Bay of Pigs Invasion

Failed landing operation of Cuba in 1961 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Bay of Pigs Invasion (Spanish: Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos, sometimes called Invasión de Playa Girón or Batalla de Playa Girón after the Playa Girón) was a failed military landing operation on the southwestern coast of Cuba in 1961 by Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front (DRF), consisting of Cuban exiles who opposed Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution, covertly financed and directed by the U.S. government. The operation took place at the height of the Cold War, and its failure influenced relations between Cuba, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

Quick facts: Bay of Pigs Invasion, Date, Location, Result,...
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Part of the Cold War and the
Consolidation of the Cuban Revolution
Counterattack by Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces near Playa Girón on 19 April 1961
Date17–20 April 1961
Bay of Pigs, southwestern coast of Cuba
22.0616°N 81.0319°W / 22.0616; -81.0319

Cuban victory

Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg United States
Flag_of_Cuba_%28sky_blue%29.svg Cuban DRF
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Cuba
Commanders and leaders
Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg John F. Kennedy
Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg Robert McNamara
Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg Robert F. Kennedy
Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg Maxwell D. Taylor
Flag_of_the_United_States_%28Pantone%29.svg Charles Cabell
Flag_of_Cuba_%28sky_blue%29.svg Pepe San Román
Flag_of_Cuba_%28sky_blue%29.svg Erneido Oliva
Flag_of_Cuba_%28sky_blue%29.svg Félix Rodríguez
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Fidel Castro
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Che Guevara
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Juan A. Bosque
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Ramiro Valdés
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Raúl Castro
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Eloy Gutierrez
Flag_of_Cuba.svg Carlos Franqui
Units involved

Flag_of_the_U.S._Central_Intelligence_Agency.svg CIA

Flag_of_the_United_States_Air_Force.svg U.S. Air Force
Flag_of_the_United_States_Navy.svg U.S. Navy
FAR_emblem.svg Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces
Polic%C3%ADa_Nacional_Revolucionaria.png National Revolutionary Police Force
National Revolutionary Militia
Casualties and losses

Brigade 2506:

  • 478 KIA and WIA
  • 1,202 captured (including wounded)[lower-alpha 3]
  • Hundreds executed[4]
  • 5 B-26 bombers shot down

United States:

  • 4 KIA
  • 2 B-26 bombers shot down
  • 2 supply ships lost

Cuban Armed Forces:

National Militia:

  • 2,000 killed and wounded[vague][5]
  • 1 B-26 bomber shot down
  • 1 Hawker Sea Fury shot down
  • Unknown number of T-34 tanks and SU-100 guns destroyed
Bay of Pigs Invasion is located in Cuba
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Location within Cuba

In 1952, the American-allied dictator General Fulgencio Batista led a coup against President Carlos Prío and forced Prío into exile in Miami, Florida. Prío's exile inspired Castro's 26th of July Movement against Batista. The movement succeeded in overthrowing Batista during the Cuban Revolution in January 1959. Castro nationalized American businesses, including banks, oil refineries, and sugar and coffee plantations. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began planning the overthrow of Castro, which U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved in March 1960, and the U.S. began its embargo of the island. This led Castro to reach out to its Cold War rival, the Soviet Union, after which the US severed diplomatic relations. Cuban exiles who had moved to the U.S. following Castro's takeover had formed the counter-revolutionary military unit, Brigade 2506, which was the armed wing of the DRF. The CIA funded the brigade, which also included approximately 60 members of the Alabama Air National Guard,[6] and trained the unit in Guatemala.

Over 1,400 paramilitaries, divided into five infantry battalions and one paratrooper battalion, assembled and launched from Guatemala and Nicaragua by boat on 17 April 1961. Two days earlier, eight CIA-supplied B-26 bombers had attacked Cuban airfields and then returned to the U.S. On the night of 17 April, the main invasion force landed on the beach at Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs, where it overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia. Initially, José Ramón Fernández led the Cuban Revolutionary Army counter-offensive; later, Castro took personal control. As the invasion force lost the strategic initiative, the international community found out about the invasion, and U.S. President John F. Kennedy decided to withhold further air support.[7] The plan, devised during Eisenhower's presidency, had required the involvement of U.S. air and naval forces. Without further air support, the invasion was being conducted with fewer forces than the CIA had deemed necessary. The American force, Brigade 2506 invading force were defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias – FAR) and surrendered on 20 April. Most of the surrendered counter-revolutionary troops were publicly interrogated and put into Cuban prisons.

The invasion was a U.S. foreign policy failure. The Cuban government's victory solidified Castro's role as a national hero and widened the political division between the two formerly allied countries, as well as embolden other Latin American groups to undermine US influence in the region. It also pushed Cuba closer to the Soviet Union, setting the stage for the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

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