Georgy Zhukov – Russian military commander
Georgy Zhukov was one of the outstanding Russian military commanders, Marshal of the Soviet Union. Georgy was born on November 19, 1896 into a poor peasant family in the village of Strelkovka, Kaluga Region. His parents managed to give their son an education. Georgy began to work when he was still a boy. He worked in the fields of the village taking part in haymaking. In autumn 1903 he entered a 3 year course at church school, where he studied successfully and he left in 1906 with a certificate of merit.
At the end of July 1915 he was called up for military service. It was World War I that made it possible for him to develop his remarkable talents. He was appointed commander of a cavalry detachment.
In February 1918 Zhukov fell seriously ill with typhus and only in August 1918 he continued his service in the Soviet Army in the Fourth Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Moscow Cavalry Division.
On March 1, 1919 he joined the Bolshevik Party. From 1922 to 1923 he served with the rank of the commander of the cavalry troops in Samara.
In 1929 he was sent to Moscow to study in the higher military courses. He revealed his outstanding abilities as a skilled commander.
During the Great Patriotic War he took part in many battles. Georgy was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union four times. Zhukov was the Deputy Commander in Chief, the Deputy Minister of Defense and in February 1955 he was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union.
In 1940, Zhukov was appointed commander of the Southern Front. The troops were preparing to enter the territory of Bessarabia. Zhukov prepared two plans in case of a peaceful and a military solution of the Bessarabian question. Soviet troops occupied Bessarabia. On August 2 the Moldavian SSR joined the USSR.
Zhukov became a knight of more than 60 awards for the various countries of the world. One of the rarest and most honorable was Order of the Bath. In the history of this award the British awarded very few foreigners, including two Russian generals. The first one was Mikhail Barclay de Tolly and Zhukov became the second. Zhukov was awarded the American Legion of Merit medal.
Towns and educational institutions were named after Zhukov. The Order of Zhukov was established in 1994.
He died on June 18, 1974 but his name still lives in the hearts of Russian people. There are monuments to Zhukov in Moscow and Ekaterinburg.