Uziel "Uzi" Gal (Hebrew: עוזיאל "עוזי" גל), born Gotthard Glas, was a German-born Israeli firearms designer known as the inventor of the Uzi submachine gun.
History[edit | edit source]
Gal was born in Weimar, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 he moved first to England and later, in 1936, to Kibbutz Yagur in the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1943 he was arrested for illegally carrying a gun and sentenced to six years in prison. However he was pardoned and released in 1946, serving less than half of his sentence.
Gal began designing the Uzi submachine gun in 1948, shortly after the Israel War of Independence. In 1951 it was officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces and was called the Uzi after its creator. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him but his request was ignored. In 1955 he was decorated with Tzalash HaRamatkal and in 1958, Gal was the first person to receive the Israel Security Award, presented to him by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for his work on the Uzi.
In 1975 Gal retired from the IDF, and the next year he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so that his daughter Tamar, who had serious brain damage, could receive special medical attention.