The image of the Baron de Steuben training Washington's ragged,
demoralized troops in the snow at Valley Forge is part of the
iconography of our Revolutionary heritage, but most history fans
know little more about this fascinating figure.
In the first book on Steuben since 1937, Paul Lockhart, an
expert in European military history, finally explains the
significance of Steuben's military experience in Europe. Steeped in
the traditions of the Prussian army of Frederick the Great--the
most ruthlessly effective in Europe--he taught the soldiers of the
Continental Army how to fight like Europeans. His guiding hand
shaped the army that triumphed over the British at Monmouth, Stony
Point, and Yorktown. And his influence did not end with the
Revolution. Steuben was instrumental in creating West Point, and in
writing the ""Blue Book""--the first official regulations of the
American army. His principles have guided the American armed forces
to this day.
Steuben's life is also a classic immigrant story. A failure in
midlife, he uprooted himself from his native Europe to seek one
last chance at glory and fame in the New World. In America he
managed to reinvent himself--making his background quite a bit more
glamorous than was the reality--but redeeming himself by his
exceptional service and becoming, in a sense, the man he claimed to
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