Spartacus Review

Volume 29: 21st January, 2009

American Foreign Policy

Title: The Bay of Pigs: Cuba 1961

Author: Alejandro de Quesada

Editor:

Publisher: Osprey

Price: £11.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Bay of Pigs

Category:

In early 1961 President John F. Kennedy gave the go-ahead to an existing plan for Cuban exiles to return to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime. While the CIA helped in the planning stages, the attempt would not be assisted by any US armed forces. On the night of April 16, 1961, a force of 1,400 exiles, known as 2506 Brigade, landed at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba, supported by a few World War II vintage aircraft flying from Nicaragua. While they succeeded in knocking out some of Castro's small air force on the ground, the remaining Cuban aircraft sank two of the exiles' support ships, and the beachhead became isolated. Fighting continued for three days before Castro's army overwhelmed the landing force. Most of the exiles were captured and suffered a harsh imprisonment before the US negotiated their release. This episode, followed by the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba, led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, and continues to affect US/Cuban diplomatic relations to this day. This book, written by the nephew of a surviving 2506 Brigade veteran, includes detailed color plates, unpublished photographs, and interviews with veterans.

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