Richard O'Connor was a British Army general who commanded the Western
Desert Force (WDF) in the early years of World War II. O'Connor was
the field commander for Operation Compass, in which he and the WDF
completely destroyed a much larger Italian army. This victory nearly
drove the Axis from Africa entirely, and led Adolf Hitler to send the
Deutsches Afrikakorps under Erwin Rommel, to try and reverse the
situation. O'Connor was later captured and spent over two years in an
Italian prisoner of war camp for senior officers. He made a number of
escape attempts with General Sir Philip Neame and Lieutenant General
Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart, and was eventually successful. O'Connor
commanded VIII Corps in Normandy in 1944 and later during Operation
Market Garden. In 1945 he was general officer in command, Eastern
Command in India, and then headed the North West Army in the closing
days of British rule in the subcontinent. He held the highest level of
knighthood in four different orders of chivalry.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
French Revolution: Louis XVI of France gave his royal assent to the
Civil Constitution of the Clergy.
Pierre and Marie Curie (pictured) announced the discovery of a new
element, later to be named radium.
The first Kwanzaa was celebrated by Maulana Karenga, a professor at
CSU Long Beach
The Supreme Soviet officially dissolved itself and the Union of Soviet
An earthquake in the Indian Ocean generated a tsunami that killed
upwards of 200,000 people, mostly in Indonesia.
Wikiquote of the day:
"It is not the facts which guide the conduct of men, but their
opinions about facts; which may be entirely wrong. We can only make
them right by discussion." -- Norman Angell