I wish I had a map this time. I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really do.

I can’t quite tell what’s going on here. I think basically the Russians are doing not much, and the French are starting to fall apart, but beyond that, I’m a bit confused by the descriptions of who’s heading along which road, etc.

Part of it is because I’d really like to see the positions of the armies myself, so I can make up my own mind whether the French army naturally has the “seeds of dissolution” sown in it, or whether they’ve just moved to a dumb position.

But I don’t have a map, so I’ll just have to take Tolstoy’s word for it. The French know they are beaten, and Napoleon nearly got captured on the field.

What I can appreciate, however, is that there must have been a certain Russian sense of mischief and triumph at reading this, even 50 years later. Here’s Napoleon, one of the greatest military minds the world had ever known, and he comes up agains the Russians and falls apart.

Who wouldn’t want to add that to their country’s list of achievements?


5 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 13.18 – Falling Apart

  1. That is awesome . . . I could almost see myself getting one for the wall . . . I don’t know what Rachel would think, but I reckon it would be great.

  2. I can’t say I’d be particularly keen to haver a poster of Napoleon’s losses on my wall, but I do agree some sort of map would be helpful from time to time. When I do my big authorative, definitive, collector’s edition encyclopaedia on War an Peace, I’ll make sure I incude that.

    Mind you, the reality for me is that I find all of that stuff pretty hard to understand an assess even with a map and but, for me, as I think I’ve mentioned before, there are actually some benefits in having a bit of distance (in time and in comprehension) from the actual historical detail, because it in a way helps me focus more on the overall points Tolstoy is making – like here, where we once again see the overall insignificance of Napoleon and instead are told that the real loss was within the French army itself, spread throughout its veins, like a pandemic of disorder and defeat.

  3. Ian, seeing as how I have that ‘character list’, pretty well together (a bit sloppy in places, waiting only to be shored up), maybe you and I could team up on our projects – link them together, at least.

  4. Good idea Carly … that is, if my project ever comes to anything even vaguely like fruition. A very, very big “if”, indeed!!

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