The Bay of Pigs


Fidel Castro and Che Guevara a day before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Also known as the second Cuban Revolution, the Cuban Civil War or the Anti-Communist War, was a seven-month conflict which resulted in the ouster of the Castro government, the killing of Fidel Castro to which led to a new insurgency being formed and led by Che Guevara against US military forces. The revolutionary government was replaced by the Pro-American Free Republic of Cuba.

Invasion First Phase

25,000 Cuban American exiles landed on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs, fighting their way through into the streets and suburbs. Their opposition was massive consisting of soldiers and police as well as militant Castro civilian supporters.

Operation 40 - The Death of Fidel Castro

Operation 40 was a CIA backed and funded operation consisting of Cuban Americans. Their aim was to assassinate Fidel Castro and restore Cuba to American Democracy. CIA agents stormed their way through into a hidden location of Fidel Castro which was an extremely guarded mansion killing 45 of Castro's guards and Castro himself who was shot by Cuban American Felix Rodriguez.

Invasion Second Phase - American invasion

With the softening of Cuba's defences by the Cuban rebels, and the confirmation of dictator Fidel Castro, the United States decided to send in US 20,000 marines who landed at the shores of Havana capturing the city after a fierce three hour battle with the military and police forces.

Push toward Santa Clara - Raul Castro's Succession

Santa Clara became the next target for the Cuban-American forces, bombarding the city and then capturing it by ground assault. The Cuban army did not make it easy, entrenching themselves in each house and room, therefore inflicting heavy casualties however the city fell within six hours.

Attack on Guantanamo Bay - Cuban Counter Offensive

Che Guevara ordered a force of 3000 Cuba troops to attack Guantanamo Bay in an effort to start a counter offensive. The US military knowing full well that the invasion of Cuba by US troops would make Gitmo a prime target for the revolutionary army therefore it had been heavily reinforced. Cuban troops marched on it attacking it with artillery fire, Cuban troops then attempted to storm through the gates but were halted due to machine gun fire. Nevertheless they eventually broke through and killed every single soldier there summing up to 500 US troops. However this would now make them eligible for major US retaliation.

Lightning Campaign

Most of East Cuba had fallen, major cities like Cienfuegos surrendered with little fighting and now many soldiers began defecting. The US troops were also welcomed by many Cubans, who already recognised the need to rid Cuba of the Communist dictatorship. Town after town and city after city fell to the Cuban-American force.

Battle of Camagüey - Fall of Raul Castro

Raul Castro made his last stand at Camagüey where he believed he could halt the invasion using attrition. US fighter jets bombarded the city for up to 24 hours and then sent in Free Cuban troops, by then the city's defences had extremely softened and the rebels simply walked over the dead on the streets. Raul was killed while attempting to escape along with several military convoys. With Raul dead the war was now a survival story for the revolutionaries.

US Reinforcements

As a result of the fall of Guantanamo Bay and death of Raul Castro, President Kennedy ordered the shipment of 30,000 US troops who were going to aid the final push for the liberation of Cuba.

Fall back to the Sierra Maestra

Within 15 days the cities of La Tunas, Bayamo, Hoguin had fallen and now the revolutionaries desperate and vulnerable decided to head to the Sierra Maestra were they will be lead by Che Guevara like in the days of "La Revolucion". The Communists now numbered about 40,000 or so, they were deep entrenched in the mountains waiting for the US advance.

Establishment of the Free Cuban Republic

The Free Cubans ultimately established the Free Cuban Republic, a free, democratic, pro-American government. This allowed thousands of refugees to finally return to their homeland to make a fresh start in a new Cuba.

Death of Che Guevara - End of Insurgency

Che along with several remaining guerrillas such as Juan Almeida were surrounded on May 12th 1962 by Cuban Commandos. Eventually, after a fierce gun battle the old regime forces were destroyed along with Comrade Che Guevara, and Juan Almeida thus ending officially the revolutionary Communist forces in Cuba and particularly Latin America.

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