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General Johann von Ravenstein’s 21st Panzer Division was engaged in counterattacks against the Allies during Operation Crusader in World War Two. While travelling to visit a neighbouring division, his staff car was ambushed by soldiers of the 2nd New Zealand Division.

He was taken prisoner and sent to the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC) in Cairo. Jasper Maskelyne was working for the CSDIC at the time, as part of his military service in North Africa.

He found von Ravenstein to be “resigned and unhappy but relatively quiet. He conducted himself like a gentlemen and even seemed glad to be out of the front line."

Quote: Magic-Top Secret, Jasper Maskelyne (1949).

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