Now we get a zoom-in of one of these battles with the diseased and bedraggled French, on November 5 in Krasnoe.
Prisoners are taken after the butchery. They are losing limbs, ears, and noses to frostbite and have sores around their eyes.
Kutuzov sees two French soldiers fighting like animals over a piece of raw meat.
It’s all just gross.
But Kutuzov has to make a speech to the troops, so he first thanks them for their service, then calls for some pity and compassion for the prisoners, who are also people. Then he mentions Napoleon with some pretty raunchy swear words. Seriously, Shmoop’s monocle almost fell out of our eye when we read Kutuzov calling for Bonapartists (supporters of Napoleon) to be assaulted in an unpleasant sexual fashion. (Shmoop is filling you in on the real scoop here, because most translations tend to tone down the Russian and take out the f-bomb that Tolstoy puts in.)
This goes over like gangbusters; the soldiers laugh and cheer.