Map of the Cyreneika in April of 1941
O'Connor (left) and Neame as POWs in front a JU 52
"Max", AEC "Dorchester" 4x4, Armoured Command Vehicle
Shortly after his arrival in the African theatre, Rommel launched a limited offensive against the Commonwealth troops which soon evolved into an impressive advance.
In early April 1941, Aufklärungs Abt. 3 reached the region of Mechili where it succeeded in capturing two British generals and their Armoured Command Vehicles (ACV).
The two generals who the vehicles had belonged to were Lt.Gen. Philip Neame, commander of the 8th Army and his assistant commander, Lt.Gen. Richard O'Connor.
The owner of the third vehicle, Maj.Gen. Gambier-Parry, commander of 2nd Armoured.Division, succeeded in escaping the encirclement.
The armoured cars, based on the AEC Matador, were in several ways a welcome loot for several reasons : They were not only spacious and comfortable but also came woth excellent radio equipment and off-road performance.
No surprise they soon were in service with the German counterparts of their former owners :
However, Rommel's "Max" was put out of action in September of 1941, so Rommel had to switch back to his Opel Blitz Bus again.
- Generaloberst Rommel used O'Connor's "White 1" with Serial Number L4426425 and named it "Max",
- Generalleutnant Ludwig Crüwell used "White 2" with Serial Number L4426422 and named it "Moritz" while
- Generalmajor Johannes Streich used "White 3" with Serial Number L4426424.