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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

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

  • After marching away from Borodino, the Russian army first camps at Fili, in front of the gates of Moscow.
  • All the generals get together at Kutuzov’s quarters to try to figure out how to defend the capital. It’s not called a war council, but clearly that’s what it is.
  • Kutuzov doesn’t try to talk to anyone in particular; he just kind of sits in the middle of the room, listening to the general chatter. He’s been to the rodeo many times already and can tell just from the mood of the room that it will be impossible for the army to defend Moscow. Instead, they have to let it fall into enemy hands.
  • It’s cool how he picks up on this from the ambiance alone. The convos the generals are having are totally the opposite: lots of bluster about how they are going to protect the city.

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