Georgy Zhukov

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Georgy Zhukov

Georgy Zhukov, 1962

Georgy Zhukov, 1970s
Field Marshal of the WRRF
Details
Date of Birth1st December 1896
Place of BirthStrelkovka, Kaluga Governorate, Russian Empire
Age at start65 years old
Nationality Russian
RoleField Marshal
Political PartyZRF
Ideology Bolshevism

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Georgy Zhukov (born on December 1st 1896) is a Marshal of the West Russian Revolutionary Front and a potential leader of the Front after the death of Marshal Alexander Yegorov.

In Game Description[edit | edit source]

1960s Description[edit | edit source]

From the streets of Voroshilovgrad to the shores of Khalkhin Gol, from the outskirts of Leningrad to the forests of West Russia, in every battleground he fought, Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov demonstrated himself as an exceptional leader and stood out as an example to respect and follow from his peers and subordinates alike. Serving the Motherland with dignity and honor since its foundation, Zhukov was among the cohort of Soviet generals who have not surrendered to the advance of the Hun or abandoned their oath to the Soviet Union, and became one of the leading generals of the West Russian Revolutionary Front, the one which almost brought the Reich to its knees.

Even though the Front lost the battle, it did not lose its sacred war against the Fascist horde. The Front will rise anew - but will it learn from its past failures? Marshal Zhukov adamantly believes in the Communist cause and deeply admires the sacrifices the Soviet people took to preserve their country, but at the same time, he often expressed his doubts in the efficiency of the Front organization and went as far as suggesting that the Soviet leadership moved too far away from the working people it claims to represent. Zhukov's too independent position caused some hardliner generals to question his trustworthiness and even his loyalty to the Front for a man of his responsibilities.

The rumors of his political unreliability have not walked past the ears of the Arkhangelsk leadership, but his authority among the Red Army and sympathies from the common people were too significant to even consider merely discarding him. Following several unfortunate confrontations between Zhukov and other generals, he was sent to oversee the extraction of oil in the region of Ukhta, where he could put skills to use while keeping himself busy to affect the politics of the Front. Should the Front face turmoil, however, the marshal won't let himself to be quiet...

1970s Description[edit | edit source]

Very few expected Russia to be reunited, and fewer still believed that it would be reunited under another Union of Soviets. And yet, despite all odds, Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, the son of a Russian peasant cobbler, General of the West Russian Revolutionary Front, and the heir apparent to Kliment Voroshilov clique, has done just that.

Zhukov rose through the ranks of the Soviet military, his career derailed by the invasion of Russia by the Reich. Joining the Western Revolutionary Front, a rump communist state, he was instrumental in the Western Russian War in the 50s, and while the war ended in loss for the WRRF, it broke Germany's hegemony. Falling out of favor, he was sent to the military district of Ukhta.

But with the German Civil War, his opportunities and fortunes alike expanded. Winning the power struggle against his opponent, Tukhachevsky, he quickly took advantage of the stop in terror bombings to reunite West Russia, and quickly extended this rule over the rest of Russia. His reforms have made the system more stable and prosperous, with the economy recovering from the destruction of the warlord period. Rumors abound Zhukov, however. His health has deteriorated, with many of his underlings within the early days of the clique being labelled as possible successors. And then there is the matter of the border, which in recent months has seen massive amounts of build in materiel and soldiers near the Pakt.

Zhukov has refused to comment on this rumor.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Georgy Zhukov was born on December 1, 1896 in the village of Strelkovka, Kaluga province.

Zhukov was born into a poor peasant family of Russian ethnicity. His father, Konstantin Artemyevich Zhukov, was of Greek origin, worked as a shoemaker. His father originally was orphaned at the age of two and then adopted by Anuska Zhukova. His mother Ustin'ya was a peasant laborer, worked in field work and earned extra money as a driver.

Georgy would the second child in the family; sister Maria was born two years earlier. When he was five years old, his younger brother, Alexey, was born; but he lived less than a year. All three children were baptized in the Orthodox Chruch.

Zhukov was said to resemble his mother, and he believed he inherited his physical strength from her; Ustin'ya was reportedly able to accomplish demanding tasks such as carrying 200-pound (91 kg) sacks of grain over long distances.

In 1903, at the age of seven, he went to a parochial school in the neighboring village of Velichkovo. Three years later, he completed his education with a certificate of merit. In the summer of 1908, Zhukov's mother would arrange an apprenticeship for Zhukov with her brother Mikhail Pilikhin, a furrier and owner of a small fur processing workshop in Moscow. The workshop was located in the city center, not far from Red Square.

While working for his uncle in Moscow, Zhukov supplemented his education by reading with his cousin Alexander on a wide range of topics the Russian language, mathematics, geography, and studied German. In addition, he enrolled in a night school, where he completed courses as the work in his uncle's shop permitted.

Having successfully mastered the initial course in furriery, he independently enrolled in evening general education courses on Tverskaya Street, which provided education at the level of a city school. In 1911, studying in the evenings, he successfully passed the exams for a full course at the city school and received a certificate .

In the summer of 1912, Georgy, as one of the most capable and physically developed students, was taken to the famous Nizhny Novgorod fairs. where he would stand in for the owner occasionally, packed the goods sold and sent orders through the city pier on the Volga, the pier on the Oka or through the railway freight office. In the same year, Zhukov, for the first time in four years of study, returned to his native village.

World War 1[edit | edit source]

In 1914, the Russian Empire entered the war. It was in 1915 where Zhukov was conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army. He would be selected to serve in the cavalry and on the same day he was sent with a group of recruits to Kaluga, where his military career began in the 189th Reserve Infantry Battalion, before his transfer to Balakleya in the the 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment for further training.

After training as a cavalry non-commissioned officer , at the end of August 1916 he was seconded to the Southwestern Front at the disposal of the commander of the 10th Novgorod Dragoon Regiment. Whilst in his service in the Dragoon regiment, Zhukov would be awarded the Cross of St. George, 4th degree “for the capture of a German officer ”. In October that year, he received a severe concussion and, due to partial hearing loss, he would be sent to a reserve cavalry regiment to recuperate. For being wounded in battle, he would be awarded his second St. George Cross, this time 3rd degree. He would eventually rise to the rank of junior non-commissioned officer in the Russian Imperial Army. After the February Revolution, Zhukov was elected chairman of the soldiers' squadron committee. He would not serve for long as the squadron was disbanded in December 1917. From there he returned to Moscow, before his return to the village to his parents, where he would contract typhus. Enlisting in the Red Army from October 1, 1918 as a volunteer, before joining the Russian Communist Party in 1919, Zhukov served in the Moscow Cavalry Division.

During the Civil War, Zhukov would fight as part of his unit, attached to the 4th Army. His first combat mission in the Civil War was the relief of the blockade at Uralsk which was besieged by the Ural Cossacks. From August to October 1919, he would fight near Tsaritsyn as part of the 11th Army, against the troops of Generals Denikin and Wrangel in battles near the Vladimirovka station and the city of Nikolaevsk, then between Zaplavny and Srednyaya Akhtuba (near the current city of Volzhsky ), where he was wounded by grenade fragments.

Whilst in the field hospital to recuperate from his wounds, he also fell ill with typhus. He would recover, and subsequently received a month's leave to go home.

Returning after his leave was up, he was enlisted in a reserve battalion in Tver, and soon from there he was sent to study. After completing the Ryazan cavalry courses in the fall of 1920, he was appointed commander of a platoon, and then subsequently a squadron.

In August 1920 he would take part in battles with the Ulagai landing force near Yekaterinodar, and In December 1920 - August 1921 he participated in the suppression of a peasant uprising in the Tambov region , where he was wounded again.

For his participation in the suppression of the Tambov uprising, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1922 with his citation reading

In a battle near the village of Vyazovaya Pochta, Tambov province, on March 5, 1921, despite enemy attacks with a force of 1500-2000 sabers, he and his squadron held back the enemy’s onslaught for 7 hours and, then launching a counterattack, defeated the gang after 6 hand-to-hand fights.

Rising Through The Ranks[edit | edit source]

From the end of May 1923, Zhukov took command of the 39th Regiment of the 7th Samara Cavalry Division, and in 1924 he was sent to the Leningrad Higher Cavalry School for further training.

In 1925, after graduating from the Leningrad Higher Cavalry School, he would return to the division, before he would be assigned to teach pre-conscription training at the Belarusian State University in the 5 years

In 1929 he would attend the Frunze Military Academy, graduating a year later. From May 1930, he would be assigned to the 2nd Brigade of the 7th Samara Cavalry Division, which was headed at that time by Konstantin Rokossovsky .

Soon, he was appointed assistant inspector of the Red Army cavalry, and by March 1933, Zhykov became commander of the 4th Cavalry Division. From 1937 he served as commander of the 3rd (until February 1938) and 6th Cavalry Corps, and from July 1938 became deputy commander of the Belarusian Special Military District.

On the eve of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Red Army in 1938, although “early and out of turn,” Zhukov was awarded the military rank of division commander. Although not much is known how he managed to rise through the ranks so quickly, it could have been due to Bukharin sidelining and demoting several officers during his time as Premier, allowing commanders such as Zhukov to rise through the ranks.

Battle of Khalkin Gol[edit | edit source]

In 1938, Zhukov was directed to command the First Soviet Mongolian Army Group, and saw action against Japan's Kwantung Army on the border between the Mongolian People's Republic and the Japanese-controlled state of Manchukuo. The Soviet–Japanese border conflicts lasted from 1938 to 1939. What began as a border skirmish rapidly escalated into a full-scale war, with the Japanese pushing forward with an estimated 80,000 troops, 180 tanks and 450 aircraft.

These events led to the strategically decisive battle of Khalkhin Gol. Zhukov requested major reinforcements, and on 20 August 1939, his Soviet offensive commenced. After a massive artillery barrage, nearly 500 BT-5 and BT-7 tanks advanced, supported by over 500 fighters and bombers.

The offensive first appeared to be a typical conventional frontal attack. However, two tank brigades were initially held back and then ordered to advance around on both flanks, supported by motorized artillery, infantry, and other tanks. This daring and successful maneuver encircled the Japanese 6th Army and captured the enemy's vulnerable rear supply areas. By 31 August, the Japanese had been cleared from the disputed border, leaving the Soviets clearly victorious.

This campaign had significance beyond the immediate tactical and local outcome. Zhukov demonstrated and tested the techniques later used against the Germans in the Eastern Front of the Second World War. His innovations included the deployment of underwater bridges, and improving the cohesion and battle-effectiveness of inexperienced units by adding a few experienced, battle-hardened troops to bolster morale and overall training.

Evaluation of the problems inherent in the performance of the BT tanks led to the replacement of their fire-prone petrol (gasoline) engines with diesel engines. This battle provided valuable practical knowledge that was essential to the Soviet success in development of the T-34 medium tank used in World War II. After this campaign, veterans were transferred to untested units, to better spread the benefits of their battle experience.

For his victory, Zhukov was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union. However, the campaign—and especially Zhukov's pioneering use of tanks—remained little known outside the Soviet Union. Personally however, Zhukov considered Khalkhin Gol to be invaluable preparation for conducting operations during the Second World War.

In May 1940, Zhukov became an army general, making him one of few high-ranking Red Army officers.

Second World War and West Russian War[edit | edit source]

During the Second World War, during the autumn of 1940, Zhukov started preparing plans for the military exercise concerning the defence of the Western border of the Soviet Union. It had been pushed further to the west after the Soviet Union annexed eastern Poland and the Baltic republics.

Zhukov commanded the Western or Blue forces—the supposed invasion troops—and his opponent was Colonel General Dmitry Pavlov, the commander of the Eastern or Red forces—the supposed Soviet troops. He noted that his forces amounted to 60 divisions, whilst Colonel General Pavlov had 50 divisions. Zhukov would note that the exercise as being similar to events that later took place during the German invasion.

At the time, the Eastern forces had a numerical advantage: 51 infantry divisions against 41; 8,811 tanks against 3,512—with the exception of anti-tank guns. Bobylev describes how by the end of the exercise, the Eastern forces did not manage to surround and destroy the Western forces. In their turn, the Western forces threatened to surround the Eastern forces. The same historian reported that the second game was won by the Easterners, meaning that on the whole, both games were won by the side commanded by Zhukov. However, he noted that the games had a serious disadvantage since they did not consider an initial attack by Western forces, but only an attack by Eastern forces from the initial border.

According to Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, the war-game defeat of Pavlov's Red Troops against Zhukov was not widely known. The victory of Zhukov's Blue Troops was widely publicized, which created a popular illusion of easy success for a preemptive offensive. On 1 February 1941, Zhukov became chief of the Red Army's General Staff. He was also elected a candidate member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union In February 1941, and was appointed a Deputy People's Commissar for Defence in March.

From 2 February 1941, as the chief of the general staff, and Deputy Minister of Defense, Zhukov was said to take part in drawing up the "Strategic Plan for deployment of the forces of the Soviet Union in the event of war with Germany and its allies." The plan was completed no later than 15 May 1941.

In this plan, Soviet forces would occupy the Vistula Border and continue to Katowice or even Berlin—should the main German armies retreat—or the Baltic coast, should German forces not retreat and be forced to protect Poland and East Prussia. The attacking Soviets were supposed to reach Siedlce, Dęblin, and then capture Warsaw before penetrating toward the southwest and imposing final defeat at Lublin. However, this plan would be rejected.

On 10 June 1941, Zhukov sent a message to the Military Council of the Kiev Special Military District, after someone, most likely the commander of the Kiev district, Mikhail Kirponos, had ordered troops on the border to occupy forward positions. Zhukov ordered: "Such action could provoke the Germans into armed confrontation fraught with all sorts of consequences. Revoke this order immediately and report who, specifically, gave such an unauthorised order." On 11 June, he sent a telegram saying that his immediate superior, Timoshenko, had ordered that they were to report back by 16 June confirming that the troops had been withdrawn from their forward positions."

Despite this, the Soviet Union was not ready for war in June 1941, nor did it intend, as some have contended, to launch a preventative war.

Operation Barbarossa.[edit | edit source]

Operation Barbarossa would begin on 22 June 1941. On the same day, Zhukov responded by signing the "Directive of Peoples' Commissariat of Defence No. 3", which ordered an all-out counteroffensive by Red Army forces. He commanded the troops to "encircle and destroy [the] enemy grouping near Suwałki and to seize the Suwałki region by the evening of 24 June" and "to encircle and destroy the enemy grouping invading in [the] Vladimir-Volynia and Brody direction" and even "to seize the Lublin region by the evening of 24 June". This manoeuvre failed and disorganized Red Army units were destroyed by the Wehrmacht. This action would weaken the standing of the Red Army, to defend the motherland.

In headlong retreat, Zhukov would soon be reassigned to the Leningrad front, to oversee it's defences. Leningrad would fall before Zhukov could save the city. Forces in the city would be evacuated back into the region of West Russia in order to save materiale. Efforts to counterattack the Wehrmacht were defeated without any headway. Despite this Zhukov would take his army to slow the German advance, buying time for the Soviet Forces to fallback to the West Russian region.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, Zhukov would find himself joining the West Russian Revolutionary Front, commanding Soviet Remnant Forces that managed to survive the mauling by the Wehrmacht.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

In OTL, Zhukov was instrumental in the defeat of the Third Reich, having participated in the planning and execution of the war's major battles on the Eastern Front. This includes the Battle of Moscow, Rzhev, the defence of Stalingrad, the relief of Leningrad, and famously the Battle of Berlin.

Chosen by the Soviet Administration to personally accept the German Instrument of Surrender in Berlin, Zhukov would become the first commander of the Soviet Occupation Zone in Germany. After the war, Zhukov would be sidelined by Stalin, through his reassignment to the Odessa Military District, and then to the Urals. He would be recalled to Msocow in 1953, just as Stalin suffered his fatal stroke.

After Krushchev's rise to Premier of the Soviet Union, Zhukov would rise to become Defence Minister of the Soviet Union. It was in this post that Zhukov demanded that the political agencies in the Red Army report to him before the Party, he also demanded an official condemnation of Stalin's crimes during the Great Purge, supporting the political vindication and rehabilitation of Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Grigoriy Shtern, Vasily Blyukher, Alexander Yegorov and many others of his colleagues that were executed in the Great Purge.

His second fall from the Party was more sudden and public even than his first. On 4 October 1957, he left on an official visit to Yugoslavia, and Albania. He returned to Moscow on 26 October, straight to a meeting of the Presidium, during which he was removed from that body. On 2 November, the Central Committee convened to hear Zhukov being accused of 'non-party behaviour', conducting an 'adventurist foreign policy', and sponsoring his own personality cult.

He was expelled from the Central Committee and sent into forced retirement at age 62. The same issue of the Krasnaya Zvezda that announced Zhukov's return also reported that he had been relieved of his duties. Subsequently he stayed away from politics, instead writing his memoirs and indulging in his hobbies of fishing, having been sent fishing tackle by his American counterpart, General Dwight D. Einsenhower.

Zhukov was famous for having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union 4 times and the Order of Victory twice, and countless other decorations through his long career in the Red Army.