From the Editor

Men of 'B' Company, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers advance into Saint-Manvieu during Operation Epsom
OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH

There’s not an ‘official’ theme to this issue per se, but I figured that, in the wake of covering the D-Day landings prominently, BAW would shift focus to several slightly more obscure subjects.

We’ll start with one of the many large-scale operations that followed in the wake of D-Day. In his first fulllength feature for BAW, our regular reviewer Tobias Clark offers an in-depth view of Operation Epsom, a technically inconclusive effort roughly even in terms of losses, but one where the British pushed the Germans to the brink.

I will not burden the battle with the ‘forgotten’ trope, but it is perhaps fair to suggest, as Tobias explains, that the significance of Epsom as the event that set the stage for an eventual German defeat in Normandy is too often overlooked.

Now, to a unit that has been forgotten. I had assumed that the British Army had long possessed an indigenous firefighting capability of some sort, but thanks to Graham Caldwell, I now know the 21st Army Group fielded the first official army firefighting service, deploying it overseas from June 1944. Join Graham as he rattles through the hot history of these unsung heroes, which includes a cameo from his AFS fireman father.

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