© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 16 Summary

  • Officers live in trenches dug out of the ground for extra warmth. Nikolai and Denisov live in a trench like this one, where sometimes, if they can get their hands on some hot coals, it gets warm enough to take off their coats. Boy, now that’s luxury.
  • One day in April, Nikolai overhears Denisov arguing with some other officers outside their trench. Then Denisov saddles up and rides off.
  • When he finally comes back it turns out that he’s pulled an awesome heist – he actually held up the provisions transport with a bunch of other men to bring food back to the soldiers.
  • But guess who doesn’t think it’s awesome, but rather grounds for a court marshal? Yup, that’s right – the army top brass.
  • Denisov acts tough in the face of his indictment, but Nikolai can tell that he’s worried. Sure enough, he’s relieved of command over the regiment.
  • In the next fight, Denisov gets a minor graze wound on his knee and uses that as an excuse to head off to the hospital rather than having to be with the men without being their leader.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...