Sir Richard Nugent O’Connor KTGCBDSO & BarMCADC (21 August 1889 – 17 June 1981) was aBritish Army general who commanded the Western Desert Force in the early years of World War II. He was the field commander for Operation Compass, in which his forces completely destroyed a much larger Italian army — a victory which nearly drove the Axis from Africa, and in turn, led Adolf Hitler to send the German Africa Corps under Erwin Rommel to try and reverse the situation. O’Connor was captured by a German reconnaissance patrol during the night of 7 April 1941, and spent over two years in an Italian prisoner of war camp. He eventually escaped in December 1943, and in 1944 commanded VIII Corps in Normandy and later during Operation Market Garden. In 1945 he was General Officer in Command of the Eastern Command in India and then in the closing days of British rule in the subcontinent headed Northern Command. His final job in the army was Adjutant-General to the Forces in London in charge of the British Army’s administration, personnel and organisation.