Georgy Zhukov, Marshal of the Soviet Union, was an avid fisherman in his retirement. When President Eisenhower, who considered him the most instrumental Allied leader in Hitler’s defeat, learned this he had him sent a set of fishing tackle. Zhukov used it exclusively, for the rest of his life.

Georgy Zhukov

Zhukov on vacation in Sochi

After being forced out of the government, Zhukov stayed away from politics. Many people—including former subordinates—frequently paid him visits, joined him on hunting excursions, and waxed nostalgic. In September 1959, while visiting the United States, Khrushchev told President Eisenhower that the retired Marshal Zhukov “liked fishing.” Zhukov was actually a keen aquarist. In response, Eisenhower sent Zhukov a set of fishing tackle. Zhukov respected this gift so much that he is said to have exclusively used Eisenhower’s fishing tackle for the remainder of his life.

After Khrushchev was deposed in October 1964, Brezhnev restored Zhukov to favour—though not to power—in a move to use Zhukov’s popularit… Continue Reading (8 minute read)

6 thoughts on “Georgy Zhukov, Marshal of the Soviet Union, was an avid fisherman in his retirement. When President Eisenhower, who considered him the most instrumental Allied leader in Hitler’s defeat, learned this he had him sent a set of fishing tackle. Zhukov used it exclusively, for the rest of his life.”

  1. eatPREYkill2239

    Zhukov and Ike became good friends after the war and toured the USSR together.

    Ike got him hooked on Coca-cola. Zhukov asked if they could make it look more respectable to the Soviets, you know, by making it look like vodka.

  2. Dusk_v731

    It may just be a story about fishing tackle, but this was during some of the most intensively stressful years of the Cold War. By all political means these two men should have been enemies, but clearly had immense respect for one another.

  3. awolfoutwest

    The best part about this is that it’s actually based on a misunderstanding/miscommunication from Khrushchev:

    “In September 1959, while visiting the United States, Khrushchev told President Eisenhower that the retired Marshal Zhukov “liked fishing.” Zhukov was actually a keen aquarist.”

    Meaning he actually liked to tend to aquariums. Ha!

  4. charliesfrown

    Thanks to the excellent *The Death of Stalin* I assume Zhukov to be some joker from Yorkshire, so fishing seems apt.

    “I fcked Germany, I think I can take a flesh lump in a fcking waistcoat.”

  5. kizilsakal

    “Right, what’s a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?”

  6. gopher_everitt

    Some say fishing was Zhukov’s second love.

    His first was representing the Red Army at the buffet.

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