Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Volume I, Book II, Chapter XVIII

Okay, there's going to be a lot of war here. I don't want to spend the next posts summarizing strategy, so I'll just say that it's a battle, and the Russians move forward valiantly.

The chapter opens in the smoke of the guns and cannons, men being shot, bleeding, choking, dying. Once again, Bagration is the General so everyone is hyper aware of him. There is long description of a marching regiment, whose head seems to have the sole aim of being seen and appreciated by the General.

Through Andrei's eyes, in the last chapter, we saw how Bagration managed to just nod at everything people were doing as if he approved and/or it was his idea. He comes into focus in battle. A wind, at some point, exposes the French and their "shaggy hats". "Nice marching" someone in Bagration's crowd says. I don't know why that made me laugh, but it did. Hard to tell if it's sarcastic or not.

There's a footnote about this battle from a real history, that both sides charged and never showed a weakness or gave up first. Bagration leads the charge at the end with a "Hurrah" that all the other soldiers take up. They're all hell bent on destruction. It's almost like, and seems to be set up, that they fight more to fight than to win at something. Winning is the spoils of war for them - the glory. The rush. That's all Andrei seems to be interested in, and the others as well.

Also interesting that they stay and march in formation. I've heard that the Revolutionary war changed that, but it's still in force here. Battalions marching in formation. We'll see what happens in the charge, but it probably won't be good.

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