photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Marshal of the Soviet Union (1896-1974)wd:Q124617
country of citizenship: Russian Empire, Soviet Union
language of expression: Russian
educated at: M.V. Frunze Military Academy
occupation: military personnel, politician
award received: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, Order of Lenin, Medal "For the Victory over Japan", Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Order of the Red Banner, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit, Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of the October Revolution, Order of Victory, Order of Suvorov, 1st class, Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin", Jubilee Medal "XX Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army", Medal "For the Defence of Leningrad", Medal "For the Defence of Moscow", Medal "For the Defence of Stalingrad", Medal "For the Defence of the Caucasus", Medal "For the Capture of Berlin", Medal "For the Liberation of Warsaw", Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Medal "In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow", Medal "In Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Leningrad", Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy", Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR", Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR", Order of the Red Banner, Cross of St. George, Order of the Republic (Tuva), Virtuti Militari, Order of the Cross of Grunwald, 1st class, Order of the White Lion, Czechoslovak War Cross 1939–1945, Medal "For the Victory over Japan" of Mongolia, Medal for Warsaw 1939-1945, Medal "For Oder, Nysa and the Baltic", Commander with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Gold Star medal, Legionnaire of Legion of Merit, Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic, Order of Sukhbaatar, Cross of St. George 3rd class, Cross of St. George 4th class, Grand Cross with Star of the Virtuti Militari
position held: Minister of Defence, member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union
Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (Russian: Гео́ргий Константи́нович Жу́ков; listen ; 1 December 1896 – 18 June 1974) was a Soviet general and Marshal of the Soviet Union. He also served as Chief of the General Staff, Minister of Defence, and was a member of the Presidium of the Communist Party (later Politburo). During the Second World War, Zhukov oversaw some of the Red Army's most decisive victories.
Born to a poor peasant family from central Russia, Zhukov was conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army and fought in the First World War. He served in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. Gradually rising through the ranks, by 1939 Zhukov was given command of an army group and won a decisive battle over Japanese forces at Khalkhin Gol, for which he won the first of his four Hero of the Soviet Union awards. In February 1941, Zhukov was appointed as chief of the Red Army's General Staff.
Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Zhukov lost his position as chief of the general staff. Subsequently, he organized the defense of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad. He participated in planning several major offensives, including the Battle of Kursk and Operation Bagration. In 1945, Zhukov commanded the 1st Belorussian Front; he took part in the Vistula–Oder Offensive and the Battle of Berlin, which resulted in the defeat of Nazi Germany, and the end of the war in Europe. In recognition of Zhukov's role in the war, he was chosen to accept the German Instrument of Surrender and inspect the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945.
After the war, Zhukov's success and popularity caused Joseph Stalin to see him as a potential threat. Stalin stripped him of his positions and relegated him to military commands of little strategic significance. After Stalin's death in 1953, Zhukov supported Nikita Khrushchev's bid for Soviet leadership. In 1955, he was appointed as Defence Minister and made a member of the Presidium. In 1957 Zhukov lost favour again and was forced to retire. He never returned to a position of influence and died in 1974.
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