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I Was There! - 'Your Bren Gun Carrier Shot Up My Car'

The War Illustrated, Volume 5, No. 115, Page 358, December 20, 1941.

First German general to be captured by the British in this war was General von Ravenstein, Commander of the 21st German Panzer Division, who was "put in the bag" in the course of the battle outside Tobruk. Here is his story, as told to the B.U.P. correspondent.

Any commander who wants to be successful must know the ground over which his troops are fighting. I was out on reconnaissance in my car in the El Duda area where I intended to launch certain operations.

In the course of my scouting I crossed a ridge over which I couldn't see, and had the misfortune to run into a British Bren gun carrier, which hot up my car and wounded my driver. [A later report had it that the carrier was manned by some of General Freyberg's New Zealanders; the general's car had been previously shot up by the R.A.F. and by Indian troops.] I had no choice but to give myself up. It is something which might happen to anyone in this damned desert.

The desert is a perfect battle ground for armoured forces such as are engaged at present. The way I was captured shows the difficulties of this kind of campaign. Rapid manoeuvres make it a game of surprises, a paradise for a tactician, but a nightmare for a quartermaster.

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