Historical tank that narrowly missed World War II combat gets prepped for new home in Halifax

An historical military tank traversed its way through the streets of the Halifax Regional Municipality on Friday. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

An historical tank from the Second World War has made its way to a new home in Halifax.

“Hellfire” is a Sherman Tank that serves as a memorial tank for the Halifax Rifles, a reserve unit for the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Halifax Rifles says the ‘Hellfire’ was one of four Sherman tanks purchased by Canada after the Second World War. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

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The World War II tank never saw combat because German defeat was imminent by the time it was ready to be shipped into the war zone.

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According to the Halifax Rifles, the tank was purchased from the United States by Canada and the unit used it for training.

“When the Rifles moved in 1958 to what was called ‘disaster training’, the tank was put as a monument on the Halifax Common. It was subject to a bit of egging and paint, was moved across the street to the Halifax armouries, put inside a chain-link fence but over the years it was kind of forgotten about,” said Col. John Boileau, the Honorary Colonel of the Halifax Rifles.

Col. Boileau says the tank was eventually moved to CFB Shearwater, where it sat for many years before the Halifax Rifles initiated a plan to bring the Hellfire back to the location of the unit where it will be restored and prepped to become a war memorial.

“It commemorates all the members of the Halifax Rifles who fought and served overseas. In a sense, right from our beginnings where they went to the North-West Rebellion, the Boer War, the First War and the Second World War,” Col. Boileau said.

“A number of the soldiers were killed in both the World Wars and this tank is in memory of them.”

Once the tank is restored and ready to displayed as a war memorial, it will make its way to its new home at the Halifax Armouries.

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