Bay Of Pigs
The story of the failed
invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs is one of mismanagement, overconfidence, and
lack of security. The blame for the failure of the operation falls directly in
the lap of the Central Intelligence Agency and a young president and his
advisors. The fall out from the invasion caused a rise in tension between the
two great superpowers and ironically 34 years after the event, the person that
the invasion meant to topple, Fidel Castro, is still in power. To understand the
origins of the invasion and its ramifications for the future it is first
necessary to look at the invasion and its origins.

The Bay of Pigs invasion
of April 1961, started a few days before on April 15th with the bombing of Cuba
by what appeared to be defecting Cuban air force pilots. At 6 a.m. in the
morning of that Saturday, three Cuban military bases were bombed by B-26
bombers. The airfields at Camp Libertad, San Antonio de los Ba¤os and Antonio

Maceo airport at Santiago de Cuba were fired upon. Seven people were killed at

Libertad and forty-seven people were killed at other sites on the island.

Two of the B-26s left

Cuba and flew to Miami, apparently to defect to the United States. The Cuban

Revolutionary Council, the government in exile, in New York City released a
statement saying that the bombings in Cuba were ". . . carried out by

\'Cubans inside Cuba\' who were \'in contact with\' the top command of the

Revolutionary Council . . . ." The New York Times reporter covering the
story alluded to something being wrong with the whole situation when he wondered
how the council knew the pilots were coming if the pilots had only decided to
leave Cuba on Thursday after " . . . a suspected betrayal by a fellow pilot
had precipitated a plot to strike.
. . ." Whatever the
case, the planes came down in Miami later that morning, one landed at Key West

Naval Air Station at 7:00 a.m. and the other at Miami International Airport at

8:20 a.m. Both planes were badly damaged and their tanks were nearly empty. On
the front page of The New York Times the next day, a picture of one of the B-26s
was shown along with a picture of one of the pilots cloaked in a baseball hat
and hiding behind dark sunglasses, his name was withheld. A sense of conspiracy
was even at this early stage beginning to envelope the events of that week.

In the early hours of

April 17th the assault on the Bay of Pigs began. In the true cloak and dagger
spirit of a movie, the assault began at 2 a.m. with a team of frogmen going
ashore with orders to set up landing lights to indicate to the main assault
force the precise location of their objectives, as well as to clear the area of
anything that may impede the main landing teams 2:30 a.m. and at 3:00 a.m. two
battalions came ashore at Playa Girўn and one battalion at Playa Larga beaches. The troops at Playa Girўn had orders to move west, northwest, up the coast
and meet with the troops at Playa Larga in the middle of the bay. A small group
of men were then to be sent north to the town of Jaguey Grande to secure it as
well.

When looking at a modern
map of Cuba it is obvious that the troops would have problems in the area that
was chosen for them to land at. The area around the Bay of Pigs is a swampy
marsh land area which would be hard on the troops. The Cuban forces were quick
to react and Castro ordered his T-33 trainer jets, two Sea Furies, and two B-26s
into the air to stop the invading forces. Off the coast was the command and
control ship and another vessel carrying supplies for the invading forces. The

Cuban air force made quick work of the supply ships, sinking the command vessel
the Marsopa and the supply ship the Houston, blasting them to pieces with
five-inch rockets. In the end the 5th battalion was lost, which was on the

Houston, as well as the supplies for the landing teams and eight other smaller
vessels. With some of the invading forces\' ships destroyed, and no command and
control ship, the logistics of the operation soon broke down as the other supply
ships were kept at bay by Casto\'s air force. As with many failed military
adventures, one of