The agents recruited by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), the American Office of Strategic Service (OSS), and Special Operations Australia (SOA) were international, as were their missions. OSS agents included Jim Thompson, an American designer who assisted the French resistance in North Africa, before travelling to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to assist the Free Thai Movement in the fight against Japanese occupation. SOA led the Z Special Unit in Southeast Asia, which engaged in intelligence gathering, sabotage and guerrilla warfare, with members from Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Indonesia and Timor.
Lagos was the home of key SOE West African missions, such as Operation Postmaster, which saw three Axis ships captured by SOE agents with the help of Nigerian tugboat crew members O. Hanson and Olu David. The SOE also created a training school for Nigerian agents in Olokomeji, who crossed borders into Vichy French territory and gathered intelligence.
Much of Ethiopia’s resistance efforts came from women’s groups. Among Ethiopia’s most notable resistance heroes was Shewareged Gedle, pictured.
There were numerous homegrown, grassroots resistance efforts in occupied regions outside of Europe, as ordinary people around the world rose to defy the Axis powers. These include the peasant farmer Hukbalahal guerrilla fighters in Luzon, Philippines; the Japanese anti-fascist publication Chikaki yori, published by lawyer Masaki Hiroshi; and Al-Risala, an Egyptian magazine that was strongly critical of the Nazis due to the efforts of its editor, Ahmad Hasan al-Zayyat.
Rescuers also came from the world over; Yad Vashem has recognised over 27,000 people who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust from 51 countries, from countries as far flung as the US, Chile, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Peru, El Salvador, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Japan, Turkey and Vietnam.