In Action: Uzi
The photograph above shows a group of Israeli soldiers during the Battle of Isamilia during the Yom Kippur War. At least two of the men are armed with the IDF’s iconic Uzi submachine gun. One man has a captured Egyptian RPG-7 anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
By the time of the Yom Kippur War (1973) the Uzi had been officially in service for 20 years. Designed by Major Uziel Gal, the Uzi was chambered in 9mm and fed from a 32-round magazine. It had a telescopic bolt and used the ubiquitous blowback action.
The Uzi was adopted as a personal defense weapon for rear echelon support troops, officers, artillery men and tankers. It was operationally issued first to Israel’s elite special forces in 1954. The Uzi first saw action during the Suez Crisis in 1956 and subsequently the Six Day War (1967), where paratroops fighting in the street battles in Jerusalem found the Uzi’s firepower and compactness essential. It was initially issued with a detachable wooden butt and later a more compact folding stock introduced in the early 1960s.
Outside of Israel the Uzi was adopted by dozens of militaries for use with specialist troops and elite special forces units it was made under license by FN in Belgium and in Germany.