Zhukov was indeed perhaps the greatest of the generals of the modern era. Generalship isn’t just a matter of giving orders, but identifying and coordinating logistics to ensure that the battle occurs at the place and time of one’s choosing. This is what Zhukov did at Kursk. Of course, it helped that he had several months’ advance warning of what the Germans were planning.

We in the West are probably very lucky that Stalin was so paranoid, for if Zhukov had been allowed to continue on after the fall of Berlin, there’s no way we could have stopped the Red Army. Indeed, hindsight shows that the invasion of Normandy didn’t really shorten the war that much, since at that time, the Red Army had already pushed the Wehrmacht back inside of Poland. All our invasion really served to do was to save western Europe (including western Germany) from falling behind the Iron Curtain.

In other words, Hitler lost the war the day he invaded the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union lost the Cold War the day Stalin decided to not continue on past Berlin to take the rest of continental Europe.

And America lost the post-Cold War period the day we elected Trump (since even one of the Russians in the Duma has agreed that Trump is effectively under the control of ex-KGB colonel Putin), but that’s another story. The great game of nations continues, and China is ascendant.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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