How would you rate Zhukov?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Not my area of specialty but I would put Zhukov as an above average commander, maybe a 7/10. I find Operation Mars and his plans as Chief of Staff in 1941 to disqualify him from being considered the greatest Soviet general and would give that honour to Rokossovsky. When people criticise the Soviets for high casualties they need to be aware of the scale and brutality of the Eastern Front as well as the fact that after 1943 the Soviets were on the offensive. Indeed, around 1943 the Red Army improved considerably and I would say they had decent casualty rates.
What about Vatutin?

I believe more people died on the Eastern Front in World War I than in the West.
But Russia had much more people than France had during WWI and thus proportionately suffered fewer losses in WWI itself than France did--though Russia of course did suffer much more in the subsequent Russian Civil War, 1930s famines, Great Purges, and WWII. :(
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Well the Russians lost about 1.8 million. Which is on par with French losses in the West. So it really comes down to where the bulk of Germans and Austrians were killed
Oh you're right. I would then say the Austrians are the decider since many more Germans died in the West.
You also need to weigh these losses by population, no? That should give you a better effect of their proportion.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,390
Sydney
What about Vatutin?
Vatutin was good but not outstanding ,
he somewhat botched his defense at Kursk, Zhukov intervened personally , but had a great twelve months after
promotion was strictly by merit from mid 1942 , he was deemed good enough to command a front
that would put him in the top twenty
one that I quite like is General Batov , an old war dog decorated twice in the czarist army ,
when told how he always knew where the German would attack ,
he just shrugged his shoulder "what the German bomb , they attack "

the soviets had a lot of good generals but were woefully short of good colonels and captains ,
their staff work was done basically by amateurs who took a couple of years to learn their job
the technical services struggled manfully to get themselves in order , while the various weapon directorates did a pretty good job

it seems incredible but there are many witnesses who were amazed at Stalin level of knowledge of all which was happening
from grand strategy to production nity grity and weapons faults
he was a very smart and hard working monster , trying to pass something being his back was a really bad idea

he could just possibly forgive mistake ....once ..and failure a couple of times , but never dissimulation
he was a manager from Hell who asked and got the impossible