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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 27 Summary

  • Napoleon spends the 25th of August, the day before the battle, riding around giving instructions.
  • He likes looking like he’s in charge and all-knowing, and like no one else can figure out what’s going on. How does he do this? By not explaining any of his decisions.
  • He sends out a final set of instructions, which Tolstoy viciously mocks. Why? Here's why:
  • 1. These orders will get to most places too late to actually be carried out.
  • 2. Half the orders contradict the other half.
  • 3. Some of the orders seem to plan for future events that never actually happen.
  • 4. He’s so far away from the battle that he has no way of knowing if any of these instructions actually were followed.
  • So, yeah. Good planning.

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