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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (part 4) (38 comments)

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  •  When I was reading the historical fiction book (6+ / 0-)

    New York by Edward Rutherfurd, he mentioned that the Americans were pretty untrained and if it hadn't been for LaFayette and von Stueben...

    Friedrich von Steuben was a Prussian aristocrat and military officer. His military drills and instruction, especially at Valley Forge, are generally credited with significantly improving the performance of the Continental Army. He served in active roles in the Philadelphia campaign, and under Nathanael Greene in his southern campaign, before returning to Washington's army at Yorktown. He authored the Revolutionary War Drill Manual, the United States Army's training guide until the War of 1812.


    In the American Revolution, Lafayette served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war he returned to France to negotiate an increase in French support. On his return, he blocked troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown while the armies of Washington and those sent by King Louis XVI under the command of general de Rochambeau, admiral de Grasse, and admiral de Latouche Tréville prepared for battle against the British....

    Kenneth Roberts wrote a book years ago called Rabble in Arms.

    Rabble in Arms

    Rabble in Arms was hailed by one critic as "the greatest historical novel written about America" upon its publication in 1933. Beginning in 1776, the novel follows the fortunes of Peter and Nathaniel Merrill as they are drawn inexorably into the bitter northern battles of the American Revolution.

    Along with Steven Nason, Cap Huff, and other major characters from Arundel, the Merrill brothers are part of the ill-equipped, almost hopelessly outnumbered Continental Army, which by 1777 faces a two-pronged British invasion from Canada and New York. In an impossibly short time, the Americans must build a fleet of ships to control Lake Champlain.Thanks in large part to the leadership of General Benedict Arnold (at that time the most brilliant and trusted of George Washington’s officers), the Americans overcome heartbreaking odds to bring about the decisive defeat of General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

    Against this turbulent background Roberts also unfolds the personal, human stories of men and women caught up in the unpredictable fortunes of war. Love, treachery, ambition, and idealism motivate an unforgettable cast of characters in a magnificent novel renowned not only for the beauty and horror of its story but also for its unsurpassed historical accuracy. It is a wonderful depiction of the rough-and-tumble, passionate fight for a new nation.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:10:20 PM PDT

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    •  von Steuben (9+ / 0-)

      Von Steuben literally wrote the book on warfare for the Continental Army.  Not only did he train the men in military drill so that they could load and fire a musket quickly and efficiently, but he enacted reforms in campground discipline and hygene, such as putting the latrines on the opposite end of the camp from where the food was cooked.

      I'm sure Heinlein was quite familiar with the book "A Rabble in Arms"; he used that phrase as the title for one of the parts of his book.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:21:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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