Georgy Zhukov

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Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (Russian: Гео́ргий Константи́нович Жу́ков; 1 December [O.S. 19 November] 1896 – 18 June 1974) was a Russian career officer in the Red Army who, in the course of World War II, played a pivotal role in leading the Red Army through much of Eastern Europe to liberate the Soviet Union and other nations from the Axis Powers' occupation and conquer Germany's capital, Berlin. He is the most decorated general in the history of both Russia and the Soviet Union.

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Career before World War II

Born into a poverty-stricken peasant family in Strelkovka, Maloyaroslavsky Uyezd, Kaluga Governorate (now merged into the town of Zhukov in Zhukovsky Raion of Kaluga Oblast in modern-day Russia), Zhukov was apprenticed to work as a furrier in Moscow, and in 1915 was conscripted into the army of the Russian Empire, where he served first in the 106th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, then the 10th Dragoon Novgorod Regiment.[1][2] During World War I, Zhukov was awarded the Cross of St. George twice and promoted to the rank of non-commissioned officer for his bravery in battle. He joined the Bolshevik Party after the October Revolution, and his background of poverty became an asset. After recovering from typhus he fought in the Russian Civil War from 1918 to 1921, at one time within the 1st Cavalry Army. He received the Order of the Red Banner for subduing the Tambov rebellion in 1921.[3]

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