When the storm broke, people turned to Tolstoy: "During the war," wrote the critic Lidia Ginzburg, "people devoured War and Peace as a way of measuring their own behavior (about Tolstoy they had no doubt: his response to life was wholly adequate). The reader would say to himself: Well then, so what I am feeling is right: that’s just how it should be." War and Peace was the only book the writer Vasili Grossman had time to read while he was a frontline correspondent, and he read it twice. It was broadcast on Moscow Radio, complete, over thirty episodes.
That is from new and noteworthy Moscow 1941: A City and its People at War, by Rodric Braithwaite, recommended.