It’s nice to be caught up. (Possibly even a day ahead?)
And now we get in the headspace of Kutuzov, as he really comes into his own. Up until now, everything he’s done has been a bit unorthodox. He hasn’t attacked when others wanted him to. He follows the crowd. He falls asleep in meetings.
In fact, if the Russians had lost, he’d probably be written up as the most useless general in Russian history.
But, of course, that’s not what happened. And we can understand his impatience, knowing that he cannot push the battle, but just wait to see what happens.
My favourite moment in this chapter is when the message is brought to him about the final battle. He then asks to see the original messenger that brought the message.
This is so Tolstoy. Kutuzov, rather than rely on any talk of strategies or positions, wants to read the mood of the messenger, to determine the truth of the affair. This completely fits in with the theories about battles being won based on the mood and optimism of the victorious army, rather than any strategies.
There’s still a bit of cleaning up to do, but we know now, with Kutuzov’s tears, that the French are on their last legs.