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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 4, Part 4, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Now we pull back again to the zoomed-out view and check in on the Russian army and how things stand there.
  • Basically, they’re just as run-down and ragged as the French are. After all, it’s just as cold for the Russian soldiers, and even though they have way more supplies, it’s still pretty brutal.
  • The difference is that they’re motivated and have a high morale, which is always important.
  • The Russians are following along after the French.
  • Kutuzov mostly just wants to make everyone’s life easier and speed along the French retreat.
  • The other generals in the Russian army, though, are out to make a name for themselves, so they try to fight and take important prisoners. It’s kind of a sad thing, since the French are half-starved and basically just slaughtered without much resistance.
  • When Napoleon manages to get away by deserting his men, everyone blames Kutuzov. Tolstoy clearly thinks that capturing Napoleon would have been beside the point, which was just to expel the invading forces.

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