Weapons Used in the Cuban Revolution
Most of the weapons used in the Cuban Revolution were American weapons that had been used in World War II and the Korean War. The paradox was that the 82 guerrillas, led by Fidel Castro, onboard the Granma boat that landed on the southern coast of the Cuban Island, in 1956, to start a Marxist revolution, were armed with American infantry weapons; that is to say, manufactured in a free capitalist country: M1 Garand rifles, M1 carbines, 1903 Springfield rifles, a couple of German Mauser rifles, and M1911 .45 pistols, which they had gotten on the Mexican black market before they had left for the Island. Once they had infiltrated the Sierra Maestra jungles and began carrying out attacks on Fulgencio Batista’s army outposts, they seized more American guns, such as Browning Automatic Rifles, Thompson sub-machine guns, M3 "Grease Guns", M2 Browning .50-caliber heavy machine guns, and even a few mortars.
By mid 1958, the Communist leaders, who had lied the Cuban population they were fighting to reestablish democracy and freedom on the Island, had received a large number of infantry weapons that had arrived in a southern coast cove, hidden in a fishing boat. This shipment included the modern FN FAL 7.62mm automatic assault rifles and World War II Soviet-made weapons, such as PPSh-41 sub-machine guns, SVT40 Tokarev rifles, and anti-tank rocket launchers. On the other side, Fulgencio Batista’s army and national police force were armed with all type of American armament; the infantry weapons mentioned above and M3 Stuart light tank, M4 Sherman medium tank, as well as 75mm and 105mm artillery pieces. The government forces also had at their disposal six P-47 Thunderbolt and four F4U Corsair fighter aircraft.
M3 Stuart light tank used by the government forces.