List of battles of the Old Swiss Confederacy

List of battles fought by the Old Swiss Confederacy, 1315–1799.

The Battle of Morgarten of 1315 is famous as the first military success of the Confederacy, but it was an ambush on an army on the march rather than an open field battle. The Battle of Laupen of 1339 is an early battle which can be seen as indicating the trend of the dominance of infantry over heavy cavalry during the Late Middle Ages.

The classical period of military successes of Swiss halberd and pike warfare Pike square (in de Gevierthaufen or Gewalthaufen) are the wars of the Eight Cantons (Ten Cantons after 1481) during the 1360s to 1490s. Most notable among these are the Battle of Sempach (1386), the Burgundian Wars (1470s) and the Swabian War (1499).

The string of Swiss victories is broken in the early 16th century, and after a few painful defeats (notably at Marignano 1515), the Confederacy stopped its aggressive expansion. The early modern period is characterized by internal disputes, both religious and social (peasant uprisings). The final French invasion of Switzerland was only marginally a military operation and mostly a collapse due to centrifugal forces within the Confederacy.

Early Confederacy (1315–1351)

Swiss Habsburg Wars
1315–18, 15 NovemberBattle of MorgartenOberägeri, Morgarten
1315, 15 NovemberGefecht am Renggpass (1315)AlpnachUnterwalden defeats Habsburg
1331–33GümmenenkriegGümmenenBern and Solothurn defeat Fribourg and Habsburg
1332Gefecht auf der OberalpOberalppassUrseren defeats Abbey of Disentis
1337, 21 SeptemberBattle of GrynauGrynau Castle respectively Linth plainZürich defeats Habsburg-Laufenburg
1339, 21 JuneBattle of LaupenLaupenBern and confederates defeat Fribourg and allies
1340, 24 AprilBattle of SchönbergFribourgBern defeats Freiburg
1351, 26 DecemberBattle of DättwilDättwilZürich defeats Habsburg

Eight Cantons (1353–1477)

1367–68 War between Bern and the Bishopric of Basel
1367–68Ravaging of BielBiel and Bishopric of BaselBern vs. Basel
1375 – Guglerkrieg
1375, 25 DecemberBattle of ButtisholzButtisholzLucerne defeats English mercenaries
1375, 26 DecemberBattle of InsInsBern defeats English mercenaries
1375, 27 DecemberBattle of FraubrunnenFraubrunnenBern defeats English mercenaries
1380 Obwalden vs. Entlebuch
1380Battle of SörenbergFlühliEntlebuch defeats Obwalden
1383–84 – Burgdorferkrieg
1383–84Siege of BurgdorfCanton of BernBern, Solothurn and allies defeat Neu-Kyburg
Swiss Habsburg Wars
1386, 9 JulyBattle of SempachSempachEight Cantons defeat Habsburg and allies
1388, 9 AprilBattle of NäfelsNäfelsGlarus and Schwyz defeat Habsburg
Valais vs. Savoy
1388, DecemberBattle of VispVispUpper Valais defeats Savoy
1403–28 – Appenzell Wars
1403, 15 MayBattle of VögelinseggSt. GallenAppenzell and Schwyz defeat Abbey of St. Gallen and allies
1405, 16/17 JuneBattle of RotmontenSt. GallenCity of St. Gallen defeats Habsburg
1405, 1 JuneBattle of StossGaisAppenzell defeats Habsburg and Abbey of St. Gallen
1408, 13 JanuaryBattle of BregenzBregenzHabsburg and order of St. Jörgenschild defeat Appenzell
1428, 2 DecemberBattle of LetziHerisau/GossauCount of Toggenburg defeats Appenzell
1409 Basel War
1409skirmishes and raidscanton of BaselBasel vs. Habsburg
1415 Annexation of Aargau
1415, April–MayAnnexation of AargauAargauconfederate conquest of Baden
1418–19 – Raron affair
1419, 29 SeptemberSecond Battle of UlrichenUlrichenUpper Valais defeats Bern
1403–1495 – War with Milan
1422, 30 JuneBattle of ArbedoArbedoDuchy of Milan defeats confederates
1449, 6 JulyBattle of CastioneCastioneMilan defeats Uri and Leventina
1478, 28 DecemberBattle of GiornicoGiornicoConfederates defeat Milan
1487, 28 AprilBattle of CrevolaCrevola d'OssolaMilan defeats Confederates and Valais
1436–50 – Old Zürich War
1439, 5 MayBattle of EtzelEtzelpassSchwyz and Glarus defeat Zürich
1440, NovemberBattle of PfäffikonPfäffikon SZConfederates defeat Zürich
1443, 22 MayBattle of FreienbachFreienbachConfederates defeat Zürich
1443, 24 MayBattle of HirzelHorgenConfederates defeat Zürich
1443, 22 JulyBattle of St. Jakob an der SihlZürichLucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus and Zug defeat Zürich and Habsburg
1444, 28 MaySiege of GreifenseeGreifenseeBern, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus and Zug defeat Zürich and Habsburg
1444, 26 AugustBattle of St. Jakob an der BirsBaselFrance defeats confederates
1444, 13 October1st Battle of ErlenbachErlenbach ZHZürich defeats confederates
1445, 11 JuneBattle of WolfhaldenWolfhaldenAppenzell defeats Habsburg
1445, 6 October2nd Battle of ErlenbachErlenbach ZHZürich defeats confederates
1445, 29 OctoberNaval battle on Lake ZürichLake ZürichZürich defeats confederates
1445, 16 DecemberBattle of Wollerau (1445)WollerauConfederates defeat Zürich
1446Battle of GamsGamsHabsburg defeats Appenzell and Toggenburg
1446, 6 MarchBattle of RagazBad RagazConfederates defeat Zürich and Habsburg
1445–49 – St. Jakoberkrieg
1449Siege of RheinfeldenRheinfeldenBasel vs. Habsburg
1447–48 – Freiburgkrieg
1448, 29 MarchBattle of Neumattcanton of FribourgBern and Savoyen vs Fribourg and Habsburg
1448, 12 JuneBattle of TafersTafersFribourg defeats Bern
1460 – annexation of Thurgau
1460various campaignsThurgauconfederate conquest of Thurgau
1468 – Waldshuterkrieg
1468Siege of WaldshutWaldshutConfederates defeat Habsburg
1474–77 – Burgundian Wars
1474, 13 NovemberBattle of HéricourtHéricourtConfederates and Lower League defeat Duchy of Burgundy
1475, 13 NovemberBattle on the PlantaSionConfederates and Valais defeat Burgundy
1476, 2 MarchBattle of GrandsonGrandsonConfederates defeat Burgundy
1476, 22 JuneBattle of MurtenMurtenConfederates, Lothringia and Lower League defeat Burgundy
1477, 5 JanuaryBattle of NancyNancyLothringia, Lower League and Confederates defeat Burgundy

Ten Cantons (1481–1500)

1489–90 – St. Gallerkrieg
1489, 28 JulyRorschacher KlosterbruchRorschachAbbey of St. Gallen, Zürich, Luzern, Schwyz und Glarus vs. City of St. Gallen und Appenzell
1499 – Swabian War
1499, 12 FebruaryBattle of TriesenTriesen(FL)Ten Cantons and Three Leagues defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 20 April1st Battle of HegauKlettgau, HegauConfederates vs. Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 22 FebruaryBattle of HardHardConfederates defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 22 MarchBattle of BruderholzBaselConfederates defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 26 MarchBattle of HallauHallauConfederates and Schaffhausen defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 11 AprilBattle of SchwaderlohErmatingenConfederates and Schaffhausen defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 17 April2nd Battle of HegauKlettgau, HegauConfederates vs. Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 20 AprilBattle of FrastanzFrastanzConfederates defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 21 May3rd Battle of HegauKlettgau, HegauConfederates vs. Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 22 MayBattle of CalvenTaufersTen Cantons and Three Leagues defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 20 JulyBattle of RheineckRheineckConfederates defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1499, 22 JulyBattle of DornachDornachConfederates defeat Habsburg and Swabian League
1495–1522 – Italian Wars
1500Treason of NovaraMilanre-conquest of Milan for Ludovico Sforza

Thirteen Cantons (1512–1540)

1495–1522 – Italian Wars
15121st Battle of PaviaPaviaConfederates defeat France
1513, 6 JuneBattle of NovaraNovaraConfederates defeat France
1513, SeptemberDijon campaignDijonsiege of Dijon
1515, 13/14 SeptemberBattle of MarignanoMelegnanoFrance and Venice defeat the Confederates
1522, 27 AprilBattle of BicoccaBicocca, MilanHabsburg defeats France and Confederates
1525, 23/24 February2nd Battle of PaviaPaviaHabsburg defeats France and Confederates
Rural uprisings
1513Köniz uprisingKönizKöniz vs. Bern
1513–14Zwiebelnkriegcanton of LuzernUprising against Lucerne
1515Lebkuchenkriegcanton of ZürichUprising against Zürich
1524–26German Peasants' WarHoly Roman Empire, SwabiaWidespread peasant uprisings
1525–31 Wars of Religion
1525–261st Musso WarChiavennaThree Leagues vs. Milan
1529First War of KappelKappelCatholic cantons vs. Zürich
1531–322nd Musso WarLombardyConfederates and Three Leagues vs. Milan
1531, 11 OctoberBattle of KappelKappelCatholic cantons vs. Zürich
1531, 24 OctoberBattle of GubelMenzingenCatholic cantons vs. Bern and Zürich
1536 – Bernese conquests in Savoy
1536Conquest of VaudCanton of VaudBern, Fribourg and Valais vs. Savoy

Early Modern conflicts (1550–1712)

After their defeats in Italy, the Confederacy pledged neutrality and did not engage in further warfare beyond its borders. For the remaining duration of the Old Swiss Confederacy 1540–1798, armed conflicts were internal, either between factions within the confederacy, or peasant uprisings). Also listed are conflicts between associates of the Confederacy (Three Leagues, Geneva) with neighbouring powers even if the Confederacy itself was not involved.

Rural uprisings
1550TrinkelstierkriegValaispeasant uprisings in Valais
15701st Heringskriegcanton of LucerneRothenburg vs. Lucerne
1591–94Rappenkriegcanton of Baseluprising against Basel
1602 – Savoy Wars
1602, 11/12 DecemberEscalade de GenèveGenevaGeneva defeats Savoy
1618–48 – Thirty Years' War
1621–39Bündner WirrenGraubündenGraubünden is occupied and ravaged
1632, 20 SeptemberKluser HandelBalsthalSolothurn vs. Bern
1653 – Swiss Peasant War
1653, 29 May/7 JuneBattle of HerzogenbuchseeHerzogenbuchseepeasant uprising
1653, 3 JuneBattle of WohlenschwilWohlenschwilpeasant uprising
1656 – First War of Villmergen
1656, 7 January/10 FebruarySiege of RapperswilRapperswil SGCatholic cantons defend Rapperswil against Zürich
1656, 24 JanuaryFirst Battle of VillmergenVillmergenLucerne and Zug defeat Bern und Zürich
1712 – Toggenburg War a.k.a. Second War of Villmergen
1712, ?–22 MaySiege of WilWilProtestant cantons and rebels defeat prince-abbot of St Gall
1712, 22 MayBattle of MellingenMellingenBern defeats Catholic cantons
1712, 26 MayBattle of FischbachFischbach-GöslikonBern defeats Catholic cantons
1712, ?–1 JuneSiege of BadenBaden, SwitzerlandBern and Zürich defeat Catholic cantons
1712, 20 JulyBattle of SinsSins, AargauCatholic cantons defeat Bern
1712, 22 JulyBattles of Richterswil and HüttenRichterswil and Hütten, SwitzerlandSchwyz and Zug attack Zürich unsuccessfully
1712, 24 JulySecond Battle of VillmergenVillmergenBern defeats Catholic cantons

French invasion (1798)

These are minor skirmishes on 2–5 March 1798, leading to the swift collapse of the Old Confederacy, the clashes of April and May last pockets of resistance against the recently established Helvetic Republic. The Nidwalden uprising (Schreckenstage von Nidwalden) in September was more serious, with 435 dead, including 118 women and 25 children. The 1799 conflict in the Valais was not a "Battle of the Old Swiss Confederacy" in the narrow sense, as Valais was not a member of the Old Confederacy. The Valais formed the separate Rhodanic Republic in 1802 and joined the restored Swiss Confederacy only in 1815.

1798, 2 MarchBattle of LengnauLengnauFrance vs. Bern
1798, 2 MarchBattle of TwannTwannFrance vs. Bern
1798, 2 MarchBattles of Grenchen and BellachGrenchen, BellachFrance defeats Solothurn
1798, 3 MarchBattle of Col de la CroixCol de la CroixFrance vs. Bern
1798, 5 MarchBattle of St. NiklausMerzligenFrance vs. Bern
1798, 5 MarchBattle of FraubrunnenFraubrunnenFrance defeats Bern
1798, 5 MarchBattle of GrauholzSchönbühlFrance defeats Bern
1798, 5 MarchBattle of NeueneggNeueneggBern defeats France
1798, 26 AprilBattle of HägglingenHägglingenFrance defeats Zug
1798, 30 AprilBattle of WollerauWollerauFrance defeats Schwyz
1798, 1 MayBattle of Stucketen-ChäppeliBeinwil SOFrance vs. Solothurn
1798, 2 MayBattle of SchindellegiFeusisbergFrance defeats Schwyz
1798, 2/3 MayBattle of RothenthurmRothenthurmSchwyz defeats France
1798, 17 May1st Battle of PfynSionFrance defeats Valais
1798, 7–9 SeptemberNidwalden uprisingNidwaldenFrance defeats Nidwalden
1799, 27–28 May2nd Battle of PfynSionFrance defeats Valais

See also

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