Zhukov: The Rise and Fall of a Great Captain

Zhukov: The Rise and Fall of a Great Captain

Zhukov: The Rise and Fall of a Great Captain

Zhukov: The Rise and Fall of a Great Captain

Synopsis

No World War II Soviet military leader has received more attention in the current revision of Soviet history than Georgii Konstantinovich Zhukov. When the recent policy of glasnost allowed publication of Zhukov's original memoir and release of secret material on his relationships with Stalin and Khrushchev, the true story of the Soviet Union's most renowned soldier began to emerge. The name Zhukov is intimately connected with a series of victorious land battles that changed the course of World War II: the defense of Moscow and Leningrad, the staggering defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad, the recapture of Khar'kov, and the battle for the Ukraine. Although hated by many in the high command for his "Stalin style" of leadership, Zhukov's successes captured the popular imagination and he became a Soviet hero. In 1946, Zhukov was disgraced by the vindictive Stalin, and although he returned to favor following Stalin's death, he was forced into early retirement soon after Khrushchev came to power. Until his death in 1974, the old soldier tried to ensure that his version of the great events in which he played a key role would be available to historians. But this was not to be: his memoir was highly censored by the Soviet hierarchy, and personal jealousies isolated the aging hero and made him a target of unjust criticism. William Spahr, an expert on Soviet military policy, has carefully examined Zhukov's uncut memoir and other new Soviet material which he has translated, and presents the first truly balanced and accurate biography of this great soldier. Filling in missing pieces of the puzzle, Spahr sheds new light on Zhukov's brilliant career and his place in Soviet history.
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