Kutuzov's bit of reverse warfare helped the Russians win the war. But what else?
Guerrilla warfare – or, as it was called back in the day, partisan fighting.
Little groups of men – some soldiers acting outside orders, some civilians – kept hammering away at the edges of the French army. One such attack might mean nothing, but many are bound to eventually leave a dent.
For Tolstoy, the reason this kind of fighting works is that, yet again, it goes against traditional military history and strategy. Usually the idea is to attack with as giant a force as possible, but for Tolstoy, if the morale is right, you don’t need a ton of guys. With the right attitude, a little group can overcome a big horde.