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Joe (SoCal)
04-27-2010, 10:49 AM
Anyone watching the TV Documentary AMERICA the Story of Us on the History Chanel ?

Anyway in the second episode they talk about Baron von Steuben and how Washington brought him to train the rag tag American Militia.

In 1776, Steuben's career at Hohenzollern-Hechigen ended in scandal: he was alleged to be a homosexual (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual) and was accused of improper sexual behavior with young boys.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wilhelm_von_Steuben#cite_note-ANB-1) Whether or not Steuben was actually a homosexual is not known, but the rumors compelled him to seek employment elsewhere.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wilhelm_von_Steuben#cite_note-ANB-1) Steuben tried employment in several foreign armies including Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habsburg_Monarchy), Baden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden), and France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France).


Steuben's training technique was to create a "model company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_%28military_unit%29)", a group of 120 chosen men who in turn successively trained other personnel at Regimental and Brigade levels. Steuben's eclectic personality greatly enhanced his mystique. He trained the soldiers, who at this point were greatly lacking in proper clothing themselves, in full military dress uniform, swearing and yelling at them up and down in German and French. When that was no longer successful, he recruited Captain Benjamin Walker, his French-speaking aide, to curse at them for him in English. Steuben introduced a system of progressive training, beginning with the school of the soldier, with and without arms, and going through the school of the regiment. This corrected the previous policy of simply assigning personnel to regiments. Each company commander was made responsible for the training of new men, but actual instruction was done by selected sergeants, the best obtainable.
Another program developed by Steuben was camp sanitation. He established standards of sanitation and camp layouts that would still be standard a century and a half later. There had previously been no set arrangement of tents and huts. Men relieved themselves where they wished and when an animal died, it was stripped of its meat and the rest was left to rot where it lay. Steuben laid out a plan to have rows for command, officers and enlisted men. Kitchens and latrines were on opposite sides of the camp, with latrines on the downhill side. There was the familiar arrangement of company and regimental streets.
Perhaps Steuben's biggest contribution to the American Revolution was training in the use of the bayonet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayonet). Since the Battle of Bunker Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bunker_Hill), Americans had been mainly dependent upon using their ammunition to win battles. Throughout the early course of the war, Americans used the bayonet mostly as a cooking skewer or tool rather than as a fighting instrument. Steuben's introduction of effective bayonet charges became crucial. In the Battle of Stony Point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Stony_Point), American soldiers attacked with unloaded rifles and won the battle solely on Steuben's bayonet training.
The first results of Steuben's training were in evidence at the Battle of Barren Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Barren_Hill), 20 May 1778 and then again at the Battle of Monmouth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monmouth) in June 1778. Steuben, by then serving in Washington's Headquarters, was the first to determine the enemy was heading for Monmouth. Washington recommended appointment of Steuben as Inspector General (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_General) on April 30; Congress approved it on May 5. During the winter of 1778-1779, Steuben prepared Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, commonly known as the "Blue Book."[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wilhelm_von_Steuben#cite_note-3)[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wilhelm_von_Steuben#cite_note-4) Its basis was the training plan he had devised at Valley Forge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_Forge)[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Wilhelm_von_Steuben#cite_note-5).

Ian McColgin
04-27-2010, 11:02 AM
Well, he was schooled by Jesuits.

OK, irrelevant snickers aside, Steuben appears more focused on dominence-submission sexual abuse than adult homosexuality. Given his era and class, boys or girls would hardly matter.

Anyway, for our Continental Army, a queer martinette was just what was needed at the time.

Paul Pless
04-27-2010, 11:11 AM
Anyone watching the TV Documentary AMERICA the Story of Us on the History Chanel ?.Yeah, its alright, I like it. Very happy to see the History Channel get back to doing History instead of crapshows like AxMen and Ice road truckers.:rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
04-27-2010, 11:32 AM
Yeah, its alright, I like it. Very happy to see the History Channel get back to doing History instead of crapshows like AxMen and Ice road truckers.:rolleyes:

It does have a sort of CSI approach with all the animation but it helps to drive the message home. I'm finding after the second episode I'm wondering a bit. Never happened with Ken Burns PBS series The Civil War.

Paul Pless
04-27-2010, 11:35 AM
Never happened with Ken Burns PBS series The Civil War.That's an amazing bit film documentary there.