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War and Peace
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
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War and Peace Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 39 Summary

  • There is blood, smoke, death, and horror everywhere. Then it starts raining on the dead bodies on the field.
  • The soldiers are becoming horrified and disgusted by what they’re doing. They’re exhausted and hungry. But for some reason they keep going, continuing to load the guns, killing and dying.
  • Slowly the battle dies out, even though one more tiny push from either side would have exterminated the other.
  • The Russians don’t make this effort because they aren’t the attackers in this battle – they are defending Moscow.
  • The French don’t because their morale is destroyed. They’ve suddenly experienced a huge loss in the middle of a campaign that they had been winning handily. They’re also shattered by the idea of an enemy who is just as strong and resolute after half its forces have been killed.
Next Page: Volume 3, Part 3, Chapter 1
Previous Page: Volume 3, Part 2, Chapter 38

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