It’s 60 years on Friday since the bungled US-backed invasion of Cuba known as the "Bay of Pigs".
The attempt to topple Fidel Castro’s communist regime by 1,500 Cuban exiles, secretly trained and funded by the CIA, ended in disaster after a string of cock-ups.
US President John F Kennedy was left highly embarrassed by the episode, which joined a long roll call of failed military operations from history. Here JAMES MOORE looks at some notable fiascos…
The invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs was doomed from the start.
American planes, disguised as Cuban ones, failed to bomb the right targets while the aircraft of a supposed Cuban defector who landed in Miami was rumbled as a fake by reporters.
An advance frogman lit a beacon to show the exiles where to land their boats on the morning of April 17, 1961 – but defending Cubans saw it and opened fire.
US air cover failed to help following a time zone error, plus, an expected popular uprising against Castro didn’t materialise.
Three days later the surviving exiles surrendered.
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In June 1876 the infamous Lieutenant Colonel George Custer led his 7th US Cavalry into a massacre at the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana.
He faced more than 3,000 Native American warriors led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
Despite orders not to attack with his 750-strong force, Custer hoped to surprise the enemy, but they were waiting for him, killing 200 in 'Custer’s Last Stand'.
A near-suicidal British cavalry attack in 1854 during the Crimean War would become known as The Charge of the Light Brigade.
Its 670 men would ride into what the poet Lord Tennyson dubbed the "valley of death" after an order to recover some lost guns was miscommunicated.
Blasted by a formidable Russian gun battery, 250 of the force were killed or wounded.
The 1415 Battle of Agincourt was a famous victory for English longbowmen under King Henry V against a French force that outnumbered them four to one.
French forces attacked on sodden ground which meant their knights’ armour got stuck in the mud and were easily cut down.
Time was called on China’s Han Dynasty after the Battle of Red Cliffs on the Yangtze River in 208AD – the biggest in naval history.
Northern warlord Cao Cao’s forces outnumbered his enemies, but he made the mistake of crewing his ships with untrained
infantry who became seasick.
Chaining his craft together to make them more stable, they were then sitting ducks for his opponent’s fire ships which set them all ablaze.
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