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Empire Javelin, D-Day Assault Ship (Hardback)

The Royal Navy vessel that landed the US 116th Infantry on Omaha Beach

Maritime > Naval Military P&S History > Royal History WWII > Battles & Campaigns > D-Day & Normandy

By Philip Kay-Bujak
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 30 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399035811
Published: 13th May 2024


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Empire Javelin an American-built LSI (Landing Ship, Infantry) in Royal Navy service, played an important role on D-Day. She carried A Company 116th RCT (the famous ‘Bedford’ Boys’) across the Channel and her landing craft put them ashore on Dog Green sector as part of the initial assault or ‘suicide wave’, onto Omaha beach. In telling her story, Philip Kay-Bujak does justice to the contribution of the Royal Navy at Omaha Beach, which has been underappreciated in the past (when directing Saving Private Ryan, Stephen Spielberg notoriously said there was no British involvement).

Drawing heavily on first-hand accounts, the author covers the actions of the ship herself and of the landing craft launched from her in great detail. One third of her landing craft were lost in the first wave alone. He also reveals Empire Javelin’s earlier life, from design and construction, through launch and training. Similarly, he relates her service after that fateful day in June 1944, when she continued to ferry troops across the Channel for several months. The events surrounding her sinking in December 1944, either by U-boat or a mine, while laden with troops, are also fully examined. The author’s skilful narrative is supported by archive photos, the whole forming a fitting testament to the contribution of Empire Javelin and ships like her, which, though less glamorous than battleships and destroyers, played a vital role in Operation Overlord and the liberation of Europe.

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About Philip Kay-Bujak

After graduating in European History from The University of East Anglia, Philip Kay-Bujak spent ten years in the Royal Anglian Regiment as a TA officer and twenty-three years teaching history and classics in the independent sector. He was a Housemaster at Langley School, Norfolk and Headmaster of Stover School in Devon. An Associate of The Royal Historical Society, he is now retired and is a full-time writer. His previous works include Undefeated (2008), The Bravest Man in The British Army (2018), The Life of Cicero (2023) and Gallia Narbonensis, which details the Roman invasion and occupation of what is now southern France. He lives in East Sussex.

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'Today a new major joined us, a Herculean giant of South African origin with a quite remarkable disregard for danger.' The Regimental Diary of The Kings Own Scottish Borderers, July 1915 'Brave as a lion, stubborn as a mule and as quick tempered as his Irish forebears, Kelly VC spoke out about Churchill's support of the White Russians in 1919. This is a well researched and lively read and brings to our attention an early Churchill folly.' Keith Simpson John (Jack) Sherwood Kelly, VC CMG DSO (1880-1931) was a formidable soldier. He fought in British colonial campaigns in the early 1900s, distinguished…

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