French Resistance baby named “Submachine Gun”?

Several days ago, French Resistance leader Raymond Aubrac passed away.

In June of 1943, he had been captured by the Gestapo. In October, with the help of his pregnant wife Lucie, he managed to escape. Their story “became one of the most celebrated triumphs of the underground and also an enduring love story of World War II.”

Why am I mentioning him here?

Because the baby that Lucie was carrying may have been given a war-related name.

The baby was born in early 1944 in London. Several sources claim her full name at birth was Catherine Mitraillette Aubrac. The French word mitraillette means “submachine gun.”

The Aubracs clearly had a daughter named Catherine — she’s mentioned in all the obituaries. But I haven’t yet been able to verify that Catherine’s middle name (if she has one) is Mitraillette.


  • “Baby Named “Little Machine Gun”.” Army News [Darwin, Northern Territory] 31 Mar. 1944: 3.
  • Gildea, Robert. Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.
  • Langer, Emily. “Raymond Aubrac, French Resistance leader, dies at 97.” Washington Post 12 Apr. 2012.

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