Battle of the Windmill (Animal Farm)

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of the Windmill
partof=
date=Unspecified
place=Napoleon Mill, Animal Farm
casus=Construction of windmill by Animal Farm
Economic survival of Animal Farm


caption=Cover of 1989 Penguin Fiction edition of Animal Farm
result=Pyrrhic Animalist victory
Destruction of Napoleon Mill
combatant1= Animal Farm
combatant2= Pinchfield Farm
commander1= Napoleon
commander2=Frederick
strength1=Unspecified
strength2=Fifteen men
casualties1=One cow, three sheep and two geese dead
casualties2=Three dead, two injured

The Battle of the Windmill is a fictional battle in the novella "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. In real life, with events in "Animal Farm" mirroring those in the Soviet Union, this represents the Great Patriotic War (World War II), especially the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Moscow.

For two years, the animals of Animal Farm worked to construct a windmill that would help with their work. The first attempt was destroyed by a storm because of its thin walls, but the leader Napoleon claims it was sabotaged by Snowball. Finally, the animals completed the windmill. Afterwards, Napoleon made deals with two neighboring farms, Foxwood (led by Mr. Pilkington) and Pinchfield (led by Mr. Frederick). Napoleon accepted a deal with Frederick and sold timber for five pounds. Three days later, Napoleon discovered the notes were counterfeit. He immediately ordered a death sentence on Frederick.

The next morning, Frederick and his men arrived with the intent to attack and gain control of the title deeds of Animal Farm. The animals realized that they couldn't win like they did at the Battle of the Cowshed: there were more men and six had firearms. Napoleon expected that Pilkington would come help, but his pigeons delivered a message from Pilkington: "Serves you right." With all the animals frightened, Napoleon and Boxer were unable to rally the others.

After advancing to the windmill, Fredrick drilled a hole and placed explosives inside. "All the animals, except Napoleon" took cover; Orwell had the publisher alter this from "All the animals, including Napoleon" in recognition of Joseph Stalin's decision to remain in Moscow during the German advance. Enraged at the destruction, the animals counterattacked, but sustained heavy casualties. After a violent and costly confrontation, Napoleon unleashed his corps of attack dogs; after their attack, the men retreated. However, it came at great cost.

The battle is absent in the 1999 film version; in the film, Mr. and Mrs. Jones destroyed the windmill themselves.

ee also

* The real-life Battle of the Windmill, which took place in 19th-century Canada.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.