As England hijacked planes, or on the establishment of the Israeli Air Force
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As England hijacked planes, or on the establishment of the Israeli Air Force

As England hijacked planes, or on the establishment of the Israeli Air Force

Bristol Beaufighter - Heavy two-seat fighter, night fighter, as well as a light bomber and torpedo. England. First flight - July 17 1939 years.

As England hijacked planes, or the creation of the Air Force Izrailya1

Emmanuel Zuckerberg, one of the founders of the Israeli Air Force

While addressing aviation history by studying a variety of sources and references, I came across this absolutely fantastic story that occurred in the year 1948. I was surprised by the fact of theft of planes from the British Isles, and the fact that Hollywood directors and screenwriters still has not made a film based on these actual events.

The future hero of the Israeli Air Force Emmanuel Zuckerberg was born in 1911 in Ivano-Frankivsk, and at that time the city was called Stanislav and was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The family of Zuckerberg was rich enough, she owned an oil refinery. According to Emmanuel himself, the love of aviation for him came in 1925 year. Then, not far from their house in the field sat a military biplane, and the pilots, seeing the delight of the 14 summer boy, took him on a flight, making with him a circle over the field. In 18 years, Emmanuel, on the advice of the leader of the Zionist movement, the famous writer, translator, journalist and journalist Wolf Jabotinsky, who knew about the boy's enthusiasm, went to Paris. Here he studies aeronautics, and learns piloting an airplane.

In general, the young man was lucky to meet with famous personalities. After graduating from pilots' courses, and having flown the prescribed number of flight hours, Zuckerberg goes to work as a pilot in a private airline. And here fate once again smiles at Emmanuel - Antoine de Saint-Exupery becomes his pilot. Despite the difference in age, Antoine and Emmanuel very quickly became friends. Airline Aeropostal, in which they both worked, delivered mail to the north coast of Africa.

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In 1934 year, Emmanuel Zuckerberg arrives in Palestine, where the confrontation between Jews and Arabs is constantly leads to clashes and armed conflicts. Emmanuel headed a department for training pilots in the underground forces of self-defense. Having a decent touch and experience a variety of machine control, the young Zuckerberg trains future Air Force.

Spring 1948, the UN proclaimed the establishment of the Jewish state. To do this, the Palestinian territory was divided into Arab and Jewish parts. Of course, the Arab world this development does not suit, and almost immediately after the creation of the new state of Israel, he had to wage war against almost all of the Arab world. Without the support of aviation ground operations were ineffective.

At one single airfield of the self-defense forces, about a dozen light single-engine aircraft flew for training this was quite enough, but for the conduct of combat operations, these airplanes clearly did not fit. Arms for the self-defense forces were extracted by all truths and crooks - the UN declared an embargo on the supply of weapons to both Arabs and Jews. It was at this time that such an enterprising and educated person as Zuckerberg was useful. He was well-bred, possessed impeccable manners, knew several European languages, was young and not bad-minded. He easily pretended to be a rich rake, seeking entertainment in Europe. So he started useful contacts and gradually became a welcome guest in many famous houses in France and other countries. His fame in aviation circles and his acquaintance with Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who by that time was already a famous writer, increased the chances and opportunities to benefit the self-defense forces, its aviation component.

Aircraft wholesale and retail

Having shortened his surname to the simple name of Tzur, Emmanuel in England buys up aircraft suitable for military service and single-handedly drives them to the Middle East. Until Scotland Yard came on the trail of the business "rake," he manages to replenish the fleet of Jews on 8 aircraft. It should be noted here that the way in which Tzur has distilled planes is still surprising. Bypassing radar, illegally flying through the territory of many European countries, using only a compass and a map, it still amazes! And this happened not once or twice, but the whole 8 times, eight times Fortune was supportive to the reckless pilot.

But if the aeronautical authorities of the UK showed criminal carelessness, the Scotland Yard did not sleep, and had already begun to tread on the heels of the pilot-Drover. The islands had to flee. But the restless and reckless Emmanuel Zur, eager to replenish the fleet of his young country more combat-ready machines.

Strange generals are, probably, in all countries of the world. In Britain, one retired Royal Air Force general, for unknown reasons, bought 12 aircraft Bristol Bofayter. Despite the fact that the plane was released in 1939 year, and now, after 10 years, it was a serious combat vehicle, with good cannon armament (depending on the modification). For which it took a dozen combat (though decommissioned) aircraft to a retired general, it's hard to say, and the story is silent about it. And, either the fleet of military vehicles was already fed up with the general, or he bought into the promises of the negotiators Tsur, but, nevertheless, he was ready to sell them. But to buy planes in England is still half the battle, you need to somehow drive them to Israel.

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Of course, that the aircraft did not have proper care during their stay in the general's "fleet". Each of them required a thorough inspection and possible repair and restoration to the flying state. Zur rents a light aircraft in France, registers a flight inside the country, and illegally crosses the English Channel, bypassing radar at low altitude. In England, he begins to inspect the equipment and trade with the retiree. It turned out that "put on the wing" can only 6 machines from 12. On the joy that it was possible to build so successfully the fighters that are not necessary already, the General undertakes to repair the equipment at his own expense for two or three weeks. Tzur also illegally, bypassing the radar coastal installations, flies to France.

Tzur - movie producer

The idea of ​​hijacking combat aircraft from England, Emmanuel unwittingly prompted the girl one of the pilots of his team. She told him about his dream to play in a movie about the New Zealand pilots fighting against the Japanese during the Second World War. And then Zur if dawned: here it is, here's an idea how you can overtake planes!

And the car spun. The production company Air Pilot Film Company was created urgently. The firm announced its desire to make a film about the struggle of courageous New Zealand pilots against the Japanese militarists. Of course, it was meant that the filming would take place on the British Isles. The best screenwriters, cameramen and directors were hired in London. The name of the painting did not shine with originality - "Pilots of New Zealand in Action." In all likelihood, Emmanuel Tzur in the funds was not constrained. The most expensive colored film was bought, about forty people of extras were hired, and the entire technical team. Pilots for filming, of course, was selected by the chief pilot himself. Not everyone agreed to such an adventurous flight plan.

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RAF military form

And here, at the military airport, south of London, began shooting a new film about pilots. Advance was approved by the authorities of the script, and got permission to shoot. Then everything happened as usual during any filming. In the morning from London to the small town of Thames, next to the airfield buses traveled with a film crew. Deploys equipment, camera, light, social statistics, the director swearing and stuff. Pilots ran on alert for combat vehicles, the girls saw them off properly.

But on the third day of shooting one of the pilots died, the plane was defeated. There remained 4 aircraft. Emmanuel did not risk further, and time was already running out. He assembled the band and announced that the shooting would continue in Scotland (where they looked more like New Zealand landscapes), then the group was calculated. Bofaytery took off, built and flew towards Scotland, but after four hours of flight, they boarded Corsica, at the aerodrome Ajaccio. All the questions with dispatchers and authorities were solved by Tsur, using his charm, and more simply money. Next landing in Yugoslavia in Podgorec. And only two days after the departure from England, the planes were in Israel.

The end of the film

The end of this story is good. Emmanuel Zur, fearing arrest, did not return to England. At home, the head of the State of Israel, Ben-Hur, he was appointed the first director of the International Airport in Lod. And he died in the year 1991 surrounded by loving family and friends.

After the unexpectedly filming of a patriotic film about the war, the British journalists unearthed the details of the case with the Betafighters' flights, and made the case public. A terrible scandal broke out. The UN resolution on the ban on the supply of weapons to the belligerent, has not been canceled. Scotland Yard was put to shame, from under the nose of the British Isles, an enterprising businessman (and a newly-minted producer), which is called in front of an astounded public, led off four combat aircraft, which then "surfaced" in Israel. All that remains to British detectives are tapes with already filmed material.

It remains to regret two things: first - that Hollywood has not yet paid his money attention to this adventurous story, and the second - is that we will probably never see, buried in the depths of Scotland Yard, film, with real flying Bofayterami.

Especially for Avia.Pro Valery Smirnov