fought against the occupying forces of the Chinese Wu Kingdom.

An orphan of noble birth, Triệu grew up among her brother’s family as a slave. At the age of 19 she declared her intention to become a warrior to fight against the Wu, who controlled Vietnam at that time and had purged more than 10,000 people. When her brother tried to prevent her leaving she is famously quoted as rebuking him with the words: "I want to ride the storm, tread the dangerous waves, win back the fatherland and destroy the yoke of slavery. I don’t want to bow down my head, working as a simple housewife."

Triệu was successful in raising an army of around 1000 men and women, which she led north from the Cu-phong District to engage the Chinese in open rebellion. Despite the relatively small size of her army she was successful in defeating the Wu in over 30 separate battles within a period of 2 years. 

While Triệu’s war effort allowed her to carve out her own portion of Vietnam for a time, her success was a humiliation for the Wu, especially as their Confucian beliefs emphasised the natural inferiority of women. In response the Taizu Emperor of Wu sent huge numbers of troops to the Vietnamese frontier. While Triệu’s army held out for several months in the face of this new onslaught, she was ultimately killed in battle in the year 248.

Following her death and the consolidation of Chinese rule, Triệu was immortalised in Vietnamese folklore as a supernatural hero, often depicted riding into battle astride an elephant wielding dual golden swords.

Nancy Wake was a journalist turned resistance fighter during the Second World War.
Raised by a poor family in Sydney, Australia, Wake used a small inheritance from an aunt to travel to America and then Europe. By the mid-1930’s she had found work as a journalist and married Henri Fiocca, a wealthy industrialist.
When Germany invaded France in May 1940 she and Fiocca became heavily involved in the French Resistance. The pair were responsible for smuggling thousands of Jewish refugees and Allied servicemen into Spain. Wake often used her looks to get past Nazi checkpoints, later describing herself as “a flirtatious little bastard”.
Wake’s activities caused the Gestapo to declare her their most wanted person, dubbing her ‘the White Mouse’ for her ability to evade capture and placing a 5 million franc reward on her head. However by 1943 Nazi control over Vichy France made her work increasingly dangerous and with the collapse of her network she fled to Spain. Fiocca, who she left behind, was tortured to death for refusing to inform on her.
Wake convinced British special agents to train her as a guerilla operative. In April 1944, she parachuted in southern France to link up with Maquis resistance fighters in preparation for the D-Day invasions. She took command of a 7000-strong unit, winning the men’s respect by repeatedly beating them in drinking competitions. Over the next several months her unit fought 22,000 enemy soldiers, causing 1400 casualties in exchange for only 100 of their own. Wake herself was ruthless. She executed a girl who had been spying on the unit, killed an SS sentry with a karate chop to the neck, and on one occasion biked for 70 hours through enemy checkpoints to deliver radio codes to the Allies.
After the war Wake was heavily decorated by Britain, France and the US. During the 1950’s she worked for the British Air Ministry’s intelligence department, where she married again to a former pilot. She died in 2011, aged 98.

Nancy Wake was a journalist turned resistance fighter during the Second World War.

Raised by a poor family in Sydney, Australia, Wake used a small inheritance from an aunt to travel to America and then Europe. By the mid-1930’s she had found work as a journalist and married Henri Fiocca, a wealthy industrialist.

When Germany invaded France in May 1940 she and Fiocca became heavily involved in the French Resistance. The pair were responsible for smuggling thousands of Jewish refugees and Allied servicemen into Spain. Wake often used her looks to get past Nazi checkpoints, later describing herself as “a flirtatious little bastard”.

Wake’s activities caused the Gestapo to declare her their most wanted person, dubbing her ‘the White Mouse’ for her ability to evade capture and placing a 5 million franc reward on her head. However by 1943 Nazi control over Vichy France made her work increasingly dangerous and with the collapse of her network she fled to Spain. Fiocca, who she left behind, was tortured to death for refusing to inform on her.

Wake convinced British special agents to train her as a guerilla operative. In April 1944, she parachuted in southern France to link up with Maquis resistance fighters in preparation for the D-Day invasions. She took command of a 7000-strong unit, winning the men’s respect by repeatedly beating them in drinking competitions. Over the next several months her unit fought 22,000 enemy soldiers, causing 1400 casualties in exchange for only 100 of their own. Wake herself was ruthless. She executed a girl who had been spying on the unit, killed an SS sentry with a karate chop to the neck, and on one occasion biked for 70 hours through enemy checkpoints to deliver radio codes to the Allies.

After the war Wake was heavily decorated by Britain, France and the US. During the 1950’s she worked for the British Air Ministry’s intelligence department, where she married again to a former pilot. She died in 2011, aged 98.

Apranik was a Military Commander and Resistance Leader of the Persian Sasanian Empire in the 7th century.
The daughter of Piran, a renowned Persian general, Apranik was raised in a time when the Sasanian Empire was coming to the end of it’s 400-year existence, having been weakened by war with the Byzantine Empire. Motivated by national pride, Apranik followed in her father’s footsteps and joined the army after finishing her schooling. She rose through the ranks from a petty officer to becoming a fully-fledged Commander.
When the Sasanian Empire fell to a full-scale invasion by the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate, Apranik took command of major battalion of the surviving Persian Army and mounted an ongoing war of resistance against their conquerors. She found that conventional warfare did not work against the guerilla tactics employed by the Caliphate soldiers, who often melted away into the desert. In response she led the Persians in hit-and-run attacks designed to inflict maximum damage in a short time.
While the Empire was never restored, Apranik’s determination and refusal to surrender inspired a wider movement of resistance. She is said to have died fighting in combat as it was preferable to capture. The white horse she rode became a symbol of freedom still recognised today and she inspired a number of other Persian female resistance fighters who were nicknamed ‘Apraniks’.

Apranik was a Military Commander and Resistance Leader of the Persian Sasanian Empire in the 7th century.

The daughter of Piran, a renowned Persian general, Apranik was raised in a time when the Sasanian Empire was coming to the end of it’s 400-year existence, having been weakened by war with the Byzantine Empire. Motivated by national pride, Apranik followed in her father’s footsteps and joined the army after finishing her schooling. She rose through the ranks from a petty officer to becoming a fully-fledged Commander.

When the Sasanian Empire fell to a full-scale invasion by the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate, Apranik took command of major battalion of the surviving Persian Army and mounted an ongoing war of resistance against their conquerors. She found that conventional warfare did not work against the guerilla tactics employed by the Caliphate soldiers, who often melted away into the desert. In response she led the Persians in hit-and-run attacks designed to inflict maximum damage in a short time.

While the Empire was never restored, Apranik’s determination and refusal to surrender inspired a wider movement of resistance. She is said to have died fighting in combat as it was preferable to capture. The white horse she rode became a symbol of freedom still recognised today and she inspired a number of other Persian female resistance fighters who were nicknamed ‘Apraniks’.