An interview with Sydney Radley-Walters
The interviews with Radley-Walters, Joe Ekins and Ken Tout were conducted in 2007 as part of the TV Series, Battlefield Mysteries, for History Channel in Canada. The Episode was entitled “Who Killed Michel Wittmann.” We were very lucky to be able to interview the three most important men involved in this famous, even legendary, encounter that took place in Normandy on August 8, 1944 during Operation Totalize. The exchange lasted only 15-20 minutes and left five German Tiger tanks knocked out. With no time to savour their victory both Allied Regiments moved on, to fight heavier battles. Their fight had lasted just a few minutes so little did they know that amongst the wrecks was the Tiger 007, the tank of the highest scoring WWII SS Panzer Ace, Michael Wittmann. Wittmann was a legend to the Germans and his loss was devastating to the moral of the men. But the Allies had never heard of him until 1983, when his remains were recovered from a lost grave in Normandy. With this find Wittmann’s demise could now be analyzed. Who killed Michael Wittmann?
For the show we had to recreate a 15 minute tank battle that had taken place 63 years earlier. These interviews let it happen.
Sydney Radley-Walters, DSO, MC of the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment, was a highly decorated tank commander with more than dozen tank kills in Normandy. His unit made up the western flank of what would be the trap that crushed Wittmann’s Tigers. Rad died in April, 2015.