December 26, 1776, Trenton, New Jersey, USA --- Original caption: American Revolutionary War. Battle of Trenton, New Jersey. Washington's 8am surprise attack on the Hessian soldiers at Trenton proved successful. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

If you've only seen the Hessians referenced in movies or TV, you probably don't have a clear picture of who these very capable soldiers actually were. Hessian troops were skilled, disciplined armies for hire, and a huge economic boon for their homeland.