Favorite Soviet General

I’m reading a new book I found at the library called Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov by Geoffrey Roberts. I knew immediately upon opening the book that the author is a fellow history person due to this sentence:

If I had a favorite Soviet general, it would be Konstantin Rokossovsky—a rival of Zhukov’s who had a very different leadership style.

Anyone who could conceive of having a favorite Soviet general must be a kindred soul to me.

(By the way, if I had a favorite Soviet general, it would definitely be Mikhail Kirponos, in case you were wondering.)


2 thoughts on “Favorite Soviet General

  1. Hey Natalie,

    I got the same book as well a year ago. It’s an excellent biography of Zhukov, covering his military career and political life. What’s also amazing is the sheer depth and breadth of Russian language sources Roberts used to make the book. I checked the bibliography and it would seem every page ever written about Zhukov that isn’t classified is somehow referenced.

    On another note, who might your favorite Tsarist/Imperial general be? Mine is the sadly neglected but very important Barclay de Tolly, who did far more than Kutuzov in the war against Napoleon in 1812.


    1. Toby, glad to see you’ve read the book too. I have encountered one factual error so far (the author says the Romanovs ruled for 400 years, but it was actually 304 years), though perhaps that was a typo. 🙂

      As for my favorite tsarist general: is it a cop-out to say Suvorov? I feel like that’s a layman’s answer because he’s so famous. 🙂 Regardless, that’s my answer for now. (Also, I don’t know if you read Russian, but I have one of his quotes in the sidebar of this blog!) Though it must be said that I don’t know tsarist generals nearly as well as Soviet generals. When I was studying history, there was no option to do a specialty on imperial Russia. According to one of my professors, there just aren’t that many historians of imperial Russia, unfortunately. I count myself lucky that I had one decent imperial Russia class!


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