The controversy surrounding the use of German auxiliaries in the American Revolutionary War has helped sustain the myth that all German armies were composed of unwilling foreign mercenaries held together by brutal discipline that prevented tactical deployment in open formations or in broken ground. Like the wider interpretation of the Revolution of which it is part obsolete German military system has undergone considerable revision recently by those who have pointed out its more progressive elements. German preparedness will now be considered under each of these headings in turn. As it is widely assumed that armies reflect the societies that produce them, similar characteristics are repeated in the standard analyses of German forces on the eve of the Revolutionary Wars. German military organization reflected the fragmented political structure. There was no single German army and no permanent imperial military establishment. The other six continued to play an important role in coordinating defense, fiscal and economic measures.