Reading for Tuesday, 7 April

Actually, there’s not a lot else to say about this briefest of brief chapters that contains one tantrum and then moves on. But we see the consequences of Yermolov’s inaction the day before.

The ironic thing is that Kutuzov was heading out for the battle, not very happy about the fact that the battle was even on, only to find that his orders had been ignored anyway.

So the tantrum was less about the lack of an attack and more about his orders being ignored. It’s a strange little moment in the midst of this chapter, but the tail end of this war seems to have been very strange indeed.

Either way (at the risk of me becoming a broken record), it shows the point. It didn’t matter what Kutuzov wanted to do – unless he had all the men going in the same direction, he had very little influence at all. This is one of those times where his influence meant nothing.

Thus is history made.

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 13.5 – Kutuzov’s Tantrum

  1. It’s true – this chapter must be one of the briefest, if not the briefest, in all of War and Peace … but, no less than the longest chapters, it says what it needs to say. It’s kind of like the reverse side of the story told two chapters ago, about the lone Cossack. There we saw the importance of the Cossack, here we see the unimportance of the Commander-in-Chief. It’s kind of ironically driven home just that little bit more by Kutuzov’s own observation that no one would have treated him so contemptably when he was just “a young brat of an officer”.

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