History of the creation of one of the first known specimens of small melee weapons - famous submachine gun "Uzi».
Automatic "Uzi" (or rather - submachine gun, that is, automatic weapons melee under the pistol cartridge) is considered one of the most popular models of small arms in the entire history of the world. In the years after the creation of the legendary machine, the volume of sales exceeded $ 3 billion. Today, the armies and intelligence services and ninety-five countries in the world are more than two million barrels of the famous machine.
The reasons for such wide recognition machine "Uzi", which became a symbol of the twentieth century, rooted in its original design, compact size, and rate.
History submachine gun "Uzi" is inextricably linked with the life of its creator - the Israeli-taught gunsmith Lieutenant Colonel Uziel Gal, whose name he was called. Biography brilliant gunsmith is no less complex and complicated than the story of his offspring.
From Bavaria, the land of Israel
Uziel Gal is not always carried that name. He was born in 1923 in the German city of Weimar, and his birth name was Gotthard Glass and his associates (according to other sources, his real name was Kurt Borkhard). He was born in a prosperous Jewish family - his father Eric had his own business in Munich, his mother was an artist Milly, together with Gotthard grew his younger sister Elsa.
Throughout his life left a mark future gunsmith passion of his father. Erich Glass during the First World War, was an officer in the German army and the army kept peace habits - he was a great connoisseur and collector weapons. The walls of the house in Munich, where the family lived Glass, decorated with old cold steel and firearms and armor from the collection of his father, who carefully studied and he repaired all the copies of his collection.
Jewish refugees from Germany to the UK in 1938. Photo: AP
The passion for arms, like his father, and took possession of a small Gothardtom. At 10 years old he made his first home-made gun, which, however, exploded in his hands, and the young designer of severe burns, and in 15 years has designed an original automatic crossbow.
Eric Glass has been a staunch Zionist (a supporter of the revival of the Jewish state in the historic homeland), and for this purpose has left with his family, going with a group of German Zionists in Palestine. The family does not share the views of the Zionist father, he remained in Germany.
Peaceful life Glass family, like all German Jews, was broken when Hitler came to power in 1933. The Nazis continuously introduced new discriminatory restrictions to the German Jews, soon led to the Holocaust.
The first years of the Nazi regime Glass family remained in Germany. Gothard studied at a Jewish high school and planned to join his father in Palestine. The circumstances are very unfavorable for the German Jews - in Nazi Germany intensified anti-Semitism, but the way the outcome of the United Kingdom were closed, then ruled Palestine.
British authorities in favor of the Palestinian Arabs completely shut down the entry of Jewish refugees to Palestine than the doomed millions of European Jews to their deaths in the Nazi death camps during the Holocaust.
This decision caused outrage in Britain over the world, and then the British authorities took the decision truly Jesuit - they are allowed to ship to the UK ten thousand Jewish children from Germany and Austria, the ban, however, the entry of their parents, doomed to death.
Eleven Gothard was one of the Jewish children who were with numbers on the neck accompanied parents to the UK, never never saw their children.
In England exported Jewish children spread on the families who voluntarily decided to take young refugees. One of those families was the family of British grocer Roberts from the town of Grantham. Grocer's daughter insisted to take a Jewish girl from Germany. As time passes, the grocer's daughter Margaret Thatcher becomes - British Prime Minister.
The land of Israel
In 1936, his father Gotthard Glass succeeded by the British authorities to allow her son to move to Eretz Yisrael. Thirteen Gotthard Glass lived with his father in Kibbutz Yagur near Haifa, and adopted the Hebrew name of Uziel (US) Gal, under which it will be known worldwide.
The time was not easy. In 1936, the Palestinian Arabs, led by agents of Nazi Germany raised an armed rebellion against the British and the Jewish population of Eretz Israel. The answer to Arab terror began fighting the Jewish underground army Haganah (Defense), along with the British forces firmly and decisively to suppress the pro-Nazi Arab revolt.
Uzi has become a direct participant in the events in his home kibbutz. Happy kibbutzim worked in the fields, and at night in arms fought off Arab attacks. There was no time for school - Uzi with 14 years began working in the kibbutz metal workshop, where not only engaged in repair of tractors and agricultural machinery - there is a secret from the British authorities were manufactured weapons for the Jewish fighting units, including the most popular among the soldiers submachine gun «STEN». Uzi Gal got an important experience in the production of small arms with their hands.
In 1942 Uzi joined palms. Detachments of Palma (Hebrew acronym for the words "shock companies") played an important role in the war for the creation of the Jewish state. Thousands of Jewish boys and girls voluntarily join them to weapons in the hands of the hour is the establishment of Israel. In Israel, there is an expression "Palmach generation" - so called youth volunteers of the year, ready to give their lives for the ideals of Zionism and the Jewish state. Ideology Palmach was largely pro-Soviet and pro-- the Soviet Union and the Red Army is an example for young Zionists.
Uzi was the gunsmith Detachment "Givat Haim." It was there in the rare free moments Uzi began to develop his submachine gun, who glorified the name of his designer.
With details of his machine pistol Uzi Gal was captured by the British patrol in late 1943. The verdict of the British military tribunal was harsh - for carrying weapons Uzi Gal, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Term Uzi Gal served in prison city of Acre. There he was, a self-taught mechanic for the first time had the opportunity to learn the basics of correspondence in engineering - he made several examinations on the instructions he received from the English College of Engineering. Coming out of prison two years later under an amnesty, Uzi Gal Yagura resumed in the studio working on his project, but the beginning of the 1948 war for Israel's independence for a long time pushed his plans.
He fought on the northern front in the infantry. First commander of the department, and then became a platoon commander. In between battles Uzi continued to work on his project.
50s. Mayor Uzi Gal (in the right hand he holds his "Uzi", and the left German Mp-40)
Create machine "Uzi»
In the summer of 1949, Lieutenant Gall was sent to study at the School of Infantry officer. October 20, 1949, he sent the head of the school Lieutenant Colonel Meir Zora letter describing his submachine gun and demonstrated a working model. Submachine gun Uzi Gal had an original design - automatic "Uzi" was working on the principle of the recoil free shutter.
"Uzi". Photo: James Keyser
The main feature of this design is the gate that before firing it comes to the front of the breech by shooting a submachine gun "Uzi" comes bulging gate (ie, during the movement of the gate ahead), because the return is not directed back, and forward.
Combat experience Uzi Gal, and left its mark on the structure of such important details machine shops, which is housed in the handle, and recharging takes place on the principle of 'hand finds hand' - it's very convenient for a quick replacement of the store during the battle, especially in total darkness. < br />
For high reliability machine "Uzi" influenced his combat experience designer - he designed his weapon for fighting extreme conditions in mining and desert dust storms and high temperatures.
Technology of production of the machine, "Uzi" is very simple - the majority of components can be manufactured cold formed on the universal machine tools. Care of the machine and is simple - it is well protected from dust and sand and versed in all five components.
Construction submachine gun developed by Uziel Gall, was a real breakthrough in the shooting case. Compared with traditional weapons, which occurs when a stationary shot of the gate, it was possible to halve the weight of the machine and significantly reduce the size of weapons. It was almost a new word in the establishment of small arms.
The chief officer courses Lt. Col. M. Zora immediately praised the new weapons, and a few days later appealed to the head of the Training Division of the IDF Colonel Chaim affectionate with a letter.
The letter said in part:
"I personally checked the weapon and here are my findings:
A. Easy to use (sits perfectly in the hand);
B. The instinctive shooting "knee" is superior to any I know of a weapon;
B. High precision;
G. No misfires but misfires related to substandard ammunition ».
Already October 31, 1949 Chief of General Staff Yaakov Dori ordered the establishment of a commission to study the issue of production of a new submachine gun.
Uzi got two working and workshop where finally completely given to the work on your project. One year later was ready the first prototype submachine gun.
Uzi Gal distinguished modesty, combined with personal courage in battle. He fiercely opposed the fact that the machine was named after him. However, the company TAAS - weapons producer rejected the request Galya not to machine its name, referring to the fact that in addition to the name "Uzi" - it is also an abbreviation of the words "My strength in Gd" in Hebrew.
In 1951, the IDF has carried out tests "Uzi" in 1953 started its mass production, and in 1955 the machine was finally adopted by the IDF. Already in 1953 "Uzi" was tested fight - they were armed with riot police during a sting operation in Gaza. Sinai Campaign in 1956 only confirmed the remarkable fighting qualities of the new machines, which were armed paratroops.
Triumph Uziel Gal
Years of work was finally recognized designer. In November 1955 Uziel Gal was marked by a special order of the Chief of the General Staff of the inventions in the military field, in 1958 he was awarded the Israel Prize.
A unique weapon interested worldwide. In 1956, sub-machine gun "Uzi" was presented at the competition in Holland and won first place, beating such famous competitors as the Swedish Machine "Carl Gustav" and the British "Sterling».
In 1958, "Uzi" was adopted by the Dutch army. During the visit, German Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauss in Israel Uziel Gal showed that his gun. Strauss, a former officer in the war-tanker Wehrmacht, immediately appreciated all the advantages of the machine "Uzi" - compact and robust, it fully meets the requirements for personal weapons tank. Soon, "Uzi" was adopted by the German armored forces.
Automatic "Uzi" and its modifications "Mini Uzi" and "Micro-Uzi" were adopted by the army and security services nearly one hundred countries. Among his famous "users" protection of the president of the USA.
Uziel Gal (left) and Josef Strauss, 1958.
Revenues from "Uzi" amounted to billions of dollars, but Uziel Gal waived his copyright royalties - he believed that just fulfilled his patriotic duty and raised billions of dollars to serve the state.
Uzi Gal continued to construct weapons. Its design office have developed dozens of variations of 'Uzi' for a wide range of combat employment.
Since 1957 Uzi Gal led the development of a new assault rifle. It was intense competition with other prominent Israeli designer - Yisrael Galili (Balashnikovym), whose design office led the development of similar small arms. "Fight the Giants" ended in defeat Uzi Gal - military-technical committee of the General Staff of the IDF has adopted an assault rifle 'Galileo', the brainchild of design bureau Yisrael Galili.
In 1976, Colonel Uzi Gal retired. For seriously ill daughter Irit required medical attention in the United States, where, and moved the family Gall. In the US, Uzi Gal continued construction of small arms. Gun Ruger company he created a submachine gun MP-9 on the basis of their previous developments. During the filming of the blockbuster "Terminator II: Judgment Day" Uzi Gal was a consultant for Linda Hamilton on military affairs and weapons handling.
Assault rifle (automatic) series Galil
September 9, 2002 Uziel Gal died on the 79th year of life. He was buried with military honors in Israel with his wife and daughter to the cemetery of Kibbutz Yagur.
With the death of the brilliant designer did not end the story of its creation - for decades state concern IMI (Israel Military Industries) went on to develop new modifications and manufacture of small arms under the world-famous brand Uzi. It recently developed a sub-machine gun "Uzi-Pro", which promises to be the same worldwide hit, as his legendary ancestor.
Submachine gun Uzi Pro also uses automatic with a free gate. Receiver weapons made by stamping of sheet steel, the body trigger mechanism is made integral with pistol grip and trigger guard of durable plastic. On the cover of the receiver mounted Picatinny rail, which you can put a scope and other accessories - such as a laser pointer, and others.
According to Uri Amit, CEO of IMI group, in modern warfare is a powerful and compact weapon, how is the "Uzi-Pro" is a must equip special forces and combat troops.