Late 1942 operations in short: In Operation mars , planned to commence in late October, forces of the Kalinin and Western Fronts would encircle and destroy German Ninth Army in the Rzhev salient. Two to three weeks later, in Operation Jupiter , the Western Front's powerful 5th and 33d Armies, supported by 3d Guards Tank Army, would attack along the Viaz'ma axis, link up with the victorious mars' force, and envelop and destroy all German forces east of Smolensk.13 Vasilevsky's initial operation, code-named Uranus and tentatively timed for mid-November, was to envelop German Sixth Army in the Stalingrad region.14 In Operation Saturn , set to begin in early December, Vasilevsky's forces would seize Rostov, envelop German Army Group B, pin its remnants against the Sea of Azov, and cut off the withdrawal of German Army Group A from the Caucasus. PS I think Friedrich asked about these ops once?! Antony Beevor http://www.nybooks.com/articles/76 Jason Epstein [Letters, NYR, April 13] has finally acknowledged that General A.I. Eremenko was indeed the commander of the Stalingrad Front under Vasilevsky's supervision. But he demonstrates in his refusal to allow Zhukov any credit for Operation Uranus that he is also incapable of reading David Glantz's book accurately. Glantz shows that Zhukov spent far more time preparing Operation Uranus than Operation Mars. According to Glantz's timetable, from September 26 (when Stalin made Zhukov the Stavka coordinator for Operation Mars) until October 12, Zhukov was in fact visiting the army commanders on the "Stalingrad axis" and studying the ground for Operation Uranus. He was simply not in a position to oversee plans for Mars, especially since the operational orders for it were issued by the Stavka on October 1 and the revised orders on October 10, both during his absence near Stalingrad. While Vasilevsky visited Eremenko's armies to the south of the city, Zhukov toured forward positions on the northern side of the Stalingrad salient. Zhukov's involvement in the planning of Uranus continued up until its launch. Jason Epstein replies: Vasilevsky was not merely the supervisor but the operational commander of the Stalingrad offensive, an assignment made by Stalin himself when he simultaneously appointed Zhukov operational commander of the offensive, code-named Mars, against German Army Group Center. Of course Zhukov as deputy supreme high commander directly under Stalin was involved in planning the Stalingrad offensive. How could he not have been? But he was not, as Beevor believed when he wrote his book, in operational command of that offensive. Zhukov, as Glantz writes, was obsessed with Operation Mars, which was not, as Beevor wrote, a mere feint but a Soviet disaster in which 335,000 troops were killed, missing, or wounded. Could it be? Vasilevsky was in overall charge of the Stalingrad encirclement and Eremenko was the commander of his Southern Front.Beevor could and should have been aware of the archives that Glantz used.Thus he would not have accepted the disingenuous claim made by Zhukov in his memoirs that his attack on Army Group Center was a mere feint to keep the Germans from assisting Paulus's Sixth Army This is the book to read nextavid Glantz's gripping recent book, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat? Zhukov was not the hero of Stalingrad? http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/glazhu.html http://www.nybooks.com/articles/142 " General Vasilevsky, the hero of Stalingrad and perhaps the savior of us all. " From the site above by Jason Epstein. OPINIONS??