Bay of Pigs Invasion

Bay of Pigs Invasion
Project by: Nick DeLuca, Ryne
Ramaker, Kyle Martz, Buster
Gean, Brittany Boyle, and
Natalie Cruz
First Ideas
Cuban revolution of 1959 brought in
the regime of Fidel Castro- initially a
conservative not against the U.S.
Tension continually increased with
Cuba’s increasing economic ties with
the Soviet Union
The Cuban government expropriated
American assets on the island without
compensation (oil refineries, sugar
mills, and electric utilities)
Castro took steps away from the
forming the democratic state he
initially planned to create
Free press was outlawed and elections
were cancelled- Castro basically
became a dictator
U.S. government and especially the
CIA knew something needed to be
done to eliminate this threat 90 miles
from the coast of Florida
• March 17, 1960 CIA under director Alan Dulles presented a plan
of invasion to president Eisenhower
• Planned for a 4-pronged initiative to take out Castro’s regime
with public support
• Propaganda- 1.7 million dollars to spread propaganda in Cuba
against the government and pro-U.S.
• Training and Equipping a force, called Brigade 2506, comprised
of Cuban exiles to invade the island and rally local rebels
• Intelligence collection by CIA and Cuban dissidents on the
island to aid effort
• Forming a Cuban exile organization to cover any U.S. or CIA
• The Cuban side of things were led by Dr. Jose Miro Cardona, a
former prime minister of Cuba
• Landing site was planned as near the coastal city of Trinidad, a
strategically advantage location with population nearby
extremely anti-Castro
• Headquarters were
established in Florida called
the Western Hemisphere
• The mission was codenamed
“Operation Zapata” under
control of Richard Bissell
• It acquired training sites in
Panama and Florida and held
mock landings
• The recruits were not given
any sensitive information
including: the location, date, or
even purpose of their action
(only days before did they find
How things were supposed to go
• There would be 3 days of
bombing by WWII B-26
bombers flown by Cuban pilots
based in Nicaragua with the
objective of achieving air
supremacy and weakening
coastal defenses
• 1400 heavily-armed members
of Brigade 2506 would land on
the beach, establish a beach
head and penetrate the coast
to join with local forces
• They would lead a guerillaesque warfare to overwhelm
the Cuban government and
take over
Kennedy’s second thoughts
• Landing site was changed to
the Bay of Pigs, a strategically
inferior location with a
population aligned for the most
part with Castro-Kennedy
thought that Trinidad was too
revealing of U.S. intervention
• Last minute, the size of the airforce was cut in half and they
were played off as Cuban airforce defectors, so they did not
bomb Cuban planes on the
• The landing date, place, and
exact tactics were not told to
the actual soldiers of Brigade
Air Campaign
Air attacks commenced April 15, 1961
The large, slow-moving B-26s were no match for the faster T-33 Shooting
Stars and Hawker Sea-Furies of the Cuban air-force
One aircraft was pre-fabricated with bullet holes to act as a cover story for
the CIA that “requested to land” in Florida
Many aircraft shot down on both sides; 4 US servicemen filling in for Cuban
exiles were killed in combat
Last ditch air assault led on the 19th, but it was too little too late
Ground Fighting
Evening of April 17th, forces landed from former WWII landing assault craft that embarked from
Razor-sharp coral reefs cut up ships and slowed the invasion process down considerably
Forces once on the ground fought valiantly, inflicting many more casualties than they received
Lack of supplies, air cover, and support trapped them on the shore with no real chance for victory
Two transport ships Houston and Escondido were sunk by the Cuban AF, effectively cutting off
supplies for the invaders; other ships would not dare to enter out of fear of attack
Anti-Castro underground forces in Cuba were not alerted and thus could not supply significant aid
to the invaders
Accusations, Denials ,and Lies
Shortly after attacks began, UN
ambassador Adlai Stevenson flatly
denied a claim by Cuba’s Minister
of Foreign Affairs that the US
attacked Cuba with B-26s
He showed a photograph of a B26 painted with Cuban AF
insignia, but it had a different nose
style than those flown by the
Cuban AF; a feeble effort by CIA
to disguise US involvement
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
blatantly lied about the US
involvement on the morning of the
Adlai Stevenson went forward and
revealed the truth after being
thoroughly embarrassed and
called “My official liar” by Kennedy
APUSH, Bay of Pigs UN Clip.ram
End of the day
• Fighting ended on the 19th,
with the Cubans victorious
• 200 members of Brigade 2506
were killed and close to 1,200
were captured
• Estimates of Cuban deaths
range from about 2,000 to
• Not until after the Cuban
Missile Crisis did the U.S.
agree to pay $53 Million for the
return of the captives in 1962
• There was no contingency
plan for failure, so Brigade
2506 was doomed to defeat
• This incident resulted in a
serious embarrassment for the
Kennedy administration and
the US
• CIA director Allen Dulles,
Deputy Director Charles
Cabell, and Deputy Director of
Operations Richard Bissell
were all forced to resign
• JFK remarked that the best
way to deal with the CIA would
be to “splinter the CIA into a
thousand pieces and scatter it
into the winds”
• Relations with Cuba turned
extremely sour, and its ties
with the USSR were increased
Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, JFK, and John McCone
Aftermath Cont.
President Kennedy publicly accepted fault
for the debacle, but blamed the CIA in
He became fixated on the goal of
dismantling Castro’s government
Richard Bissell wrote that “To understand
the Kennedy administration’s obsession with
Cuba, it is important to understand the
Kennedys, especially Robert. From their
perspective, Castro won the first round at
the Bay of Pigs. He had defeated the
Kennedy team; they were bitter and they
could not tolerate his getting away with it.
The president and his brother were ready to
avenge their personal embarrassment by
overthrowing their enemy at any cost. I don’t
believe there was any significant policy
debate in the executive branch on the
desirability of getting rid of Castro. Robert
Kennedy’s involvement in organizing and
directing Mongoose became so intense that
he might as well have been deputy director
for plans for the operation.”
What went Wrong?
• Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick submitted a report that
summarized what led to this failure in the CIA
• As the project grew, CIA reduced status and influence of rebel
leaders, effectively making them puppets
• Agency failed to gather adequate intelligence about the extent of
anti-Castro forces and the power of Cuban gov’t
• Operation was not started with adequate bases, training facilities,
and other essential components
• There were severe organizational difficulties with blurred lines
between chains of command
• Minimal provisions were laid out to inform national policy makers of
the need for quick, decisive action in fast moving situations
• What started out as a resistance/guerilla operation quickly became
an overt military assault that exceeded the capacities of CIA
• In the last minute, the Kennedy Administration called off crucial air
raids intended to finish off Castro’s air forces
Lasting Significance
• The Bay of Pigs invasion is a
classic example of a cold war
confrontation that went terribly
• First major defeat for the CIA
and its foreign operations
• Strengthened the government
of Fidel Castro while
weakening the image of the
US abroad
• Even today, many Cubans
recall the events of April 16th,
1961 and resent the US for it
• Increased Soviet aid and
investment in Cuba
Dwight D. Eisenhower- supreme commander of the Allied Forces in World
War II and president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. He instituted
“dynamic conservatism” in office by creating the interstate highway system
and supporting the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education
of Topeka. Eisenhower also ended the Korean War and issued the
Eisenhower Doctrine to counter aggression in the Middle East. The Bay of
Pigs invasion was planned during his administration as well.
John F. Kennedy- 35th president of the United States, serving from 1961 to
his assassination in 1963. He was the youngest president ever elected into
office at age 43. Key actions that he took during his administration were
creating the Peace Corps, escaping from the Cuban Missile Crisis, and
early, limited military action in Vietnam. Kennedy also vaulted the country
into the space race with Russia and implemented his domestic policy, the
“new frontier”. Kennedy was the president who finally signed off on the Bay
of Pigs invasion and forced CIA agents Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell to
resign when it failed.
Vocabulary Cont.
• Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)- a member of the United States
intelligence community along with the FBI, the National Security
Agency, and Homeland Security. The CIA obtains, evaluates, and
reports information from foreign governments, corporations, and
persons. The CIA also employs propaganda to influence others and
engages in covert operations. The CIA was the agency in charge of
the Bay of Pigs invasion and several of its members were removed
after their unsuccessful performance.
• Fidel Castro- has been the president of Cuba since 1959. Castro
came to power by leading the revolution to overthrow Fulgencio
Batista. Castro is seen by many as a dictator and he created an
alliance with the Soviet Union while they were in power in order to
counter the United States. Castro was successful in squashing the
Bay of Pigs invasion and simultaneously humiliating the U.S.
Vocabulary Cont.
Operation Zapata- CIA plan which included training Cuban exiles to
overthrow Castro’s regime in Cuba. The original plan called for landing the
exile brigade in the vicinity of the old colonial city of Trinidad, Cuba in the
central province of Sancti Spiritus approximately 400 km southeast of
Havana at the foothills of the Escambray Mountains. The selection of the
Trinidad site provided a number of options that the exile brigade could
exploit during the invasion. This is often referred to as the Bay of Pigs
invasion and its planning took place during the Eisenhower administration.
CIA head Allen Dulles appointed Richard Bissell as director of “Operation
Zapata.” When Kennedy finally signed off on the operation several changes
had been made that hampered the maneuver’s success.
Richard Bissell- Was appointed by Allen Dulles as the CIA’s Director of
Plans in 1958. He was also made director of “Operation Zapata” and drafted
a top-secret policy paper titled “A Program of Covert Action Against the
Castro Regime”. His plans were approved by Eisenhower and implemented
by Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs invasion. In a face-saving effort Kennedy
forced him to resign after the invasion failed.
Vocabulary Cont.
• Allen Dulles- the first civilian and longest serving Director of
Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency. Under Dulles the
CIA created MK-Ultra, a mind control research project and oversaw
Operation Mockingbird (Dealt with American media companies).
Dulles was also successful in overthrowing the prime minister of
Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh and the president of Guatemala,
Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Dulles did, however, receive criticism
during the Kennedy administration because of the embarrassing
failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion and because of connections with
the Mafia the undermined his credibility.
• Exile Brigade- known as brigade 2506; consisted of 1,511 Cuban
exiles. The brigade was trained in Florida, Panama, and Guatemala
in order to fight in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Led by Jose Miro
Cardona, the brigade, severely outnumbered, suffered heavy
casualties and were forced to surrender. The United States ended
up paying a $53 million dollar ransom for their return.
Vocabulary Cont.
Jose Miro Cardona- a former Cuban politician who served as prime
minister six weeks before Fidel Castro took over. After he was exiled he
became head of the Cuban Revolutionary Council and worked with the
Kennedy administration on plans for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He would
have became the president of Cuba had the brigade been successful.
Cuban Revoluion- revolutionary movement that led to the overthrow of
Dictator Fulgencio Batista and replaced him with Fidel Castro. The “26th of
July Movement” finally achieved their goal on January 1, 1959. Hundreds of
Batista- era government agents were tried for human rights abuses and
many received the death penalty and all remaining received long prison
sentences. Cuba didn’t exactly move forward from that point unfortunately.
Castro implemented an atheist government and confiscated all property
held by religious organizations without compensation. Castro also created
a militia with the task of stopping counter-revolutionary activity. This
organization has a detailed record of the personal habits of each Cuban
inhabitant. There have been many unsuccessful U.S. attempts to overthrow
Castro’s regime.
Vocabulary Cont.
• Bahia de Cohinos- Spanish for Bay of Pigs; identifies an
inlet on the southern coast of Cuba and was the site of
the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
• Kennan’s “containment” policy- Famous policy created
by George F. Kennan in a telegram to the U.S. in 1947
that was later published as the X article. Kennan stated
that the U.S. should prevent the spread of communism
to non-communist countries. Essentially just keeping
communism within its current borders instead of trying to
attack it head on and risk major war. This was officially
made part of U.S. policy in the Truman Doctrine.
“"1961:Bay of Pigs Attack." Thinkquest.Org. 1998.
Bay of Pigs 40 Years After." National Security Archive. 15 May 2007
"Bay of Pigs." 16 Apr. 2007 <>.
"The Bay of Pigs Invasion." Brigada Asulto 2506. 16 Apr. 2007
"Bay of Pigs Invasion." Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia UP. 16 Apr. 2007
"Bay of Pigs Invasion." Wikipedia. 22 Apr. 2007 <>.
"Bay of Pigs." JFK Presidential Library. 22 Apr. 2007
"Central Intelligence Agency." History.Com. 13 May-June 2007
Clark, Juan. "The Process of the Bay of Pigs: Its Development and Consequences." 22 Apr. 2007
"Fidel Castro Ruz." Cnn.Com. Aug.-Sept. 1998. 13 May-June 2007
"I Can Hear It Now: the Sixties." Real Player Music Store. 16 Apr. 2007
"Presidents of the United States." The White House. 15 May 2007
Sierra, J.A. "Invasion At the Bay of Pigs." 22 Apr. 2007 <>.
"The ULTRASENSETIVE Bay of Pigs." 3 May 2007. George Washington University. 16 Apr. 2007
Warner, Michael. "CIA's Internal Probe of the Bay of Pigs Affair." Central Intelligence Agency. 22 Apr. 2007
Weiner, Jared. "Bay of Pigs Report." 22 Apr. 2007 <>. The
Good Shepherd. Dir. Robert DeNiero. DVD. Universal, 2006.
Presentation Outline
• PowerPoint
– Nick presents First Ideas, Planning/Approval,
Preparation, and How things were supposed to go
– Buster presents Kennedy’s Second Thoughts, Air
Campaign, Ground Fighting, and Accusations
– Natalie presents End of the Day, Aftermath
– Brittany presents What Went Wrong, Lasting
– Ryne presents the 15 vocabulary words, bibliography
• Movie
– Kyle cues up movie and plays it