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Baron Von Steuben: The Life and Legacy of the Prussian General Who Drilled the Continental Army at Valley Forge During the Revolutionary

Baron Von Steuben: The Life and Legacy of the Prussian General Who Drilled the Continental Army at Valley Forge During the Revolutionary - Charles River Editors

Baron Von Steuben: The Life and Legacy of the Prussian General Who Drilled the Continental Army at Valley Forge During the Revolutionary

*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
"You say to your soldier, 'Do this' and he does it. But I am obliged to say to the American, 'This is why you ought to do this' and then he does it." - attributed to Baron von Steuben
By the time the Revolutionary War started, military confrontations between the world powers had become so common that combat was raised to the status of a fine art, consuming a large portion of time for adolescent males in training and comprising a sizeable component of the economy. Weaponry was developed to a degree of quality not accessible to most North Americans, and European aristocrats were reared in the mastery of swordsmanship with an emphasis on the saber for military use. Likewise, the cavalry, buoyed by a tradition of expert horsemanship and saddle-based combat, was a fighting force largely beyond reach for colonists, which meant that fighting on horses was an undeveloped practice in the fledgling Continental Army, and the American military did not yet fully comprehend the value of cavalry units. Few sword masters were to find their way to North America in time for the war, and the typical American musket was a fair hunting weapon rather than a military one. Even the foot soldier knew little of European military discipline.
German participation is historically noted for the Hessians, mercenary soldiers recruited in whole companies by Britain, whose standing army featured relatively low numbers when the American Revolution began. However, other Germans noted for their mastery of the science of war sided with the colonies, and among the most essential European contributors to the American cause turned out to be a Prussian officer of German descent. Though he hailed from dubious lineage, he enjoyed the full title of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Rudolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben, and when he came to fight in the Revolution, his purportedly lustrous military credentials could not be accurately verified by the American liaisons who were in contact with him. Like the Marquis de Lafayette before him, von Steuben came to Washington's army via the recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, who hoped to use their appointments to curry political favor internationally. Furthermore, the letters sent with von Steuben to America underwent such upgrades of prestige and glamorization as to frame his introduction as a national deceit.
Despite the wavering a
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*Includes pictures
*Includes contemporary accounts
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
"You say to your soldier, 'Do this' and he does it. But I am obliged to say to the American, 'This is why you ought to do this' and then he does it." - attributed to Baron von Steuben
By the time the Revolutionary War started, military confrontations between the world powers had become so common that combat was raised to the status of a fine art, consuming a large portion of time for adolescent males in training and comprising a sizeable component of the economy. Weaponry was developed to a degree of quality not accessible to most North Americans, and European aristocrats were reared in the mastery of swordsmanship with an emphasis on the saber for military use. Likewise, the cavalry, buoyed by a tradition of expert horsemanship and saddle-based combat, was a fighting force largely beyond reach for colonists, which meant that fighting on horses was an undeveloped practice in the fledgling Continental Army, and the American military did not yet fully comprehend the value of cavalry units. Few sword masters were to find their way to North America in time for the war, and the typical American musket was a fair hunting weapon rather than a military one. Even the foot soldier knew little of European military discipline.
German participation is historically noted for the Hessians, mercenary soldiers recruited in whole companies by Britain, whose standing army featured relatively low numbers when the American Revolution began. However, other Germans noted for their mastery of the science of war sided with the colonies, and among the most essential European contributors to the American cause turned out to be a Prussian officer of German descent. Though he hailed from dubious lineage, he enjoyed the full title of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Rudolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben, and when he came to fight in the Revolution, his purportedly lustrous military credentials could not be accurately verified by the American liaisons who were in contact with him. Like the Marquis de Lafayette before him, von Steuben came to Washington's army via the recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, who hoped to use their appointments to curry political favor internationally. Furthermore, the letters sent with von Steuben to America underwent such upgrades of prestige and glamorization as to frame his introduction as a national deceit.
Despite the wavering a
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