Why the Israelis (and the rest of the world) Fell in Love with the Uzi: A simple glance at the infamous Uzi submachine gun conjures up a slew of recollections. The Uzi became synonymous with the Israel Defense Forces and was featured prominently in popular culture in the 1980s, appearing in everything from movies to music videos. In close quarters battle, it showers rounds to force opponents to take cover.
For soldiers in tanks, armoured personnel carriers, or aerial drops, it’s small. It also instilled confidence in Israelis at a time when the country was establishing itself and fought for survival in the Middle East.
Since its creation in 1948, Israel has had to fight its way out of difficulty.
The Israelis had utilised a jumble of small weaponry from many countries, including civilian rifles and shotguns, in battle. They needed something tiny and powerful that could efficiently teach fresh soldiers in a short period of time.
This was taken into account by an Israeli named Uziel Gal, a veteran of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Gal’s origin tale is instructive. When he escaped the Nazis and dreamed of a new life in the Middle East, he took on a German name. In 1943, he was sentenced to prison in British-controlled Palestine for unlawful gun possession.
Years in prison provided him with plenty of opportunities to read and contemplate, so he majored in mechanical engineering and eventually joined the Jewish underground and then the military.
Simple to Carry
In 1950, he created a prototype with a small design based on Czech models that could fire semi-automatically or fully automatically. Although it originally had a wood stock, it was 18.5 inches long with the buttstock folded and weighed 7.7 pounds. The 9-mm ammunition magazine, which would hold 25 or 32 rounds, would be put into the grip in the same way that a sidearm is loaded.
The 600-round-per-minute submachine gun, dubbed the Uzi (despite the fact that Gal didn’t want the gun to be named after him), had the balance of a pistol and simple sights.
It was simple to shoot, and soldiers learned how to use it rapidly. It was resistant to sand particles and didn’t have many problems. Because Israel didn’t have much money to spend on small arms development, the new submachine gun had to be low-cost to manufacture. As a result, the Uzi had stamped parts that facilitated in production, and by 1954, the Israelis were mass-producing them.
It was well received by troops, and it spread across the defence forces. Its tiny size appealed to tankers. It may be loaded quickly by regular soldiers. Airborne troops would be able to jump without the need for a heavy long rifle for the first time. It was employed in the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In the 1980s, the Uzi made its way to the United States. President Ronald Reagan delivered a speech at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Washington, DC in March 1981. Outside the building, a mob gathered, and Reagan waved as he climbed into a limousine. Then six shots were fired at the president all of a sudden. The Secret Service was dispatched. Agent Robert Wanko of the Secret Service took an Uzi from a special briefcase, and the weapon was photographed and circulated around the world.
In the 1980s, the M16 took its place. Because the Uzi was not very accurate beyond 50 metres, the Israelis required a weapon with a greater range. In 2003, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) formally deactivated the Uzi.
Although, if you add the Uzi Pro, it appears to have made at least a minor comeback.