The battle of Tarutino obviously failed to attain the aim which Toll had in view: to lead the army into action in accordance with his disposition of the troops, or the aim which Count Orlov-Denisov may have had: to take Murat prisoner; or the aim of destroying at one blow the whole corps, which Benningsen and others may have entertained; or the aim of the officer who desired to distinguish himself under fire; or the Cossack, who wanted to obtain more booty than he did attain, and so on. But if we regard the object of the battle as what was actually accomplished by it, and what was the universal desire of all Russians (the expulsion of the French from Russia and the destruction of their army), it will be perfectly evident that the battle of Tarutino, precisely in consequence of its incongruities, was exactly what was wanted at that period of the campaign. It is difficult or impossible to imagine any issue of that battle more in accordance with that object than its actual result. With the very smallest effort, in spite of the greatest muddle, and with the most trifling loss, the most important results in the whole campaign were obtained—the transition was made from retreat to attack, the weakness of the French was revealed, and the shock was given which was all that was needed to put Napoleon’s army to flight.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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