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Tolstoy`sbook tries to intertwine private and public individual’s livesduring the period of Napoleonic wars and invasion of the French ofRussia. The Bolkonskys of Pierre Rostovs, Natasha, and Andrei areconnected intimately with the overall history played parallel withtheir individual lives. Soirees and balls alternate with war councilsand machination of generals and statesmen, violent battle scenes withdaily human passion in a working setup whose imaginative power hasbeen surpassed. It further stretches over several decades in a waythat it has been used to describe history of Russia from18th centuryto early 19thcentury

Encounterbetween the French prisoners and the Russian soldiers afterAusterlitz. In from War and Peace book by Tolstoy

Tolstoyset the novel 60 years. The author had interacted with people whowere there during the war between French and Russians in 1812. Thebook can be considered as ethnography fiction. During this time, theauthor enriched himself through biographical and autobiographicalmaterials on Napoleon and other characters in the novel.

Thebook main topics are the Russian French war that occurred between1805 and 1812. Tolstoy describes the Austerlitz (1805) and Borodino(1812) vividly and accurately. Thevictory of France at Austerlitz brought ended the third coalition andin 1805,France and Austria signed treaty of Pressburg that saw Austria out ofCoalition and out of the war. On the other hand, the Napoleon`s armyin Germany imposed indemnity of francs on defeated Habsburgs andallowed the defeated Russian troops pass through hostile territoriesback home with their equipment and arms. The victory at Austerlitzallowed creation of Confederation of Rhine that constituted thecollection of German states as a buffer zone between central Europeand France.

Inthe month the French troops were bypassing Moscow and the troops ofthe Russian were encamped quietly at Tarutino, there was a paradigmshift in the strength and power of the two armies both in number andspirit to do things in union. As a matter of fact, the superioritypassed to the side of Russians. Nevertheless, the number andcondition of the French was not known to the Russians. As a result,as the change occurred, the need to attack at once the other sidearose The signs were mission by Lauriston`s plenty provision byTarutino the report from both sides of the French disorder andinactivity recruits inflows fine weather Russian long rest thatthey enjoyed, and the aspect of impatience to do what they weresupposed to do. This sign resulted, especially when the army wasresting and curiosity posed when the French lost direction.Therewas a shift in the relative strength and the advances they had madecould not be changed. In one instance, as the time begins there wasincreased activity, chiming and whirring in the higher spheres(Tolstoy,2007).

Kutuzovcommanded the Russian army and also Petersburg emperor. Before theabandonment of Moscow news had reached Petersburg, they drew adetailed plan for the whole campaign and sent to Kutuzov fordirection.The whole Russian army reorganized During the battle of Austerlitz,Napoleon experienced one of the greatest victories. The French Empiredefeated Third Coalition in 1805. The French republican won thebattle against Russo-Austrian army under Tsar Alexander. The battletook place in Austerlitz, in Moravia (Tolstoy,2007).


Frenchinvaded Russia in 1812 during which Napoleon’s army crossed NemanRiver into engagement with Russian army. Napoleon wanted to compelthe Tsar of Russia from trading with the merchants from Britain in aproxy to pressure UK to sue the peace. He named the campaign asSecond Polish War in order to win favor from Poles and providepolitical pretense. His army comprised of more than half a millionsoldiers and he hoped to win at the end of March in Russia. However,the Russian army retreated and continued to go back to Russia leavingSmolensk to burn. Napoleon pressed his army towards Russians duringwhich Cossacks burned the villages, crops and towns. This aimed atdenying the invader`s option of living in the land. This disturbedand surprised French since they could not comprehend how Russianscould destroy their own people. This forced French to depend onsupply system that was unable to feed their army. Privation andstarvation forced the French soldiers to leave their camps in searchfor food. The Russian army was caught up by French in the hillsidesin Borodino. The battle was the bloodiest resulting to Russianextricating itself and French gaining victory at expense of 49 fallensoldiers (Tolstoy,2007).

TheInterplay Compassion and Cruelty in War

PrinceAndrei notes that all prisoners were to be shot and Dolokhov goesahead to kill them. Nevertheless Kutuzov argued that French soldierswere to be spared. This saw Russians feed the French prisoners andcan laugh and sing together. The two nations get along very welldespite the bloodiest engagements that saw many people dead. Forinstance, Napoleon plans war against the Russians, and, on the otherhand, Dolokhov spies on French prisoners. A theme of cruelty andcompassion is evident between the two nations. Petya demonstratesthis in his interactions with Dolokhov and Denisov, as well as in hiscompassion towards the French prisoners(Tolstoy, 2007).


Tolstoy,L. (2007). Warand Peace.New York: Alfred A. Knopf.