Summary of Marshal G. Zhukov’s reminiscences and recollections:
1. The October Revolution was pure class.
2. The Red Army was daycent.
3. Stalin was pure sound (according to him).
4. The Red Army were getting hundreds of mixed reports leading up to the invasion of Nazi Germany and did not know what to believe.
5. Contrary to popular belief, the last night before the Nazi’s launched operation Barbarossa, the entire general staff, all district commanders, all division commanders were ordered to stay at their command posts expecting imminent invasion.
6. The USSR offered Britain and France an alliance against Nazi Germany in 1939. Britain and France had secret dealings with the Nazi’s to make a non-aggression pact in London at the same time.
7. Britain and France actively attempted to create a war against the USSR: Offered military support to Finland against the USSR to divert attention from the West, additionally the leadership in Finland was very right wing at this time.
8. Britain and France followed a policy of appeasement up to a ludicrous point where they spoke of ‘spheres of influence’ and carving up Russia, China and Africa among Britain/France/Germany/Italy.
9. The Red Army rose it’s military budget from 1936 from 5 Billion roubles to 56 by 1939, in anticipation of imminent war against Germany/Japan.
10. The Red Army was not read for war in 1941 but was militarizing it’s industry to prepare for war.
11. The USSR offered to invade Nazi Germany in a deal with the British-French if the Nazi’s attacked them, they declined.
12. The USSR offered to defend Poland and Romania if Nazi Germany invaded and sought British-French assistance in making this deal, they declined.
13. Contrary to popular belief, Stalin did not shake in his boots or retire for the day, it took 6 hours for a meeting of the senior leadership of the Party to assemble in the Kremlin and with him present and leading draft a full war mobilization directive against the Nazi’s.
14. The ‘carving’ up of Eastern Europe is Western mythology, the Nazi’s attempted to sack Kiev and most of Eastern Poland, the Red Army literally took Kiev while it was under siege thereby forcing the Nazi’s to back off, they also checked their march into Poland.
15. The Party, the government and the Red Army were aware that war was basically imminent and were making massive preparations for it, notably redevelopment of industry in the Far East which would make tank, plane, weapon, artillery and ammunition production pretty much untouched even if Moscow fell.
16. The heroism shown by people on the ground reflected the general popular support of the USSR. More people became partisans in the occupied territories of the USSR than changed sides.
17. The General Staff, as led by Zhukov in preparation for war had full control over military operations and submitted any urgent issues to the Commissar for Defence and to the Politburo, Stalin was consulted but did not have extrajudicial or extralegislative powers.
That’s about as much of a summary I can think of, there’s a lot more relating to his personal experience as a red army commander in training around the USSR, so feel free to ask and I’ll answer what I gleamed.