On April 17th, 1961 about fourteen hundred Cuban exiles and a few Americans of “Brigade 4056” launched their invasion campaign from Nicaragua and Guatemala and landed from the sea in the “Bay of Pigs”. CIA forces conducted deception operations elsewhere to draw away Cuban military forces, and the Brigade landed with tanks, vehicles and automatic weapons.
Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), Cuba
Castro — “El Commandante” — led the counter-attack himself, which was conducted from the air and land, using American-made fighter aircraft and other weapons left behind by the departed Batista regime. Castro also deployed the T-34 tanks given him by the Russians. Over the ensuing three days, the battle raged between the exiles and the militias and regular army units. In the end, the invaders ran low on ammunition, were cut off from their objectives and were forced to surrender. Of the 1,400 men who had landed, about 400 were killed or wounded and 1,000 captured. The Cubans had deployed about 225,000 but only about 9,000 armed. Their official losses were about 800 dead and wounded but probably several thousand militia were also killed or injured. An unknown number of Brigade members were rescued by American naval ships, off the beach or in the water trying to escape. Some of the captured were returned to the U.S., a number were executed, others imprisoned long-term.