Bay of Pigs (ePub)
CIA's Cuban Disaster, April 1961
Perhaps not in casualties but as far as prestige and standing in the world were concerned, the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 was the worst disaster to befall the USA since the War of 1812 when British forces burned the White House. Badly planned, badly organized, the affair was littered with mistakes from start to finish – not least with an inept performance by John F Kennedy and his new administration.
Supposedly an attempt by Cuban exiles to regain their homeland, the whole operation was funded and equipped by the USA. When things began to go wrong with the landings at Playa Larga and Playa Giron on the southern coast of Cuba President Kennedy and his advisers began overruling military decisions with the result that the invading Brigade 2506 – made up of Cuban exiles – was left with little or no air cover, limited ammunition and no easy escape.
Fidel Castro made great play of his success and American failure at the Bay of Pigs. He, like Nikita Khrushchev, thought Kennedy was weak: the Cuban Missile Crisis of the following year was almost an inevitable consequence of the disaster.
"...a readable, accessible introduction to the topic."H-Net Reviews
Phil Carradice’s Bay of Pigs serves as a concise narrative of the CIA-sponsored Cuban exile brigade’s ill-fated invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Carradice, a Welsh broadcaster, author, and poet, provides a narrowly focused examination of the immediate decisions that prompted the United States to embrace covert action against the Fidel Castro regime and the tactical details of the invasion itself.H-Net
Written as part of a larger Cold War series by military history publisher Pen and Sword, Bay of Pigs is a well-produced volume, with several maps and photographs that provide additional color and clarification of the material. It is most useful as an introduction to the failed covert intervention.
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Review by Neville TaylorThe Royal United Services Institute of Victoria
As per his story-tellers’ approach, Carradice has provided an excellent concise political background, and pen (and photographic) picture of the major players and locales. Two maps place the reader ‘in-situ’ for the doomed invasion that was to unfold.
An excellent monograph for those of us who vaguely recall the invasion; but more importantly, a reminder to a current generation of a past event on the world stage from which so many lessons both politically and militarily can be learned.
The narrative is brilliantly engaging. Carradice has done an excellent job of bringing this era to life and setting out the, quite complex, information in an entertaining and informative way.Wargames Illustrated
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Article: 'Vale author's new books' as featured byBarry Gem, Llantwit Major Gem, Bridgend & Porthcawl Gem and Cowbridge Gem, 5th July 2018 - words by Brian Lee