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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 1, Part 3, Chapter 12 Summary

  • All the generals get together for a council of war.
  • Kutuzov knows no one is going to listen to him, so he just full-out goes to sleep at the meeting, like with snoring and everything.
  • General Weyrother is going to be leading the attack.
  • He reads out the long battle plan, which is complicated and boring and based on the idea that they know how Napoleon’s army is positioned.
  • All the other men are jockeying for position without really questioning the Weyrother plan.
  • Weyrother has a smart-aleck answer to every objection.
  • Andrei tries to get a word in but can’t.
  • Finally, Weyrother is all, "OK guys, the plan is all set and can’t be changed, so let’s go home and get ready."
  • Andrei leaves the council feeling like this style of war planning is messed up. How come these officers only care about their own political standing and not soldiers’ lives?
  • Then, suddenly, Andrei realizes that he could die the next day.
  • He freaks out and thinks about his family and friends and how he loves them.
  • But then he immediately starts fantasizing about having a winning strategy for the battle, then winning the battle single-handedly and being promoted to general.
  • He admits to himself that he really, really, pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top, wants military glory. For some reason this is a big secret that he won’t tell anyone.

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