The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army

The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army[PDF / Epub] ☄ The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army By Paul Lockhart – Bluevapours.co.uk “A terrific biography…The dramatic story of how the American army that beat the British was forged has never been better told than in this remarkable book”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, New Y of Valley MOBI ó “A terrific biography…The dramatic story of how the American army that beat the British was forged The Drillmaster eBook ↠ has never been better told than in this remarkable book”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author Drillmaster of Valley PDF/EPUB À of Team of Rivals The true story of the Baron de Steuben and the making of the American Army, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge is the first biography in half a century of the immigrant Prussian soldier who molded George Washington’s ragged, demoralized troops into the fighting force that eventually triumphed in America’s War of Independence Praised by renowned historian Thomas Fleming as “an important book for anyone interested in the American Revolution,” The Drillmaster of Valley Forge rights a historical wrong by finally giving a forgotten hero his welldeserved due.

of Valley MOBI ó Paul Lockhart is a history professor at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio His first four The Drillmaster eBook ↠ books are about the history of Scandinavia, but in he decided to write for a broader Drillmaster of Valley PDF/EPUB À audience and hence returned to his roots in early American history His fifth book, THE DRILLMASTER OF VALLEY FORGE: THE BARON DE STEUBEN AND THE MAKING OF THE AMERICAN ARMY HarperCollins, , was his first wid.

The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and
    iOS for the iPad is the biggest iOS release ever and the making of the American Army, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge is the first biography in half a century of the immigrant Prussian soldier who molded George Washington’s ragged, demoralized troops into the fighting force that eventually triumphed in America’s War of Independence Praised by renowned historian Thomas Fleming as “an important book for anyone interested in the American Revolution,” The Drillmaster of Valley Forge rights a historical wrong by finally giving a forgotten hero his welldeserved due."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 352 pages
  • The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army
  • Paul Lockhart
  • English
  • 15 May 2019
  • 9780061451638

10 thoughts on “The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army

  1. Jerome says:

    A well-written and evenhanded biography of Steuben. Although most books don’t mention much beside his activity at Valley Forge, Lockhart gives us a great history of this colorful figure and his times. He gives us a great portrait of the baron himself, who as Lockhart shows, was quite flexible when it came to the facts of his backstory. He nevertheless demonstrated a mastery of military training and tactics. Even though he deceived everyone in order to get his job, he turned out to be pretty good at it anyway.

    In Lockhart’s book, Steuben was a cheerful, extroverted blowhard, but he was also military competent--enough to be on Frederick the Great’s staff, which brought out the worst in him. The baron was basically a likeable man, but he lacked the wits and savviness required, and got himself fired, although this was also the result of a fellow officer who found Steuben too competent for his own career prospects. Not only was Steuben out of a job, he also had no money, so he became secretary, a job ill-suited for his talents and temperament. Also, he was incapable of saving any cash he managed to earn. Valley Forge turned out to be a career saver for him, even though the Continental Army was on the verge of giving up by that point; the only thing preventing mass desertions was the fact that all of the roads were covered in snow. The army was in such poor condition that they couldn’t even march in formation (unless single file counts as formation). Steuben eventually became drillmaster by default; he had never actually asked for or wanted the job originally. Fortunately, the baron adapted, although at first he would explode in rage whenever soldiers asked him “why” they had to do such and such a drill---almost every soldier asked this question. Fortunately, the baron,remarkably, learned how to turn his infamous temper on and off for effect, and his expertise, force of personality ability to understand the American soldier were crucial.

    Lockhart digs into the baron’s training methods and philosophy, and Lockhart is great at highlighting Steuben’s expertise, empathy for the troops, and colorful personality. He also explores many of the issues around Steuben, such as his alleged homosexuality, of which Lockhart finds no conclusive evidence. Lockhart also examines his military command in Virginia, which is often criticized, but Lockhart argues that the baron did as well as anybody could have expected. Also, Lockhart reveals that the embellishment of his backstory was cooked up by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane and Pierre Beaumarchais, and Steuben simply went along with it; once Steuben actually arrived at Valley Forge, he revealed the truth to Washington. After the war, Congress gave the baron land (there was plenty around following the expulsion of the Indians and loyalists) but refused to pay him the money promised; it took Washington’s and Franklin’s intervention to get Congress to pay, but he still died in debt anyway; the baron’s money problems make up a good part of the narrative. Also great is Lockhart’s treatment of two of the baron’s defining characteristics: his aristocratic background and his easy familiarity with common soldiers.

    An enjoyable and readable biography, although some issues do not receive much detail, like the baron’s entertaining feud with Jefferson. The few typos are also a minor irritant.

  2. Brian says:

    Paul Lockhart does an excellent history on how the American Army was molded during the revolution and the man whose tireless zeal and boundless energy made it happen. Often overlooked in American history the Baron de Steuben's contributions to the colonies war effort were truly astounding. It is about time we get an updated book that reassess those contributions and shows the work he did not just at Valley Forge but beyond. This book is not just a military history though and goes into the highly political situation that the American Army found itself in vis a vis Congress. From the attempt to remove Washington to even the Baron's own machinations within Congress the reader can see the complexity in which this army existed. Lockhart also does a good job of tracking down the European history of the Baron and shows the fraudulent way he presented himself in coming over to America but his own drive and skill allowed him to make up for his pedigrees shortcomings and as Lockhart shows the baron becomes the first American story.
    Lockhart, who is a skilled military historian, covers the campaigns and training programs in great detail but unlike many military historians is able to tie them back to the bigger picture making for a very fascinating read. The creation of the blue book which was the guiding principle of the American military through the war of 1812 and influenced it quite a bit beyond that was created by the Baron and his staff and is covered well in here. The idea that forms the core of the American military as also a Baron idea and its etymology is discussed in this book. Those looking for campaign details will not be disappointed as there are plenty of campaign details covered in the book especially within the NJ invasion and the southern campaign with Greene. Overall this was a very enjoyable book and well worth the time to read.

  3. Geoff says:

    overly positive, but fascinating look at the Prussian striver who turned the continentals into a revolutionary enlightenment-era army.

  4. Bill Plott says:

    This is an excellent biography of a critical figure in the battle for independence. Baron de Steuben is mostly remembered for the three months he spent raising the morale and training of the patriots in the terrible winter at Valley Forge. But he also wrote The Blue Book, a manual of army regulations and procedures that was still in use by the War of 1812. It was his idea for a standing peacetime army to be supplemented as needed by state militias. It was also his idea that led to the creation of the all of the service academies. Steuben accomplished all of this as a stranger in strange land, navigating the horrible politics that constantly threatened to bring down George Washington. There was a continuous battle with Congress to provide basic food, clothing and arms for the troops. This book shows how absolutely amazing it is that our democracy emerged from the Revolutionary War.

  5. Lonette says:

    This was an enjoyable read for me. The first part of the book deals with Steuben’s youth and years in the Prussian army under Fredrick the Great where he distinguished himself. However, he was not as successful during peacetime. He racketed around Europe for several years until he landed in Paris, France and met Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin, who recruited him to help with the Continental Army. Fearing that Congress would not accept the Baron as is, Franklin, Deane, and others invented a more exciting background for the 48-year-old soldier. Congress granted approval, and after arriving in the US Steuben was assigned to help George Washington at Valley Forge. Steuben was appalled by the living conditions of the men, who had very little clothing or food, and were plagued by disease. As a cure for the latter problem, one of the first things that Steuben did was to demand that latrines not be dug right next to where the meals were prepared. I laughed out loud when I read that little tidbit. What seems so obvious to us now as a health issue, was normal practice during the Revolutionary War.

    Steuben recognized a need for uniformity in training and drilling. He also observed that the soldiers of the Continental Army were unlike any others he had encountered previously. They were not browbeaten laborers, but independent thinkers who wanted to understand the reasoning behind the drilling. Steuben immediately began to familiarize himself with the men, which he did with the aid of an interpreter since he did not speak English. With Washington’s approval, Steuben created what he called a “model company” that consisted of handpicked men from various brigades who were trained and then would be able to train others. In this way, a uniform system for drilling and training soldiers began to be enforced.

    In 1778/79 Steuben worked tirelessly to prepare his now-famous “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States” (nicknamed the Blue Book because it was printed on blue paper due to the printer’s lack of white paper). Several items from the Blue Book are still in use today. I think I will have a look at the “Blue Book” and see what it’s like.

    Although it’s obvious that the author favors Steuben, I appreciated his decision to show us both sides of the Baron’s personality, complete with flaws and imperfections, of which he had many. Still, I liked the bombastic fellow, and someday, I would like to visit his grave. His final wish was to be buried in an unmarked grave, but when a highway was being planned, which would go over his final resting place, his friends had him disinterred and moved to Remsen, New York

  6. Jerry says:

    OUTSTANDING ! Paul Lockhart's does a thorough job in describing the necessary, ( to the success of America in the Revolutionary War ) and masterful contributions of Baron de Steuben. With an albeit relatively general overview of the Baron's life prior to his arrival in America, it is nonetheless sufficient. Lockhart deftly describes the plethora of obstacles faced by Washington in turning the Continental Army into and effective fighting force. It is, armed with these facts, that the reader can obtain some sense of the incredible contributions of the Baron de Steuben. The Baron's extensive military knowledge is highlighted by the author's detailed descriptions of the training in drill and etiquette. Lockhart provides coverage of the Baron's actual battle participation, but the truly masterful job by the author is presented in the in depth presentation of Baron de Steuben's unending battle with congress to obtain justified as well as remedial compensation for his VITAL contributions to this country's freedom. The reader will discover, with no doubt, the gross miscarriage of integrity and responsibility of the Continental Congress in regards to it's interaction with the Baron. I found this book to be, what I consider, a MUST READ to anyone interested in the founding of our country. Bravo Paul Lockhart !

  7. Wesley Allen says:

    This is a fascinating book about one of the more recognizable names, but least well-known, figures of the Revolutionary War. Steuben is a complex personality, who was both endearing and grating. He found it easy to make acquaintances, but few ever became his friends. Ordinary soldiers loved him, politicians tended to hate his directness, and many officers were frustrated by his Prussian ways.

    Aside from chronicling Steuben’s life, Lockhart also takes readers into some less well-known aspects of the Revolutionary War. His struggles in Virginia as Yorktown approached were a fascinating look at the politics of the war, and the time between the battle of Monmouth and the winter at Valley Forge is also dealt with. This latter was most enjoyable for me, as it answered a nagging question I’ve had about an area near my home town — I have finally figured out why Lafayette Hill is named for the General.

    If the book has any flaws, it may be that Lockhart likes Steuben as a person a bit TOO much.

  8. John Yingling says:

    I had some knowledge in passing of Baron de Steuben before reading this book, and remembered that he had contributed to the success of the American Revolution. After reading this book I now know that he contributed mightily to the ultimate victory of the fledgling country over the British. The author does an outstanding job of making Steuben a real flesh and blood person, and doesn't gloss over his flaws, although they were clearly overshadowed by his strengths. This country owes a lot to him and the book reinforces the fact that immigrants, over the course of our country's history, have made valuable and permanent benefits to our story.

  9. Scott says:

    Excellent, well-written biography of de Steuben and the history of his contributions to the U.S. Army's discipline, organization, and defeat of the British. The most striking thought that I take away from the book is a key difference between the army and navy given civilian control of the military. Since the navy operates in an inherently unfamiliar environment, civilians are much less likely to think they understand naval operations. However, because the army often operates in close proximity to the general population and the comparative simplicity of army missions creates the perception that what the army does is easy, which it clearly isn't.

  10. Alan Smith says:

    Good for American Revolutionary War History Readers

    I enjoyed reading this book because it provides a certain perspective on the Revolutionary War written with the right amount of facts and storytelling.The author pulls from original sources. I think the author for the most part was fair to Stueben, but one page he calls into question Stueben's sexual preference which I think is ridiculous and unnecessary. This demonstrates an unfortunate mindset of today's historians in which they look at the past through today's cultural lense. Stueben just walked a path a celibacy. His life love was military life and his fellow veterans.

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