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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Weider Hosting > RKKA (The Russian Army) in World War II

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RKKA (The Russian Army) in World War II Discuss the Russian armed forces in World War II. Hosted by our resident Russian expert, AMVAS. Please visit his RKKA in WW2 Website.

View Poll Results: Best Marshal of the soviet union
Semyon Timoshenko 1 2.17%
Semyon Budyonny 1 2.17%
Vasily Chuikov 2 4.35%
Leonid Govorov 0 0%
Ivan Konev 4 8.70%
Grigory Kulik 0 0%
Rodion Malinovsky 1 2.17%
Kirill Meretskov 0 0%
Konstantin Rokossovsky 8 17.39%
Boris Shaposhnikov 1 2.17%
Fyodor Tolbukhin 1 2.17%
Aleksandr Vasilevsky 5 10.87%
Kliment Voroshilov 0 0%
Andrei Yeremenko 0 0%
Georgy Zhukov 21 45.65%
Another one 1 2.17%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 17 Apr 06, 20:01
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Best marshal of the soviet union during ww2

I love studies the great patriotic war but its hard to determine wich marshal of the soviet union was the best , if there is one , so i want to hear your opinion ^^

1.Semyon Timoshenko
pros : broke finish defense in winter war against finish
manage to conduct the battle retreat and save the bulk of the center front for the defense of moscow
stabilize south front after kiev
slow down german offensive in the south (but win and loose at kharkov)
Was a good oeverall commander
cons : failed to succesfull implement new comined arms tactic

2.Semyon Budyonny :

pros : create a new uber horse
got a nice mustache
cons : disaster against the fin , disaster at kiev and everywhere we put him

3.Vasily Chuikov
( even if he was marshal only after the war)

pros : no stop backward at stalingrad , he defended this city without even knowing that there was a counter offensive going to help him
Led the bielorussian front who enter poland
Was in head of the offensive who took berlin
cons: ?

4.Leonid Govorov

pros : master of artillery
command the massive artillery breakthrough who lead the final victory against the finns in the winter war
play a leading role in the defense of moscow and the winter counter offensive
Command the defense of the worst siege ever : leningrad and was succesfull to launch counter shell on german artillery
Command the leningrad troops wich took part of the break of leningrad siege
lead the liberation of novgorod , the capture of baltic state and the enter in poland from this side
After the war he lead the developement of turbojet and nuclear based weapon of the soviet union (so not only good with artillery ^^ )
cons : ?

5.Ivan Konev :

pros : lead a lot of defensive battle against german advance in vitesvk area , maange to save his army until moscow
Got a key role in soviet winter counter offensive
Command the center front
Lead the south counter attack in kursk wich got the best result
Liberate all the city from here until romanian border and the beat the ass of every german on the way
enter poland , chekoslovakia
was send in western poland and save oder offensive of zhukov
Went south see how americans look likes and liberate prague on the way

6.Grigory Kulik
pros = his head would be perfect in an horror movie
cons : was against mechanized developement of timoshenko
see minefield as weapon of the weak
Didnt know what the use of submachine gun
Lead the serie of defeat who conduct in the envelopement of leningrad

7.Rodion Malinovsky
pros : january 1942 lead a serie of offensive operation who push back the german in south 100 to 200 km away
Then held position east of stalingrad a lead a serie of attack to put less pressure on chuikov
Both action were done with troop not well equiped
Lead one of the two main army in the operation saturn who managed to encircle paulus , from the two army it was the more succesfull
Lead the succesfully the south front (who will become ukrainian front) who liberate most of ukraine
Succesfully invade the balkan (with tobulkin)
Then was one of the leading man who succesfully invade japanese mandchuria
Cons: ?

8.Kirill Meretskov
pros: with gorovov succesfully defend leningrad and push back army group north
Push back then the finns
Was send in petsamo and show great skill in artic warfare
Lead one of the most impressive attack on japanese strong point in mandchuria
After the winter war was heavily tortured by beria's staff , accused to be a traitor , but when german attacked they liberate him and he lead troop like one of the best commander can do. Just for this , he merit an award ...
cons : during the winter war made a serie of mistake wich lead to great defeat

9.Konstantin Rokossovsky
I call him the russian mannstein...
pros : the legend around him , mostly that he was one of the few who speak freely about military operation with stalin and never hesitate to correct the mistake of uncle joe...
Conduct succesfull operation to defend moscow
Succesfully conduct the right flank who retreat in the german advance on stalingrad
Succesfully conduct the northern front of the encirclement of the 6th army in stalingrad on the don
Succesfully conduct defense of kursk salient then the counterattack west of it
A for me his masterpiece = bagration , fopr me the best operation of ww2
Just for me , this place him at the top of soviet staff
Lead well a part of the bielorussian front
Then advance like in butter in eastern prussia and finally say hello to montgomery
cons : political one....

10.Boris Shaposhnikov
pros : rebuild soviet army after the purge , not an easy task
cons: lack of doctrinal skill for this task

Joseph Stalin
Lets avoid him , dont be too political...

11.Fyodor Tolbukhin
pros : assistant in the defense of stalingrad. award for his logistical skill
Assist Malinovski in the ukrainian front (see above) , "liberate" bulgaria then most of yougoslavia then hungary.
cons : ?

12.Aleksandr Vasilevsky
The russian guederian maybe for his doctrinal capacity , russian army architect
pros : chief of staff in april 1942
Main planner with zhukov of stalingrad operation ( there is a contreverse that he did the main job and zhukov not , i don't know , maybe specialist here can clarify this)
Main actor of kursk operation
Lead operation august storm in mandchuria

13.Kliment Voroshilov
pros : personnal bravery , lead himself some charge
cons : only defeat and thought still after ww2 that cavalry was the futur of soviet army...

14.Andrei Yeremenko
pros : despite the destruction of center front during the first day of barbarossa he was able to grab disperse troupe and halt for some time the german advence
Lead a perfect defense against superious force in smolensk area , was brave and was wound
Managed to halt german operation typhoon and was sverly injured during this
Lead well troops during soviet counter offensive and was ... wound again , refuse to be evacuated
Lead vicious counter attack on german advance on stalingrad
Help surround 6th army
Stoped mannstein counter offensive to save paulus
With tobulkin regrab from german with good maritime operation crimea
Send then in baltic and help greatly to recapture this territory
Lead operation to capture west hungary and then open the door to chekoslovaquia
cons : ?

15.Georgy Zhukov
The biggest for the end , its really hard to judge him , the most famous and contreversial marshal
I just want to say one thing about an argument i see often against him , he say that soviet army dont send people disable mine when they advance , its because soviet statistic prooves that casulaty are the same if they took time for this because the key of soviet offensive in the end of the war is the speed...
pros : khalin ghol , battle who prooves that soviet union must switch to mechanized force , bring the neutrality pact that will help greatly against germany
this i'm not sure : was one of the few who forsee that soviet troops will be destroy at kiev if they stay there , stalin didnt listen to this.
Lead first stage of defense of leningrad
command the defense of moscow , took an horse then roam in the battle zone , reorganize the unit who were retreating against german assault on moscow
direct the transfer of soviet troops from the far east to moscow , maybe the best logistical stuff of the ww2 with dday
contreverse : main actor of stalingrad envelopment
Main actor of kursk
One of the Main actor of bagration
Capture berlin , da city to capture in ww2
Lead to a book wich his called "Zhukov , the man who beat hitler" . Sure this book is inacurate , but true opr not , you can be rpoud if you inspire a book with this name
And maybe the greatest thing : half of the marshal have been famous because of him , he got really a talent to foresee great leader
cons : ww1 offensive style on army group centre during 1942
Failure on the begining of oder operation

Well , i hope i didnt miss some
Sorry for my bad english , not my native language
I know , there some thing inacurate , hope people will correct it
So for me the top 3 :

Rokossovsky
Zhukov
Vasilevsky
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  #2  
Old 17 Apr 06, 20:03
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In my opinion, without a doubt the best marshall of the Soviet Union during WW II was Georgy Zhukov.
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  #3  
Old 18 Apr 06, 06:04
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Why do we have to choose "one best" be it fighter plane, tank, or general? There are good and bad IMO. You need more than one general to win the war, and more important you need a LOT of "grunts", Ivan or Gi Joes to actually get in there and fight.
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  #4  
Old 18 Apr 06, 06:24
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From the list you mentioned the following are considered not too good:
Timoshenko
Budennyi
Kulik
Voroshilov
They are considered military leaders of a previous military epoch who used archaic military methods.

Eriomenko… I didn’t know he was a Marshal. I didn’t hear he was too good. But possibly he had no opportunity to show his skill.

Chuikov had too little rank in WWII.

Govorov, Tolbukhin, Malinovskii. Meretskov fought in secondary directions.

Shaposhnikov… He was good but not so good to be compared with Zhukov, Rokossovskii and so on.

Vasilevskii was not a Russian Guderian as he was not an expert in the using of the tanks. Katukov was Russian Guderian.

Zhukov’s advance to Rzhev in December of 1942 was not his failure. It was a strategic diversionary operation to prevent the Germans to send reserves in Stalingrad direction. The Soviet Command itself informed with a double agent the Germans about that operation (Zhukov was not informed about it) and the Soviets had no chances to win that battle.

The best Soviet Marshals were:
Zhukov
Rokossovskiy
Vasilevskiy
Konev

Also the following were very good but they advanced in secondary directions
Meretskov
Malinovskii
Tolbukhin

Also you forgot to mention Novikov, Marshal of Aviation, who reorganized Soviet Air Forces.

And Admiral Kuznetsov, the chief of Soviet Navy, was a very good military leader.
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  #5  
Old 18 Apr 06, 08:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrey
From the list you mentioned the following are considered not too good:
Budennyi
That's why I voted for him
I read all of these "best [whatever]" polls as really a "favorite [whatever]" poll. I voted for Budyenni because he's my favorite for no good reason -- I just like the guy!
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Old 18 Apr 06, 09:14
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Voted Zhukov because he pulled it off. I don't think I would have liked to have served under him; he had a brutish style of leadership--so did Chuikov. I like Rokossovsky; he fought smartly (some of his best operations did not receive recognition) and he had a lower casualty rate than the other commanders. Koniev was an ex-commissar--who can trust a commissar?

I'm surprised the listing did not have Vatutin. Many of the German commanders admitted they did not like coming up against Vatutin, they did not know what he would do.

Actually, it was hard to pick one, I have many old friends(favorites) among them.
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Old 18 Apr 06, 10:38
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I picked Konev because of Zhukov's brutality and not caring for the lives of his own troops. rossokovsky is a close second to Konev

Since Chuikov is on the list Vatutin should be also--he would have become a marshal if he hadn't fallen in combat.
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Old 18 Apr 06, 23:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos
That's why I voted for him
I read all of these "best [whatever]" polls as really a "favorite [whatever]" poll. I voted for Budyenni because he's my favorite for no good reason -- I just like the guy!
??? It is about the best Soviet Marshal of WWII.

Do you like the photo of Budennyi? Do you know anything about his activity?
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Old 19 Apr 06, 00:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong
Koniev was an ex-commissar--who can trust a commissar?
Hmmm... It is a very strange statement.

Commissars were very different like any officers and generals.

I read in a book two facts about Konev (I couldn't find the book right now but I remember that it was about Konev).

It is about the time of purges of 1937-38. In that time it was often when some Soviet generals and officers lost and then their comrades-militaries were informed that those men were enemies who organized anti-state organization. Such things happened very often with a small interval between. The most militaries were confused, they didn't know tho whom to trust, they began to look with a suspicion on everyone around. Sometimes ALL a unit's command staff was arrested and declared "enemies".

So what did Konev do?

1. When he served in Mongolia one officer was arrested by NKVD. Konev ordered to give some money to the officer's wife who had stayed without money because she didn't work and lived on her husband's salary.

In that time it could have a very bad end. It meant to help to the relatives of an "enemy of people". It could be a reason to be suspected in a membership in the same anti-state organization where the arrested officer "was". It could be a reason to be suspected in some sympathy to an "enemy of state". It could be a reason to be suspected in the distrust to the ability of NKVD to make a true investigation.

It was very dangerous but Konev did it.

2. And there was a more important case.

After Uborevich, a famous commander, a hero of the Civil War, the Chief of Byelorussian Military District, was arrested, a meeting of militaries was organized. The militaries spoke after one another. Everyone spoke the same: "We were not watchful enough and hadn't saw that Uborevich is not a good Communist but a hidden enemy". Only one man spoke opposite opinion. It was Konev. Konev said that he knew Uborevich very well and did not believe Uborevich is an enemy. Konev said that he supposed Uborevich is a honest Communist and it was a tragic mistake that he had been arrested.

To speak such things was VERY dangerous but Konev had done it. It was a luck only that Konev was not arrested as Uborevich's accomplice after that speech. Later Uborevich was shot as an enemy.
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Old 19 Apr 06, 06:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrey
??? It is about the best Soviet Marshal of WWII.

Do you like the photo of Budennyi? Do you know anything about his activity?
I have a couple of pictures of him from before the war and I think one during the war...I am familiar with him and his performance.
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Old 19 Apr 06, 06:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos
I have a couple of pictures of him from before the war and I think one during the war...
Is he too nice in comparison with the others? I suppose Rokossovskii and Zhukov are more nice.

Quote:
I am familiar with him and his performance.
And which his actions are the reason for you to call him the best Soviet marshal of WWII (even better than Zhukov and Rokossovskii)?
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Old 19 Apr 06, 08:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrey
Hmmm... It is a very strange statement.

Commissars were very different like any officers and generals.

I read in a book two facts about Konev (I couldn't find the book right now but I remember that it was about Konev).

It is about the time of purges of 1937-38. In that time it was often when some Soviet generals and officers lost and then their comrades-militaries were informed that those men were enemies who organized anti-state organization. Such things happened very often with a small interval between. The most militaries were confused, they didn't know tho whom to trust, they began to look with a suspicion on everyone around. Sometimes ALL a unit's command staff was arrested and declared "enemies".

So what did Konev do?

1. When he served in Mongolia one officer was arrested by NKVD. Konev ordered to give some money to the officer's wife who had stayed without money because she didn't work and lived on her husband's salary.

In that time it could have a very bad end. It meant to help to the relatives of an "enemy of people". It could be a reason to be suspected in a membership in the same anti-state organization where the arrested officer "was". It could be a reason to be suspected in some sympathy to an "enemy of state". It could be a reason to be suspected in the distrust to the ability of NKVD to make a true investigation.

It was very dangerous but Konev did it.

2. And there was a more important case.

After Uborevich, a famous commander, a hero of the Civil War, the Chief of Byelorussian Military District, was arrested, a meeting of militaries was organized. The militaries spoke after one another. Everyone spoke the same: "We were not watchful enough and hadn't saw that Uborevich is not a good Communist but a hidden enemy". Only one man spoke opposite opinion. It was Konev. Konev said that he knew Uborevich very well and did not believe Uborevich is an enemy. Konev said that he supposed Uborevich is a honest Communist and it was a tragic mistake that he had been arrested.

To speak such things was VERY dangerous but Konev had done it. It was a luck only that Konev was not arrested as Uborevich's accomplice after that speech. Later Uborevich was shot as an enemy.
The political side of party membership had more power than the military. If Konev was able to do certain things and avoid arrest, he was still wired on the political side. But, that takes nothing from Konev's personal courage.

Before the Lvov-Sandomir operation, he argued with Stalin for two breakthrough sectors on his front. He was asked to leave the room and reconsider. He held his ground. Stalin finally relented, but told him the success of the operation was on his (Konev's)shoulders.

Despite the fact that Zhukov probably saved Konev from Stalin's wrath in the early months of the war, Konev fiercely vied for recognition and fame against Zhukov right up to the final operation on Berlin.

I neglected earlier to say, I like and agree with your reasoning and two teirs on your marshals list.
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Old 19 Apr 06, 08:47
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I have put the old school mareshal for flavor purpose and because they were warshal during this period
But of course they were outdated compared to the other , wel; compared to everybody ^^

For my mistake i apologize , if you are sure and are a moderator or other , you can maybe edit?

For chuikov , i still admire his defence of stalingrad and his skill on the tactical level ( a quality who often lack soviet commander until late stage of the war , for me soviet were master on the strategic level but kinda wink on tactical )

I should also say that this thread mostly focus on land commander.

Didnt know this fact about konev.
I heard an interesting sotry about zhukov , he wa inn his car and saw wounded soviet soldier on the road , he stop and as them what they were doing
They say they were trying to go to the med center but no one stop to help them
So zhukov went away and stop , then he stoped every car of officer , seeing they didnt stop for their soldier he noted there name
They were all later send on the hot spot on the front
Interesting man , yes his operation on army group center can be viewed on the strategic level as a way to keep this army busy but still , they way it was done was so brutal...
But still it was a great commander , not smart for me like koniev or rossokovsky. Mostly he always know whan crush and how and with what
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  #14  
Old 19 Apr 06, 11:48
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Andrey Andrey is offline
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Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong
The political side of party membership had more power than the military. If Konev was able to do certain things and avoid arrest, he was still wired on the political side. But, that takes nothing from Konev's personal courage.
Before your words I didn't know Konev was a commissar (in the Civil War, as I understand).

I suppose that you have a VERY biased opinion about commissars and communists.

A commissar of the Civil War was the Party's representative in troops. It was only a Communist.

In WWII it was not too important who was a commissar in the Civil War and who was not.

And your initial phrase about distrusting to commissars.... You like logic.

Konev was a Commissar. You said it was impossible to trust to a Commissar. It means that it is impossible to trust to Konev because he was a Commissar... Doesn't it?

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Despite the fact that Zhukov probably saved Konev from Stalin's wrath in the early months of the war, Konev fiercely vied for recognition and fame against Zhukov right up to the final operation on Berlin.
Nobody knows exact reason why Konev offered to advance to Berlin from south when Zhukov was attacking Zeelov Highs.

The Westerners suppose that Konev envied to Zhukov and began his advance to Berlin for personal pride (to enter in Berlin before Zhukov).

But there is an opinion that Konev thought not only about personal pride but about the interests of the struggle against Hitler's Germany. The two blows from two directions were more effective than one blow so Konev's action was good for the victory in the battle for Berlin.

May be, Konev thought about both the reasons. But it is necessary to remember about the second one and not about first one only.
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Old 19 Apr 06, 11:50
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Originally Posted by Seten
I have put the old school mareshal for flavor purpose and because they were warshal during this period
But of course they were outdated compared to the other , wel; compared to everybody ^^
No problem. They were marshals so they can be here. And Budennyi even got a vote!
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