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?