Osman Digna (Arabic: عثمان دقنة) (c. 1840 – 1926) was a follower of Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed Mahdi, in Sudan, who became his best known military commander during the Mahdist War. He was claimed to be a descendant from the Abbasid family. As the Mahdi’s ablest general, he played an important role in the fate of General Charles George Gordon and the loss of the Sudan to Turkish-Egyptian rule.
In Britain, Osman Digna became a notorious figure, both demonised as a savage and respected as a warrior. Winston Churchill described him as an “astute” and “prudent” man, calling him “the celebrated, and perhaps immortal, Osman Digna.”