That's the question that Professor Geoffrey Roberts will address when he delivers the next instalment of the University of Dundee's Arts & Humanities Research Institute (AHRI) Lecture and Seminar Series 2012/13 next week.
Professor Roberts, of University College Cork, is the author of many previous works on Soviet history, including the acclaimed 'Stalin's General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov', which examined the Russian's turbulent life and career.
His findings will form the basis of his lecture, 'Marshal Georgy Zhukov: Russian Hero or Stalin's Stooge?', which takes place at the University on Tuesday, 9th October.
Professor Roberts said, "Zhukov played a decisive role in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk that helped bring down the Nazi regime. He was the first of the Allied generals to enter Berlin and took the German surrender. He led the huge victory parade through Red Square, riding a white horse and dangerously provoking Stalin's envy.
"Zhukov had an equally eventful post-war career, sacked and banished twice, and wrongfully accused of treason. Since his death in 1974, Zhukov has increasingly been seen as the indispensable military leader of the Second World War, surpassing other celebrated generals with his military brilliance and ferocity.
"A particular focus of my lecture will be the qualities that are said to have made Zhukov such a great Soviet general and provide evidence for the claims that he was the greatest general of the War who saved Russia and Europe from Nazi barbarism."
The AHRI is based within the School of Humanities at Dundee, and serves as a forum for research across the School's principal disciplines of English literature and creative writing, history, philosophy and aesthetics. Academics from Dundee will deliver the lecture programme, alongside colleagues from institutions across the UK and other countries.
Professor David Finkelstein, Dean of the School of Humanities at Dundee, said, "As part of our commitment to public engagement, we have developed a programme of lectures and seminars open to the public. At these events invited speakers, staff and students will speak and discuss some of the biggest issues arising from contemporary humanities research.
"It is vital that the School of Humanities shares its research with the communities that support us, whether they be academics we cooperate with, schools and colleges we recruit from, or interest groups with which we share common concerns.
"We hope as many people as possible with an interest in the Humanities will attend this series of exciting events, which will demonstrate the breadth, vibrancy and relevance of the Humanities and show why they play an essential role in our cultural, social and economic life."
'Marshal Georgy Zhukov: Russian Hero or Stalin's Stooge?' takes place at the D'Arcy Thompson lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee at 6pm on Tuesday, 9th October. The event is free and open to all.
More information about the AHRI Lecture and Seminar Series is available at Arts and Humanities Research Institute website
Provided by University of Dundee
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