Batista increased his military: He augmented the army to 14,000 soldiers, the marines to 3,000, the Havana police to 3,000, and the rural police to 3,000. The United States provided him with warships. During World War II, the Cubans helped patrol and protect the strategic shipping lanes from Galveston and New Orleans as well as the waterways to the Panama Canal. A lieutenant in the Cuban Navy, who served on one of these warships and helped sink a u-boat, later became a member of the Fidelistas and piloted their invasion from Mexico to Cuba aboard the motor yacht Granma.
Even Ernest Hemingway, a long time Havana resident, got in on the act. He and his drinking buddies used Hemingway's fishing boat, El Pilar, to mount patrols searching for German u-boats. Their exploits, some contended floating drinking parties, mirrored patrols mounted by American civilians on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. (I think that I, too, would have been drinking before I went to sea piloting a 30 foot cabin cruiser, armed with Tommy Guns, searching for German warships.)