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Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Thursday, 20 January 2011
World War II tank to be restored in Leicestershire
Sherman tank
It could take between six and 12 months to restore the 1940s military vehicle

A World War II tank, believed to be a survivor from the D-Day landings, has found a new home in Leicestershire.

The M4 Sherman, now based at a driving experience site in Husbands Bosworth, is believed to be one of 25 in the UK.

Nick Simons from Armourgeddon, believes it could take up to 12 months to restore the 36 tonne tank.

The military vehicle was the primary tank used by American forces during the war, with thousands more distributed among other allied troops.

Although approximately 50,000 tanks were produced, the vehicles gained a reputation for its potentially explosive nature.

"The armour was so thin on them, they were destroyed left, right and centre," said Nick.

BBC Leicester's Bridget Blair in the Sherman tank

"In fact there were two very famous names given to these. Germans called them 'Ronsons' because of the lighter; 'light first time, every time'.

"And the British and some of the Americans called them 'Tommy cookers' because when they got hit with a petrol engine they burnt very, very quickly.

"If you took a hit in one of these you've got seconds to get out," added Nick.

After the war a number of the tanks that survived were spread out across Europe or sold for scrap metal.

Leicestershire's new arrival had previously stood as a gate guard at a museum in Belgium.

Stuart Garner, owner of Armourgeddon, said a wide variety of people visit the activity centre to try their hand at a spot of tank driving, including a 95-year-old who originally drove Sherman's during WWII.

"Boys never grow up and this is one of the best jobs I think we've ever come up with," said Stuart.

"Once you actually get around the track you'll be surprised how well [the tanks] do work for you. The trick is always show it who's boss and you'll be fine."

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