The Bay of Pigs: 50 Years Later

50 years ago (April 17, 1961), the CIA launched one of its famous­ly botched oper­a­tions. On that day, 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles stormed the beach­es of south­ern Cuba, begin­ning an inva­sion meant to top­ple Fidel Cas­tro and his Sovi­et-aligned gov­ern­ment.

The plan called for airstrikes to soft­en up Cas­tro’s defens­es, then for troops to land on the beach­es along the Bahía de cochi­nos. But things went quick­ly awry. Ships got stuck in shal­low Cuban waters. Bombers missed tar­gets. Fur­ther airstrikes were called off. And ground forces were even­tu­al­ly left with­out sup­port — as good as dead in the water.

The bun­gled affair, a sting­ing embar­rass­ment for the young Kennedy admin­is­tra­tion, gets revis­it­ed in a new book by Jim Rasen­berg­er, The Bril­liant Dis­as­ter: JFK, Cas­tro, and Amer­i­ca’s Doomed Inva­sion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. The video above suc­cinct­ly recaps the events at the Bay of Pigs with the help of his­tor­i­cal footage and inter­views with his­tor­i­cal actors…

via NPR

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  • Arnold says:

    Great footage. This is a real­ly inter­est­ing book. I first heard about it on The Book Report, a radio show host­ed by Elaine Charles. They played an extract from the audio book. You can hear it on
    I have been look­ing at the reviews on the web and they are uni­form­ly good. This is a must read.

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