I cannot make definitive comment on the machinery used to manufacture the 9mm cartridges made at the factory on Kibbutzim Hill, near Rehovot, in Israel, since I have never visited there and have not seen it. I suspect that the Israelis would have been clever enough to remove identification plates or efface manufacturer’s markings from it anyway.
I have many printed sources in my library concerning the purchase of machinery in Poland. None mention the purchase of any machinery in the United States; that is, none of the material I have. I am not saying that there is no recounting of such a purchase. “On and Off the Beaten Track in Machon Ayalon,” by Peter Abelow, mentions only purchase of machinery in Europe, with no mention of country. “When ammunition ran short, Israelis made their own,” an article by Edgar Asher, of Isranet, says “The machinery needed to produce the bullets was purchased in Poland and smuggled to Beirut and then onward to the factory.” An internet article from www.israel-al.com, entitled “The Ayalon Institute,” recounts “In the 1930s, it becaqme clear to the Zionist leaders that they were going to need weapons to defend themselves against the Arabs and to fight for their independence…” “The head of the clandestine Israel Military Industry, Yosef Avidar, devised a plan to smuggle in machinery for a secret factory to make the bullets. Theough he was successful in purchasing machines in Poland in 1938, the Zionists could only get them as far as Beirut, where they were stored for nearly four years before Jews who served in the British Army succeeded in bringing them to Palestine.”
I could go on with other references from my library, but to what end? They all say the same thing, with some in greater depth and detail than others. By the way, I should mention here what most will have already concluded. When they refer to “bullets,” they are certainly talking about ammunition rather than just the projectiles. That is clear in context.
Is this information wrong? I would not think so. These are all Israeli sources. Unless 50+ years later there is still felt the need to maintain secrecy about this operation and obscure the facts, which I seriously doubt, who would know more about the Ayalon Institute’s bakery/laundry basement factory than the people who built it, operated it and have preserved it as a museum?
Now, does this mean that no American machinery could have been intermixed with that from Poland? Are both stories incompatible with each other? Not at all. It is, in my opinion, almost a certainty that some of the machinery at least was bought before WWII in Poland. Judging from the fact that all of the Israeli 9mm rounds from the beginning are boxer primed (I have pulled aprt many Isreali 9mm rounds, include “E A” headstamped ones), it is possible that American machinery, at some point of time, augmented that bought in Poland. The two stories are not mutually exclusive. I suspect that the absolute truth rests somewhere in between.
Certainly, I am not willing to dismiss either story out-of-hand.
The over-looked part here, judging from the thread, is that the Polish machinery purchases were made before WWII. Had the articles indicated post-WWII purchase, I would doubt them as well. Poland was firmly in the hands of the Soviets, and while relations at that time were not as strained between the USSR and Israel as they would become later, such a purchase would be highly unlikely. It is absolutely true that after the war, Czechoslovakia stood almost alone in the supplying of arms and ammunition to what was to become the Israeli State. There were Mausers, ZB 26 MGs, German weapons left in Czechoslovakia, and ammunition certainly of 7.9 and 9mm caliber, and probably other calibers as well. A huge importation of ammunition from Israel was made many years ago by a Sacramento, California importer/dealer. I had a chance to see the bulk of that shipment (not round by round - that would have taken at least a year!). I did look through some 9mm and 7.9 Mauser, and much of it was Czech or later Israeli manufactured, but there was a fair quantity of French ammo, probably from Syria and Lebanon, both heavy with French influence at the time, as well as rounds here and there from Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and most other European countries. Of course there was a smattering of British 9mm, and American rounds as well, although the latter probaby came from post-Independence days. Much of the ammunition, of course, was made after the initial war for the Independence of Israel, but there was a wide assortment of ammunition made in 1946 or before as well. It was truly an “International” shipment.
Well, in the long run, I don’t know that the above has added much to the discussion. The major point is that I don’t think Israeli source after source can be dismissed as wrong out of hand when they are discussing their own factory, now a rather revered spot, I am told.