Why the Bay of Pigs Invasion Went So Wrong
Before the break of dawn on April 15, 1961, a squadron of eight B-26 bombers piloted by Cuban exiles roared down a Nicaraguan airstrip on a secret mission. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and President John F. Kennedy hoped the Bay of Pigs Invasion would result in the overthrow of Cuban leader Fidel Castro . But the operation that unfolded over the next five days became one of the greatest military fiascoes in American history.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower had first sanctioned the covert CIA operation in 1959 to topple Castro, who had nationalized American industries and strengthened ties with the Soviet Union after leading a revolution that ousted the pro-American military dictator Fulgencio Batista .