[ General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor, English soldier. ] Unpublished duplicated typescript giving an 'account of the Western Desert Campaign, the period of my Command in Cairo, and the story of my capture'.

General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor (1889-1981), English soldier, Commander of the Western Desert Force, North Africa, 1940-1941

Editorial: The first part dated from the 'Prisoner of War Camp Sulmona Italy'. 20 April, 1941
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116pp., 4to. In good condition, with light signs of age and wear. On loose leaves, loosely inserted in a buff card folder. A negative duplication from microfilm, with the typed letters showing as white against a grey background. In three parts: 'The First Lybian Campaign' (86pp.), 'Period from end of 1st Lybian Campaign to the beginning of the 2nd Campaign' (12pp.) and 'Cyrenaica Again' (8pp.). A final 10-page section begins '11. 6th April'. With six parts of pages, giving clearer versions of passages unclear in the main typescript. Also present is a page reproducing a letter from O'Connor to his mother and wife, 'at Orwell House, Clifton, near Rugby', 22 May 1941, beginning 'The attached document is a purely private and personal account of the Western Desert Campaign, the period of my command in Cairo, and the story of my capture. | As I touch on what must be controversial matters, I wish the document to be kept in your personal custody until my return.' Also present is a reproduction of the first page of a letter to 'My dear Wadsworth', dated from Salmona, 22 May 1941. Asking him to try and deliver the account, which he has written 'whilst events are still fresh in my mind'. He asks if it might be possible to deliver the letter 'by either the "boy" or by an individual of your Embassy staff who was visiting England [.] To reach its destination it would, however, require to be posted in England, as otherwise it would be retained by the Censor, as a document dealing with military matters'.The conclusion of the last part of the document, headed 'The decision to launch a Balkan campaign', indicates its controversial nature: 'This was a cabinet decision and they must collectively take the responsibility for it. I have no doubt the Prime Minister said it was to take place, but I cannot understand how two such excellent soldiers as Generals Dill and Wavell could have agreed if they considered what there was to lose if things went wrong. | The fact that we did not go on to Tripoli will always be a matter of controversy, but how we could take the risk of leaving Cyrenaica with a completely inadequate protection, and send an equally inadequate force to Greece I cannot understand. If we had neither gone to Greece nor Tripoli the situation would have been far better, as we then should have been able, probably to hold Cyrenaica, and certainly Crete, without the very serious losses on land, in the air, and on the sea which we have suffered.' No other copy located (not in the Imperial War Museum collection). From the Barrie Pitt papers. N° de ref. de la librería

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Título: [ General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor, ...
Editorial: The first part dated from the 'Prisoner of War Camp Sulmona Italy'. 20 April
Año de publicación: 1941

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