Canadian tank ace Radley-Walters passes away

download (4)Sydney Valpy Radley-Walters passed away on April 21, 2015 at the age of 95.  Radley-Walters was best known for having been a Canadian Army tank commander during the Normandy campaign in 1944.  As part of the 27th Armoured Regiment of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade, he is credited by some sources with 18 tank kills.  Most famously, Radley-Walters may have been responsible for the destruction of the Tiger tank commanded by German tank ace Michael Wittman at the Battle of Villers-Bocage.  While British tank gunner Joe Ekins is generally credited with destroying Wittman’s Tiger, a line of reasoning has been advanced suggesting that Radley-Walters unit was responsible for defeating Wittman.

According to an article from the Whig-Standard, Radley-Walters was indifferent to the historical record, remembering the feared leader of the 101 Schwere SSPanzerabteilung as a worthy and determined foe. “He was a superb tanker.” “I had tangled with him two or three times and let me tell you, when you fought against his group, you were challenged by a wonderful group of commanders.”  “I never had any use for the German administration that started the war but they had some of the best generals, and I hope the next time we go to war, they’re going to be fighting on our side.”

According to Wikipedia, Radley-Walters served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Egypt after the war. In 1957 he became the Commanding Officer of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s). He attended NATO Defence College in Paris and was assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe from June 1961 to July 1962. He returned to Canada as commandant of the Royal Canadian Armoured School in Camp Borden. In 1966 he became the Director-General Training and Recruiting at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa. In June 1968 he was promoted to brigadier-general and took command of 2 Combat Group at CFB Petawawa. In 1971 he became the commander of the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown.  Radley-Walters retired in December 1974.

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