BOOK TEN: 1812
27. CHAPTER XXVII
As far as one can make out, not so much from this unintelligible
sentence as from the attempts the vice-King made to execute the orders
given him, he was to advance from the left through Borodino to the
redoubt while the divisions of Morand and Gerard were to advance
simultaneously from the front.
All this, like the other parts of the disposition, was not and could
not be executed. After passing through Borodino the vice-King was
driven back to the Kolocha and could get no farther; while the
divisions of Morand and Gerard did not take the redoubt but were
driven back, and the redoubt was only taken at the end of the battle
by the cavalry (a thing probably unforeseen and not heard of by
Napoleon). So not one of the orders in the disposition was, or could
be, executed. But in the disposition it is said that, after the
fight has commenced in this manner, orders will be given in accordance
with the enemy's movements, and so it might be supposed that all
necessary arrangements would be made by Napoleon during the battle.
But this was not and could not be done, for during the whole battle
Napoleon was so far away that, as appeared later, he could not know
the course of the battle and not one of his orders during the fight
could be executed.