Why Khrushchev was afraid of Marshal Zhukov

History 24/03/20 Why Khrushchev was afraid of Marshal Zhukov

In the last days of Stalin’s life his associates divided between high posts. No one was supposed to be perceived as the sole successor of the leader. Malenkov became Chairman of Council of Ministers of the USSR, L. Beria – owner of the joint MVD and MGB, N. With. Khrushchev was one of the secretaries of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Who was in disgrace in the last years of Stalin, V. M. Molotov regained its position again (instead of A. Y. Vyshinsky) Minister of foreign Affairs. Ten days after Stalin’s death was followed by another change. Malenkov ceased to be one of the secretaries of the Central Committee, and Minister of defense is A. M. Vasilevsky was assigned to N.And. Bulganin.

Zhukov subjected to a slight lowering in the late 40’s-early 50-ies, in the last year of Stalin’s rule was again close “to the court.” In March 1952 he was elected a candidate member of the CPSU Central Committee, and in February 1953, Zhukov, then commander of the Ural military district, was summoned by Stalin. What they talked about remains unknown. Anyway, in March 1953 Zhukov was appointed first Deputy Minister of defence (Bulganin). According to some sources, his candidacy for the post proposed Beria. If this were so, then, perhaps, Beria much confessed in June 1953. Arrest Beria led by Zhukov. Some historians believe that if the bugs in that point has not shown determination, then Beria could turn the tide in their favor.
Khrushchev obviously remember this service Zhukov, but at the same time he could be anxious because the generals in this situation willingly subordinate to Zhukov. How would he have used it in the struggle for power, than was fully occupied then the epigones of Stalin… In September 1953, Khrushchev was elected First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. This position does not provide for in the time Charter party. It was like would be an honorary distinction, and it is interesting that this proposal, made at the same time Malenkov and Bulganin. Soon Malenkov also had to regret that he is too zealously supported Khrushchev. In February 1955, came the denouement of another turf fight. Malenkov was removed from his post as head of the Soviet government and was appointed to the minor post of Minister for power plants, but retained as part of the Presidium. His place on the post of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers took Bulganin, and thus freeing the chair of Minister of defense Zhukov sat down.

Shortly after the famous twentieth Congress of the CPSU, June 1, 1956, was followed by the resignation of Molotov from the post of Minister of foreign Affairs (he was replaced by D. T. Shepilov). However, it did not begin to punish severely, and appointed to the post of Minister of state control. The policy of Khrushchev, meanwhile, caused a growing dissatisfaction inside the Soviet-party elite. Especially hurt him the events in Hungary in autumn 1956, which many considered a direct consequence of the campaign against Stalin’s personality cult, unleashed by Khrushchev, and the resultant decline in the authority of the USSR. The core of opposition within the steel Malenkov and Molotov and L. M. Kaganovich, whose position in the reign of Khrushchev is still intact. To the “anti-party group”, a name subsequently also joined the successor to Molotov (but by that time had not held the post of Minister) Shepilov. In June 1957, this group attempted to remove Khrushchev from the leadership of the party and the country.
bearing in mind the experience of the elimination of Beria, the conspirators had to enlist the support of security forces. They didn’t even try to attract the Minister of state security, army General I. A. Serov, as he was personally very devoted to Khrushchev. But “anti-party group” tried to figure out the mood of Zhukov. He definitely knew of the plot bearable and listened to proposals on the elimination of Khrushchev, do not hurry to say Yes or no. 18 June 1957, talked with him Malenkov and before the meeting Oltedium of the Central Committee has made a determined attempt to drag Zhukov to the side of the conspirators. However, Zhukov is now as definitely said no. Apparently, Marshall had already decided that he would play on the side of Khrushchev in the unfolding conflict.
But in the Presidium of the “antiparty group” were in the majority.

taking Advantage of another sharp attack of Khrushchev against colleagues, Malenkov suggested to consider the violation of the Khrushchev collective leadership. At the suggestion of Malenkov, the Chairman of the meeting was elected Bulganin, who sympathized with the goals of the conspiracy. The Presidium of the Central Committee decided to recommend urgently convened Plenum of the Central Committee to consider the issue of release of Khrushchev from the post of Secretary of the Central Committee.

However, it turned out that the real possibilities for your decision of the conspirators was not. They could not reinforce its military action (e.g., temporary isolation of Khrushchev), as the security forces were not on their side. Even the state media has not passed the information about the resolution of the Presidium of the Central Committee. At the same time, Khrushchev and his supporters began to be active. They took steps to ensure that on going 22 June Plenum of the Central Committee they had the majority. Especially active in this tried Serov and Zhukov. And it turned out that the plenary convened was to consider the question is not about the removal of Khrushchev, and about the “anti-party group”. The main speaker gave Zhukov, reminding the audience about the involvement of the conspirators in the Stalinist repressions. In the end, Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich and “joined them” Shepilov were removed from the Central Committee and removed from all posts. In the future, opal befell all who wavered during the June plenary session.

it is Possible that Khrushchev, too, had not forgiven Zhukov his hesitation on the eve of these events. But usually I think that, most likely, Khrushchev was afraid of careless statements Zhukov that without his orders, a single tank in the country is not going anywhere. Although this was the appeal of “anti-party group” of Khrushchev playInal it as a veiled threat to themselves. The same military coup from Zhukov feared and Secretary of the Central Committee Mikhail Suslov, speaking as the chief Prosecutor of Zhukov in October (1957) Plenum of the Central Committee, took the decision to remove Zhukov from his post of the defense Minister and the withdrawal of it from the Central Committee. While Zhukov was Minister of defense, it is his style of communication with colleagues-the military has made lots of enemies. One of them is the chief of the General staff Marshal V. D. Sokolovsky – spoke at the Plenum with the fierce criticism of the methods of Zhukov to lead the Ministry. None of the military stood up for Zhukov. The formal justification for the decision of the Plenum was the alleged enforcers Zhukov cult of his own personality. And in February 1958, Khrushchev sacked one man, who had owed his preservation of power and who is therefore feared Minister of state security Serov.

Yaroslav Butakov

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