Bay of Pigs Invasion: CIA Cuban Disaster, April 1961
Pen and Sword
Reviewed by Ian Young
The Bay of Pigs fiasco is the focus of this excellent book by Pen And Sword Publishing. Comprehensively covering the complete military debacle, it describes the worst organized American military exercise since the war of 1812.
The first thing that should be noted about this book (part of a series, Cold War 1945 – 1991) is its professional presentation. Of the same quality as the industry gold standard publisher Osprey, this glossy, attractive book crams much information into its slender 128 pages.
The book is filled with interesting and unusual photos covering the operation’s history and lots of documents and primary sources… Its only real downside in terms of presentation is that more colour pictures of military hardware would have been appreciated.
The narrative is brilliantly engaging. Carradice has done an excellent job of bringing this era to life and setting out the, quite complex, information in an entertaining and informative way.
The book is as much about the personal egos and ambitions of legendary personalities of this era, the author’s approach is one of balance and constructive historical insight as well as being a book full of Cold War background and tactics.
For the Wargamer there is a treasure trove of knowledge and inspiration here. For those who play games like Little Cold Wars this book contains unit sizes plus sea and air strategies which are a perfect for basis for wargames campaigns. For those who play speculative wargames such as 7TV or Cold War Gone Hot this book is full of interesting details of the era that could really enhance games and for those that play boxed games like Twilight Struggle this book will add context for the historically curious.