Saturday, 8 January 2011

General Georgi Zhukov

Georgi Zhukov was one of Stalin’s most important Generals during the Second World War and is most well known for his bullish approach and for being a leader in spearheading the march across Eastern Europe and taking Berlin.

Zhukov came from very humble beginnings as his family were very poor, this did not deter the young Zhukov though.

By the age of 19 in 1915 Zhukov was conscripted in to the Russian army during the First World War. It was in the First World War that he first became known to senior Generals in the Russian army as he twice showed bravery in battle while serving in a Cavalry Regiment. This bravery saw Zhukov rise to the level of a Non-Commissioned Officer and receive the Cross of St. George on two occasions.

After the First World War Zhukov then fought in the Russian Civil War between 1918 and 1921 were he again proved himself in battle and won the Order of the Red Banner.

Zhukov stayed in the Russian army and by 1938 a battle on the Mongolian border between Russian and Japanese troops occurred with Japan pushing forward with over eighty thousand troops. Zhukov commanded the First Soviet Mongolian Group and saw a decisive victory in the battle that made him gain his first Hero of the Soviet Union award.

By 1940 Zhukov was made a General in the Russian army and became pivotal in the role of Russia within the Second World War.

Between 1941 and 1944 Zhukov had mixed fortunes with some awful losses in battles but also being pivotal in the organization of battle formations in the Defense of Leningrad and the Defense of Stalingrad.

It was 1945 where Zhukov became famous around the world as he, along with Generals Konev and Rokossovsky. Stalin saw the competition between all three Generals and said he wanted Berlin to be taken at all costs ahead of the British and Americans. To support this endeavour Zhukov threw the 1st Belorussian Front in to the Vistula-Oder front and on to the Battle of Berlin making important (although very costly casualty wise) decisions to push his forces onto Berlin.

Zhukov became the first commander of the Soviet occupation zone in Germany and was a senior figure in the inspections at the Berlin parade; he even gained the respect of Allied commanders.

After World War Two Zhukov raised to the level of Minister of the Defense of the Soviet Union and died at 77 in the year 1974 while living in Moscow.

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