How would you rate Zhukov?

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,122
On a scale of 10. I have mixed feelings about him. On one hand, he managed massive armies and that surely takes a good deal of skill given the logistics involved. On the other hand, he generally had a large advantage in manpower, often in resources and equipment and suffered heavier casualties. The Soviet Union of the 7 major industrial powers of WW2 was uniquely capable of accepting heavy losses since 5ey didn’t need to worry about re-elections and they had the necessary population.
 
Apr 2018
38
Canada
He was instrumental in getting the defenses of Leningrad in shape in the early stages at least.After that he played a role in the defense of moscow.After that he was a key player in sucking german reserves into stalingrad whilst he planned and executed their entrapment.After that there was Kursk which wrote down german armor.Operation bagration which sent the german eastern front into permanent retreat and the assault on berlin.Not a bad resume for one marshal.

There are disputes of course as to who had the most prominent role in these operations depending on which cliques of soviet marshals were believed and how the credit was doled out in the post war period but Zhukov was undoubtedly a prime mover.

He really could not spare identification with the fate of individual units as could western commanders or german as he was handling 20 or 30 armies at a time.But there grew up a saying among the rank and file : "where you find Zhukov you will find victory" That is about as good a commendation as any.

He understood what soviet armour was capable of and used it sparingly until the latter stages of the war when the tank armies could roam at will.

He was able to read stalin well enough to get his way in most things which was a valuable skill in dealing with the boss although he was sidelined after the war.

Soviet industry was not insulated as the western powers were but had to literally uproot and shift to the urals and then reconstruct and resume production all in the face of a gigantic national crisis and an enemy who blowtorched and bombed his way through and blowtorched and destroyed his way out.

One thing Stalin eventually did right: this was not to be trumpeted as a war for the communist party and uncle joe but a patriotic war meaning the naked survival of the russian people.Compromises had to be made for sure but once the idea of a struggle to preserve mother russia and the "liberating" germans showed what they really intended to do then support except from the ukraine really solidified.

Stalin had his screwups but at least by '43 he gave a wider scope to a crop of talented marshals as opposed to hitler's increasing micromanagement.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,193
Kansas
On a scale of 10. I have mixed feelings about him. On one hand, he managed massive armies and that surely takes a good deal of skill given the logistics involved. On the other hand, he generally had a large advantage in manpower, often in resources and equipment and suffered heavier casualties. The Soviet Union of the 7 major industrial powers of WW2 was uniquely capable of accepting heavy losses since 5ey didn’t need to worry about re-elections and they had the necessary population.
His casualty rate was not out of step with other commanders of the time. In fact some of the doctrines he championed did a very good job of reducing casualties in he later stages of the war
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,445
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
However, he was also in command of the disaster that was Operation Mars.

Also, as Chief of the General Staff from Feb - Jun 1941, he needs to take some significant responsibility for the abysmal performance of the Soviet forces.

From 2 February 1941, as the chief of the general staff, and Deputy Minister of Defense, Zhukov supposedly took 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
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
Sep 2015
410
The Eastern Hinterlands
On a scale of 10. I have mixed feelings about him. On one hand, he managed massive armies and that surely takes a good deal of skill given the logistics involved. On the other hand, he generally had a large advantage in manpower, often in resources and equipment and suffered heavier casualties. The Soviet Union of the 7 major industrial powers of WW2 was uniquely capable of accepting heavy losses since 5ey didn’t need to worry about re-elections and they had the necessary population.
I'd rate him say a 7 or an 8? From what I know he seems to be the best Russian commander of the 2nd World War. Got the job done and pretty much competently. One of Stalin's few achievements in his life was to not have Zhukov killed before the war.