(October 10, 1911-January 10, 2017)
Born in Knighton, England, United Kingdom
Reporter for the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian
Landed the ‘scoop of the century’ when she reported a massive build-up of German troops along the border with Poland (August 29, 1939), two days before the invasion that started World War II
Covered World War II and post-WWII conflicts in Palestine, China, Algeria, Yemen and Vietnam
Wrote the books ‘The Three Weeks’ War in Poland’ (1940), ‘There’s a German Right Beside Me’ (1945), ‘Arabs and the West’ (1950), ‘Mao’ (1985) and ‘Front Line: A Memoir’ (1990)
Why she might be annoying
She was able to cross the restricted German-Polish border by borrowing a diplomatic car from the British consul in Katowice, who was her ex-lover.
She carried a pearl-handled revolver for protection.
She said she ‘enjoyed being in a war.’
She dismissed other female war correspondents, such as Martha Gellhorn and Clare Booth Luce, as pampered elitists.
Why she might not be annoying
Before becoming a reporter, she was in Central Europe helping to resettle refugees fleeing the parts of Czechoslovakia that had been annexed by Nazi Germany.
When Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery ordered her removed from the front lines in North Africa, she got herself embedded with the American troops under General Dwight Eisenhower instead.
She was under fire so often, she learned to identify bullets and shells from their sounds.
She survived the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem that killed 91 people (July 22. 1946).
When members of a right-wing French paramilitary group kidnapped a British reporter in Algiers (1962), she rallied a group of foreign correspondents to fight back, declaring ‘They won’t shoot all the world’s press!’ (Proving her right, the soldiers released the hostage and drove off.)
She broke the story of British spy <21215>Kim Philby<.21215> defecting to the Soviet Union – although the Guardian, fearful of a libel suit, sat on it for three months (1963).
Credit: C. Fishel
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