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Zhukov, Georgi (1896–1974)

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Soviet soldier, and earlier a non-commissioned officer in the tsarist army, who eventually reached the rank of Marshal in January 1943. At the outbreak of world war ii Zhukov was fighting against the Japanese in Outer Mongolia. From January to July 1941 he served as chief of the general staff. Though soon dismissed from that post by stalin , Zhukov was thereafter pivotal in preparing the red army's resistance to the German siege of leningrad , and then in defending Moscow. In late 1942, as deputy supreme commander, he organized the relief of stalingrad , completed by February 1943. Zhukov played a leading role in the battle of kursk and in the subsequent Russian advances on Germany. Having secured the fall of Berlin, he became military governor of the Soviet occupation zone and the Russian representative on the Allied Control Council. Some have attributed his almost unbroken sequence of victories largely to military genius; others have more aptly suggested that they stemmed from his increasingly ruthless expenditure of the superior quantities of manpower available to him in the later stages of the war. After 1945 Stalin came to distrust his popularity, and relegated him to a regional command. In 1955 Zhukov was made minister of defense by khrushchev , but the appointment proved shortlived since the latter too became suspicious of the rival political ambitions that might ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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