Anticipating an armed conflict in Palestine after World War II, the Haganah embarked upon a large-scale effort to buy armaments to be sent to Palestine. Through front companies, and with the cooperation of certain Latin American governments, arms purchased primarily through the War Assets Administration, which sold surplus U.S. military equipment in the wake of World War II, were transferred illegally to Palestine, often via Czechoslovakia. This article places a group of prominent, wealthy, and politically connected Jewish Americans—referred to here as the Sonneborn group, a reference to the involvement of Rudolf Sonneborn—at the center of a network of Haganah operatives involved in this effort.
RICKY-DALE CALHOUN spent 22 years engaged in the purchase, processing, and export of leaf tobacco before coming to academia in 2000. He holds a B.I.S. degree in archaeology and an M.A. in history from Murray State University, and he is presently working toward a Ph.D. in history at Kansas State University. His area of interest is twentieth century foreign affairs and the role of intelligence in decision making, with a special focus on the Middle East. His article “The Musketeer’s Cloak: Strategic Deception during the Suez Crisis of 1956” appeared in Studies in Intelligence 51, no. 2 (June 2007), published by the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence.