War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 25 Summary
Andrei invites Timokhin to join him and Pierre for tea, since he doesn’t want to talk to Pierre alone.
He asks Pierre if he understands the battle plan. When Pierre says yes, Andrei is all, well, then you’re one up on everyone else.
Timokhin says it doesn’t matter because everything will go well now that Kutuzov is in charge. Why? Because Barclay couldn’t sense the whole mood of the army shifting when they started fighting on Russian instead of Polish land. The stakes changed and the soldiers became way more committed.
Pierre is like, but what about Barclay’s awesome generalship?
Andrei says there’s no such thing. Everything is random in war, so there’s no such thing as being a good commander.
Andrei and Timokhin tell Pierre that success in battle depends not on position or ammunition or number of troops, but only on “the feeling that’s in me, in him, in every soldier” (126.96.36.199).
Pierre is alarmed. So are we, truth be told.
Andrei is only just getting started, though. He says the battle of Austerlitz was only lost because of this kind of intangible morale situation.
He thinks tomorrow’s battle will definitely be won. He can feel it because he is personally insulted by the French, and so are all the other soldiers.
Then Andrei goes off the deep end. Since all the French are offensive enemies, there shouldn’t be prisoners. Everyone should just be executed if caught. This will make wars more serious, more rare, and...he trails off, too excited by his patriotism.
Pierre leaves to rest up for the following day.
Andrei lies down. He thinks about Natasha telling him about a feeling of poetic passion she had when she came across a picturesque old man in the forest. She couldn’t convey exactly what she felt, but he knew what she meant. Andrei is bitter – he understood her so well and loved her inner person, and still she dumped him for some dumb stud.