The Russian who saved the World

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (1926-1998) was a Soviet navy officer. It was October 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis was likely to escalate into a full out nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union.

The war hero who looked like a pirate

Adrian Carton de Wiart (1880-1963) was a Belgian-born military officer who served for the British in the Boer War, the First World War and the Second World war. Known for his extremely filthy language and ability to lead from the front, he was wounded so many times that he kept his own pyjamas in the hospital.

The African kid in Nazi Germany

Hans Massaquoi (1926-2013) was the son of a Liberian diplomat and a German nurse. He grew up with his German mother and in 1933, when Hans was 7, the extremely racist Nazi party assumed power.

The smart special forces lady

Odette Sansom Hallowes (1912–1995) was a French woman who married an Englishman in 1931 and moved to England. When World War 2 broke out, she followed a public request by the Admirality to take pictures of the French coast. Her pictures must have impressed someone as she was quickly hired by the British army.