Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (December 1 [O.S. November 19] 1896 – June 18, 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.
- It is a fact that under equal conditions, large-scale battles and whole wars are won by troops which have a strong will for victory, clear goals before them, high moral standards, and devotion to the banner under which they go into battle.
- Quoted in "The Military Quotation Book" - Page 15 - by James Charlton - 2002
- The nature of encounter operations required of the commanders limitless initiative and constant readiness to take the responsibility for military actions.
- Quoted in "The Military Quotation Book" - Page 49 - by James Charlton - 2002
- If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as it were not there.
- To General Eisenhower, 1945. Quoted in "Russia: The People and the Power" - Page 207 - by Robert G. Kaiser - History - 1976
- Nazis did not expect Soviet resistance to be so strong. The deeper they moved into this country's territory, the more fierce it became. When Hitler's armies approached Moscow, every man and woman here thought it imperative to resist the enemy. And that resistance grew by the day. The enemy was sustaining heavy losses, one after another. In fact, Hitler's best troops perished here. Nazis believed the Red Army was not capable of defending Moscow, but their schemes failed.
- Quoted in "The Voice of Russia" - Copyright 2005 - by Olga Troshina
- Generalissimo Stalin directed every move... made every decision... He is the greatest and wisest military genius who ever lived...
- Quoted in "Top General: Zhukov" - from Time, February 21, 1955
- We will do all we can to insure peace... but if war is imposed upon us we will be together shoulder to shoulder as in the last war to strive for the happiness of mankind.
- Quoted in "Odd World: A Photo-reporter's Story" - Page 299 - by John Phillips - 1959
- If they [the Germans] attack, we will defend. If they do not attack until winter comes, then we will and will tear them to shreds!
- Quoted in "Rickenbacker: [an autobiography]" - Page 373 - by Eddie Rickenbacker - Air pilots, Military - 1967
- And now German generals find it hard to explain away their retreat.
- Quoted in "These are the Russians" - Page 131 - by Richard Edward Lauterbach - 1945
- There are things in Russia which are not as they seem.
- Quoted in "Mandate for Change, 1953-1956: The White House Years" - Page 518 - by Dwight David Eisenhower - 1963
- The mere existence of atomic weapons implies the possibility of their use.
- Quoted in "The arms race: a programme for world disarmament" - Page 297 - by Philip John Noel-Baker - Political Science - 1960
- There's no smoke without fire.
- Quoted in "Stalin's Generals" - Page 359 - by Harold Shukman - History - 2002
- If you feel that the Chief of the General Staff talks only rubbish, my place is not here. Better to give me a command at the front where I can be of better use!
- To Joseph Stalin. Quoted in "Field Marshal Von Manstein, a Portrait: The Janus Head" - Page 164 - by Marcel Stein, Gwyneth Fairbank - History - 2007
- The longer the battle lasts the more force we'll have to use!
- Quoted in "A History of the Modern Age" - Page 175 - by Albert Fried, Julian K. Prescott - United States - 1971
- Winning depended to a large extent on the determination of the troops and the officers. The certainty that we were going to win kept up everyone's spirits, from privates to generals.
- Quoted in "Memoirs" - Page 167 - by Andreĭ Andreevich Gromyko, Harold Shukman - 1990
- If the nation only knew their hands dripped with innocent blood, it would have met them not with applause but with stones.
- Quoted in "A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia" - Page 3 - by Alexander N. Yakovlev, Anthony Austin - Political Science - 2002 -
- Here they found real war, but they were not ready for it. They were used to easy victories. This deprived them of flexibility on the one hand, of tenacity on the other. For them, war was merely maneuvers. They have neither cavalry nor skiers, their tanks cannot pass over the snow.
- Quoted in "The Tempering of Russia" - Page 120 - by Alexander Samuel Kaun - 1944
Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (1969) edit
- First published in 1969 under Harper & Row of New York. Edited by Harrison E. Salisbury, translated from the original Russian by Theodore Shabad.
- The beginning of October, 1941, I was in Leningrad, commanding the troops of the Leningrad Front. Those days were difficult for all of us who had been through the September fighting for Leningrad. But our forces were succeeding in thwarting the enemy's plans. Because of the unparalleled steadfastness and mass heroism of the Soviet soldiers, sailors and noncommissioned officers and the endurance of commanders and political officers, the enemy was encountering an unsurmountable defense on the approaches to the city.
By the end of September pressure was noticeably relaxed on all sectors and the front line had become stabilized. But this is not the place to tell the story of the Leningrad fighting nor of the attempted seizure of the city named for the great Lenin. I mention it only to emphasize that all of us, from the Military Council of the front down to the city's ordinary defenders, in those days lived with but a single thought: to stop the enemy no matter what. Everyone did all he could in his assigned post.
- p. 29
- West of Maloyaroslavets I met the commander of the local fortified area, Colonel Smirnov, who reported on the progress of fortification work, the availability of worker battalions and the equipment of the military units capable of defending the approaches to Maloyaroslavets. After I had instructed him to organize reconnaissance and to get his fortified area into fighting shape, I drove on to Medyn. I found no one there except an old woman who was rummaging around a house that had been hit by a bomb.
"Granny, what are you doing here?" I asked. She stood there with wide-open, wandering eyes and disheveled gray hair and said nothing. "What's the matter, Granny?" Without replying, the woman went back to digging. Another woman, half-dressed and carrying a half-filled sack, appeared from the ruins. "Don't bother asking her," she said, "she won't say anything. She has lost her mind with grief."
She told me that two days before German plans had bombed and strafed the town. Many people had been killed. The residents were getting ready to leave for Maloyaroslavets. The old woman had lived in this house with a little grandson and granddaughter. She was at the well getting water when the raid began. She saw a bomb hit her house. Somewhere under the ruins were the bodies of her grandchildren.
- p. 41-42
- The second woman had to hurry; her home had also been destroyed and she could not find her shoes and clothes in the rubble. Tears rolled down her cheeks. When asked whether any of our troops had passed through the town, she said that during the night several trucks had driven through toward Maloyaroslavets, followed by horse-drawn carts bearing the wounded. There had been nothing since then. I said good-bye and drove on toward Yukhnov, deeply regretting that there was nothing I could say to console this woman or any of the other Soviet people to whom the war had brought such terrible grief.
- p. 42
- Everyone worked day and night. People literally collapsed from fatigue and lack of sleep. But everyone did all he could at his post- sometimes even the impossible. Driven by a feeling of personal responsibility for the fate of Moscow, the fate of the homeland, generals and staff officers, commanders and political commissars of all ranks demonstrated unprecedented energy and dedication in seeking to organize ground and aerial reconnaissance, the firm control of all forces and a steady flow of supplies, and in promoting political and party work, to raise the morale of troops and to inculcate into every soldier a confidence in his own strength and in the inevitable defeat of the enemy on the approaches to Moscow.
- p. 49
- Brilliant episodes in the chronicle of those hard days were recorded by the heroic defenders of the city of Tula. Unfortunately, this aspect of the defense has not yet been adequately covered in the Soviet histories of the war. And yet it would be difficult to exaggerate the role that the defense of Tula played in the Battle for Moscow. The city was defended by armed workers detachments and units of the Fiftieth Army that had pulled back to Tula. Particular steadfastness and courage were demonstrated by the Tula workers regiment under A. P. Gorshkov, commander, and G. A. Ageyev, political commissar. That regiment suffered heavy losses, but did not allow the enemy to enter the city. Nor did the workers of Tula lose their nerve when the enemy virtually closed the ring around the city. Together with the troops of the Fiftieth Army they continued to fight until the end, showing a high degree of organization, steadiness and courage. And they did hold out.
- p. 57
- No matter how hard the enemy tried to take Tula and thus open the road to Mosocw from the south, he was unable to do so in the course of November. The city held out like an invulnerable fortress. Tula tied down the entire right flank of the German forces. When the enemy ultimately decided to by-pass Tula, Guderian's army was forced to split its forces, losing the operational effectiveness provided by tactical concentration. That is why Tula and its citizens played such an outstanding role in the defense of Moscow.
Tula, ancient city of Russian gunmakers, thus became an unconquerable outpost of the capital thanks to the solidarity and self-sacrifice of its citizens, who fought with or helped our soldiers in every possible way. I don't think I would be far wrong if I said that the glory given to Moscow as a hero city belongs also to Tula and its people.
- p. 58
- When we speak here of heroic feats, we obviously have in mind not only our soldiers, commanders and political commissars. What was achieved at the front in October and subsequent battles was made possible by the common and united efforts of Soviet troops and the people of Moscow and the Moscow area, unanimously supported by the entire nation.
The wide-ranging activities of the Party organization of the city of Moscow and the Moscow area in rallying the working people in defense of the capital against the enemy took on the character of a heroic epic. The fiery appeals of the Party's Central Committee and of the city and regional Party organizations awakened a deep response in the heart of every Muscovite, every soldier and the entire Soviet people. The working people of Moscow vowed to fight to the last with the soldiers rather than let the enemy through to the capital. And they kept that vow with honor.
- p. 59
- When I am asked what I remember most of all of the past war, I always answer: the Battle for Moscow. A quarter of a century has passed, but these historic events and battles still remain in memory. Under hectic, almost catastrophically complicated and difficult conditions our troops were tempered, matured, accumulated experience and, once the absolutely essential minimum of arms were in their hands, moved from retreat and defensive maneuver to a powerful offensive. Our grateful descendants will never forget the difficult and heroic sacrifices of the Soviet people and the military achievements of the Soviet armed forces during that period. The Battle for Moscow laid the firm foundations for the ensuing defeat of Nazi Germany.
- p. 103
The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov (1971) edit
- First published in 1969 as Reminiscences and Reflections; first English translation was published by Jonathan Cape Ltd. of London in 1971.
- To the Soviet soldier
- Dedication, p. 5
- I find it rather difficult in the evening of my life to recollect everything that happened as time has erased from memory many things, especially relating to childhood and youth.
- p. 11
- We proceeded from the knowledge that we would have to fight a battle-wise, strong and stubborn enemy.
- p. 562
- After the Military Council of the front had looked over the ravaged city, they reported to the Supreme Commander:
"The Fascist barbarians have destroyed Warsaw, capital of Poland. With sadistic cruelty they demolished one block of houses after another. The largest of industrial enterprises have been razed to the ground. Dwelling houses have been either blown up or burnt down. Municipal economy is disrupted. Thousands upon thousands of civilians have been annihilated, the rest driven out. It is a dead city."
Listening to people from Warsaw tell about Nazi atrocities during the occupation and especially before the retreat, it was hard to understand the psychology and moral make-up of the enemy.
Polish men and officers took these stories especially hard. I saw battle-scarred Polish soldiers shed tears and pledge then and there to take revenge upon the fiendish foe. As for Soviet soldiers, we were all embittered and filled with determination to punish the enemy well for the atrocities committed. Boldly breaking down all enemy resistance, the troops were rapidly gaining ground.
- p. 565
- The Berlin Operation holds a place of special prominence as the final operation of the Second World War in Europe. The capture of Berlin meant the final solution of paramount military-political issues on which largely depended the post-war settlement in Germany and her place in the political life of Europe.
In making ready for the last bout with Fascism, the Soviet armed forces meticulously proceeded from the agreed Allied policy of the unconditional surrender of Germany both in the military and economic, and in the political fields. Our major objective in this phase of the war was the complete eradication of Fascism in the social and state system of Germany and to bring all of the major Nazi criminals to book for their atrocities, mass murders, wholesale destruction and outrages upon the peoples of the occupied countries, particularly in our own long-suffering land.
- p. 585
- The Battle for Berlin was a life or death struggle. From the very depths of Mother Russia, from Moscow and from the Hero Cities of Stalingrad and Leningrad, from the Ukraine, from Byelorussia, from the Baltic, Caucasian and other republics our men had come here to finish the just war against those who had encroached upon the freedom of their country. Many of them still bore the fresh wounds of previous battles. In Berlin the wounded did not leave the battle-field. They all pressed forward yielding to no one the right of way. It was as if there had been no four years of grim fighting, as if everything had risen afresh in order to accomplish this great deed and to hoist the banner of victory over Berlin. In all actions our soldiers displayed great inspiration and daring. The maturity of our army and its growth during the war years were fully reflected in the Battle of Berlin.
- p. 619
- Many indeed were the thoughts that whirled through my head in those minutes of rejoicing! The fearsome battle at Moscow where our troops had made a stand to the death without letting the enemy through to the capital, and Stalingrad lying in ruins but unvanquished, and the glorious Leningrad which had repelled the furious onslaught of the enemy and which had withstood a terrible blockade, and Sevastapol which had fought so heroically against hand-picked Nazi troops, and the triumph of victory at the Kursk Salient, and the thousands of devastated villages and towns, the many millions of human lives sacrificed by the Soviet people who had heroically stuck it out during those grim years.
And here at last was the most cherished goal, for the sake of which our people had borne such immense suffering- the complete rout of Fascist Germany, the rout of the monstrous Fascism, and the triumph of our just cause.
- p. 619
- With my new instructions I returned to Berlin. The very day after my arrival I was visited by General of the Army Eisenhower with his numerous retinue, amongst whom was General Spaatz, Chief of the US Strategic Air Command. We received General Eisenhower at the Headquarters of the front in Wedenschlosse. Present at the meeting was A. Ya. Vyshinsky. We greeted each other like soldiers, and, I may say, in a friendly way. Taking both my hands in his, Eisenhower looked me over for a long time, then said, "So that's what you're like."
- p. 659
- Outwardly Eisenhower impressed me favourably. On June 5 Eisenhower, Montgomery and de Lattre de Tassigny arrived in Berlin to sign the declaration on the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme authority in Germany by Governments of the USSR, the US, Britain and France. Before the formal meeting, Eisenhower came to my headquarters to confer upon me a high American military award: I was made Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit. On receiving the award, I immediately called Stalin and told him about it. Stalin said: "We should decorate Eisenhower and Montgomery with Orders of Victory and de Lattre de Tassigny with the Order of Suvorov, First Class." "May I tell them about it?" I asked. Stalin said I could.
- p. 660
- At the ceremony of signing the decoration I met Field-Marshal Montgomery for the first time. During the war I had closely followed the actions of British troops under his command. In 1940 the British Expeditionary Corps had sustained a disastrous setback at Dunkirk. Later, British troops under Montgomery's command had smashed the German corps under General Rommel at El Alamein. During the Normandy landing Montgomery had ably commanded the Allied forces and their advance to the banks of the Seine. Montgomery was above medium height, very agile, soldierly, trim and created an impression of a lively and intelligent man. He began to talk about the operations at El Alamein and at Stalingrad. In his view the two operations were of equal significance. I did not want to belittle the merits of the British troops, but still I had to explain to him that the El Alamein operation was carried out on an army scale, while at Stalingrad the operation engaged a group of fronts and it had a vast strategic importance- it resulted in the rout of a major enemy force in the area of the Volga and Don rivers and later, in the North Caucasus. It was an operation that actually marked a radical turning-point in the war and ensured the retreat of the German forces from our country.
- p. 661
- I have dedicated this book to the Soviet soldier. It is with his blood and sweat that the victory over the powerful enemy was gained. He knew how to face mortal danger, he displayed a supreme valour and heroism. There is no limit to the greatness of his exploit in the name of his Motherland. The Soviet soldier deserves that grateful humanity should erect him a monument to stand in the ages to come. Brilliant examples were set by officers of all ranks- from junior lieutenants to marshals- ardent patriots of their country, experienced and fearless organizers of the multi-million strong armed forces in military actions. Those who make a difference between the Soviet soldier and officer make a bad mistake, for equal in origin, way of thinking and acting, they are equally loyal to, and are true sons of, their Motherland.
- p. 691
- The greatness of heroic victory over Fascist Germany is in the fact that the Soviet Union did not defend the socialist state alone, but that it selflessly fought to defend the internationalist proletarian goal- defeat the bulk of the Nazi armed forces and deliver the peoples of Europe from occupation. The Soviet people have not forgotten other peoples' contribution to the victory over the common enemy. Our army and people remember and value the courage of the Resistance fighters.
- p. 691
- The Soviet Union is a peaceful country. The people's every goal serves the construction of Communism. They do not need war to attain their goal. But to protect the Soviet people's peaceful labour we must study our military experience in defending the socialist motherland, and make use of what will help us ensure the country's defences in the most effective way and train and rear our Armed Forces in the right spirit.
- p. 691-692
- The risks of war present no danger to those who are well prepared for it in advance and who are mindful of their place in the nation's defences. Confusion and panic usually appear wherever there is no adequate organizaton or appropriate leadership at a time of grim trials.
- p. 692
- With the technological revolution in the military field and the enormous organizational reconstruction of the army and navy, and now that their prime shock force is made up of rocketry, voices may quite frequently be heard asserting that this is an era of "push-button warfare" where man plays nothing but an auxiliary role. This view is wrong. Without arguing the great importance of rocketry and nuclear weapons, it is a fact that regardless of the scale, nature or method of warfare, man always played, and will go on playing, a major role in it. War will still require the participation of large masses of manpower- in one case directly in the armed struggle, in another, in war production and the comprehensive material backing of armed struggle.
- p. 692
Quotes about Zhukov edit
- Alphabetized by author
- Perhaps the best epitaph for Zhukov was written by an Indian diplomat, K.P. Menon, in a different context, years before the marshal died, when Zhukov was being hounded by sycophants and ideologists under Nikita Krushchev, so officially that he had become a so-called non-person. Menon wrote: "No star shone in the Russian firmament after Stalin's death with greater lustre than Zhukov's."
- Albert Axell, Marshal Zhukov: The Man Who Beat Hitler (2003), p. 231
- Zhukov has thus emerged in his twilight years to take his proper place in Soviet history. The resurrection of this great soldier, first a patriot and only then a Party member, can be viewed as an attempt by Brezhnev and his fellow leaders to give credit where credit is due and to make Soviet history a more factual record of events. Zhukov still commands the loyalty of many Russians in all walks of life, especially the veterans of World War II. Zhukov is an enduring symbol of victory on the battlefield.
- Otto Preston Chaney, Jr., Zhukov (1971), p. 432
- So that's what you're like.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower's remark upon meeting Zhukov for the first time in May 1945. As quoted by Zhukov himself in The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov (1971), p. 659
- None were any good in 1941. Of Budyenny (Semyon Budyonny), who commanded the armies facing me, a captured Russian officer aptly remarked — ‘He is a man with a very large moustache, but a very small brain.’ But in later years there is no doubt of the improvement in their generalship. Zhukov was very good. It is interesting to recall that he first studied strategy in Germany under General von Seeckt - this was about 1921-23.
- Gerd von Rundstedt on Soviet generals of the Second World War. As quoted in The German Generals Talk by B. H. Liddell Hart (1948), p. 139
- The name of Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the distinguished Soviet military leader of World War II and a controversial postwar minister of defense, conjures up a picture of a severe and ruthless Soviet commander, one of the few who appeared never to have lost a battle, and who was allowed by Stalin out of the shadows which normally surround Soviet personalities briefly, at least, to share some of the glory of Soviet victories during the war. No one would deny that a good and accurate biography of a soldier of Zhukov's status and achievements has been lacking for some time. After all, lives of most of the outstanding Allied and German commanders have been available for many years. Scholars, historians, and the general public have long awaited a biography of their most successful Soviet counterpart- a man who, in the closing stages of the war, had under his direct operational command fourteen field armies and many thousands of tanks and aircraft.
- Malcom Mackintosh, in the Foreword to Zhukov (1971) by Otto Preston Chaney, Jr., p. vii
- In spite of the biographer's best efforts, the Soviet military leader remains personally a shadowy figure. We cannot see him at home, with his wife, children, and grandchildren, nor can we learn much about his personal likes or dislikes, his family life, his moments of despair and elation. Although Soviet secrecy plays a strong part in formulating these restrictions, they are to some extent also in the tradition of Russian letters, and any biographer of Marshal Zhukov who resits his case, as Chaney does, on the strictest accuracy of the utilization of his source material, has to make his book a study of Zhukov the soldier and relatively little of Zhukov the man.
- Malcom Mackintosh, in the Foreword to Zhukov (1971) by Otto Preston Chaney, Jr., p. vii
- The Soviet marshal Georgi Zhukov is much less famous in the West than generals such as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bernard Montgomery, but he was undoubtedly the greatest commander of the Second World War, turning the tide against the Nazi invaders at Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad, and then leading the Red Army in its bloody counteroffensive all the way to Berlin. Without the heroic Soviet effort, with its sacrifice of 26 million lives, the war might have ended very differently. Zhukov was a communist and a ruthless Stalinist general who placed results far above his concern for individuals and casualties and used summary executions at the front to enforce discipline. Yet he was also a gifted leader who represents not the cruelty of his master, Soviet dictator Stalin, but the heroism of the Russian people.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, Titans of History: Giants Who Made Our World (2012), p.
- Has a strong will. Decisive and firm. Often demonstrates initiative and skillfully applies it. Disciplined. Demanding and persistent in his demands. A somewhat ungracious and not sufficiently sympathetic person. Rather stubborn. Painfully proud. In professional terms well trained. Broadly experienced as a military leader... Absolutely cannot be used in staff or teaching jobs because constitutionally he hates them.
- Konstantin Rokossovsky, as quoted by Andreĭ Afanas'evich Kokoshin,Soviet Strategic Thought, 1917–1991 (1998): MIT Press, p. 43.
- Zhukov was always a man of strong will and decisiveness, brilliant and gifted, demanding, firm and purposeful. All these qualities, unquestionably, are necessary in a great military leader and they were inherent in Zhukov. It is true that sometimes his toughness exceeded what was permissible. For example, in the heat of the fighting around Moscow Zhukov sometimes displayed unjustified sharpness.
- Konstantin Rokossovsky in a postwar comment about Zhukov, as quoted by Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 13
- The truth was that one of the great military disasters of our time was in the making on the night of June 21-22, 1941- the colossal tactical surprise which Hitler's armies achieved over the Russians. Within hours the Soviet Air Force would lie burnt, wrecked, destroyed on the ground, its commanders facing the firing squad or cheating the executioner by suicide. The flower of the Red Army would be staggering east, some units decimated, many without arms, others virtually exterminated. Hundreds of thousands of troops would find themselves fatally trapped and encircled, scores or even hundreds of miles behind the spearheads of the advancing Nazi panzers. Within a few weeks German armies would stand at the gates of Leningrad, Kiev and Moscow, and the fate of the Soviet state would hang in the balance.
As the clock ticked away that long spring evening, it brought Stalin and his Russia minute by minute closer to disaster. By the same token it propelled Zhukov into perhaps the most striking military career of the century.
- Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 3
- The names of many military men may be better known in the West- England's Montgomery, Germany's Rommel and Guderian, de Gaulle of France, America's Eisenhower, MacArthur and Patton. But when history has completed its painful task of evaluation, when the grain of achievement is sifted from the chaff of notoriety, it seems certain that the name which will stand above all others as the master of the art of mass warfare in the twentieth century will be that of this broad-beamed, fierce, determined man who turned the tide of battle against the Nazis, against Hitler, not once but time after time after time.
- Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 3-4
- The engagements in which Zhukov won his reputation were so massive that, inevitably, many outstanding Soviet military men were involved- either under Zhukov's command or in coordinated and associated movements. There was then, and there continued for years to be, a raging competition for military glory in these engagements. Deep lines of political cleavage and quarrels also underlay the military disputes. Not only military glory was involved; political intrigue, intra-Party quarrels, high-level Kremlin politics were at issue. The principal military rivals of Zhukov were his fellow marshals, Ivan S. Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, V. I. Chuikov, A. I. Yeremenko, Semyon Timonshenko, and to a lesser extent men like K. K. Rokossovsky, V. D. Sokolovsky, and the staff chiefs, A. M. Vasilevsky, Boris Shaposhnikov and, later on, S. M. Shtemenko. Rivals of a different category were Stalin's cronies, men like Voroshilov and Budenny, and police generals such as L. Z. Mekhlis and G. I. Kulik.
- Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 14-15
- Yet at the end of the war Zhukov's prestige was so enormous that he shared the podium with Stalin at the great Moscow victory parade in June, 1945, and entertained as his guest his fellow commander and friend, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The two men were not merely military associates, fellow members of the Kommendatura in Berlin. They had genuine empathy. Both were popular figures, heroes in their countries, nonpolitical men, men with a rather simplistic view of life. Eisenhower came to Moscow as Zhukov's guest. He invited Zhukov to visit America as his guest. Zhukov accepted. To many it seemed that Zhukov's prestige was such that he might well be Stalin's first minister and probable successor. It seemed that in any event the influence of Zhukov and of the other great Soviet generals would be such that they would dominate postwar Soviet political life. The calculations failed. They did not take into account Stalin and the nature of Kremlin politics. Zhukov never had a chance to make his visit to the United States as Ike's guest. Indeed, he never even met his old friend Ambassador Smith in Moscow.
- Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 15