During the North African campaign, both sides extensively
used long-range reconnaissance vehicles to probe the enemy's lines.
They would have encountered each other quite often, mostly from far
enough away so that actual contact was avoided. But no doubt, occasionally
they would run into each other and meet eyeball to eyeball.
This scene depicts one such encounter. The rather scruffy Sdkfz 232
(8-rad) and crew here has obviously caught a pair of Desert Rats unawares
at some point, and has now stopped under cover for a brew and snack
on the way back to the German lines. I have used a bit of artistic license
in giving the Germans a gramophone, reasoning that it is not impossible
to imagine them coming across one in an abandoned Officer's Mess or
some such in the days when the Afrika Korps was still on the advance.
I imagine them using it to keep the boredom and loneliness away on cold
desert nights, many miles away from their lines, when they had grown
sick and tired of the British and German propaganda radio. Here, they
have cranked up a copy of the much-loved'Lili Marlene', inspiring an
impromptu sing-along. The German Leutnant would of course be singing
along with the original, sung by Lale Andersen.