Tolstoy's aim in War and Peace

Tolstoy’s aim in War and Peace, as proclaimed by Fraser Bell in his 2002 essay on the novel:

His central aim was to attack the official and self-serving mythical version of men and their works; he is forever seeking the gleam of “inner truth,” which he believes is always obscured by official bulletins, by the chatter in the salons, by orthodox history. More than that, the “idea” of the Great Man, the classical Homeric Hero, as described in Plutarch’s Lives, was to be brought to the bar and found guilty. To that end Tolstoy went after the Napoleonic legend as no one had done before, picking off its outriders, falling on its flank, its rear, then meeting it head-on and driving through to its hollow centre. …

With one sweeping gesture he knocks aside the French emperor and all his deeds; he gives the back of his hand to those who say that Napoleon’s failure to conquer Russia occurred because of his head cold, the winter, for this or that reason. In fact, no one determines these matters, says he, far less the Great Men of history. “To the question of what causes historical events another answer presents itself,” writes Tolstoy; “namely, that the course of human events is predetermined from on high – depends on the coincidence of the wills of all who take part in the events, and that a Napoleon’s influence on the course of these events is purely external and fictitious.”