The 17 year old French resistance fighter known as “Nicole Minet” was a farm girl when the war broke out. A few years later in 1943 she joined the Franc Tireur Partisan Français (which translates to “free shooters”), which was named after the saboteurs who fought the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War.
The resistance was looking for unassuming women to act as liaison and messengers, as women were less likely to be suspected as members of the resistance than a man would be, and could go places her male counterparts couldn’t. After a short spell of being the group’s messenger, it was on a mission to destroy a bridge that Simone’s ability as a good fighter became apparent. The Partisans were to blow one of the bridges on the main Paris line, while Segouin was to guard the approaches to the bridge with a submachine gun (for which she would become famous). Due to her coolness under pressure she was later given a more active role within the Resistance.
In an article written by Jack Belden in Life magazine, he said of her;
“When I first saw her she was standing in the courtyard of the prefecture munching on two large chunks of bread smeared with a thick, unsavoury-looking jam. She neither cheered the hair-shearing nor flirted with the swarms of American correspondents… I went over and spoke to her. Pointing at her armband, I asked her what the letters FTPF meant. She looked at me a moment, bit into her sandwich, looked up at me again, gulped down a mouthful of food, then wiped her lips and said, “Franc Tireur Partisan Français.”
This unassuming young woman was a great asset and example of French spirit and resistance, and she would stay and fight with the partisans until France was free.
A French newspaper at the time described her as “one of the purest fighters of heroic French Resistance who prepared the way for the Liberation”. She was present at the fall of Chartres and at during the Liberation of Paris. Later she was promoted to lieutenant, and awarded the Croix de Guerre.
Written by Sam Phillips
Rules for using Simone Segouin in Bolt Action can be found on page 70 of our ‘Battleground Europe: D-Day to Berlin’ book – and we include a free miniature of Simone with every copy of ‘Armies of France and the Allies’ purchased through the Warlord webstore.