Wars of the Swiss Confederacy

1315 to 1515
Switzerland won its independence although remaining nominally part of the Austrian Empire.

Noteable Battles

Battle of Morgarten (War of Kappel-Second ) Swiss victory
Fought November 16, 1315. The men of Schwyz, 1,400 in number, took post in the Pass of Morgarten, and lay in wait for the Archduke Leopold, who, with 15,000 Austrians, was marching into Schwyz. Having disordered the Austrian ranks by rolling down boulders upon them, the Swiss then fell upon them with their halberds, and totally routed them, with a loss of 1,500 killed.
Battle of Laupen (Invasion of the Guglers ) Swiss victory
Fought June 21, 1339, between 5,000 Swiss of Berne and the Forest Cantons, under Rudolf von Erlach, and 15,000 Burgundians, under the Counts of Kiburg and Nidau. Despite their superior numbers, the Burgundians were unable to withstand the charge of the Swiss, and were utterly routed and forced to raise the siege of Laupen.
Battle of Fraubrunnen (Swabian ) Bernese victory
Fought January, 1376, between the Bernese, and the "Guglers," French and English mercenaries, under Baron Ingelram von Coucy, who claimed the Canton of Aargau in right of his mother. The "Guglers were totally routed, and compelled to retire from Switzerland.
Battle of Sempach (War of the League Above the Lake ) Swiss victory
Fought July 9, 1386, between 6,000 Austrians, under Duke Leopold, and 1,500 Swiss Confederates. The Swiss gained a complete victory, the Austrians losing 1,500 killed and wounded, while only 120 Swiss fell. The battle is celebrated for the heroic action of Arnold von Winkelried, who broke the line of the Austrian spearmen at the cost of his life, and enabled his followers to penetrate their phalanx.
Battle of Naefels (War of Sempach ) Swiss victory
Fought April 9, 1388, between 6,000 Austrians, under Tockenburg, and 500 men of Glarus with a few Schwyzers. The Swiss were driven from their first position behind the "Letzi" at the entrance to the valley, but, retiring to the heights of the Rauhberg, disordered the advancing columns by rolling boulders upon them, and, then attacking, utterly routed them. The Austrians lost 80 knights and 2,000 soldiers.
Battle of Vögelinseck (Bactrian Campaign ) Swiss victory
Fought May 15, 1402, between 5,000 troops, of the Swiss Imperial towns, and 900 rebels of Appenzel and Schwyz. After a brief engagement, the rebels were driven from the field, with a loss of 250 men.
Battle of Bregenz (War of the Sonderbund ) Constances victory
Fought January 1408, between the troops of the League Above the Lake and the burghers of Constance, aided by the Suabian nobles. The Leaguers were totally routed, with the result that the League was shortly afterwards dissolved.
Battle of Frastenz (Swiss-Austrian War-First ) Swiss victory
Fought April 20, 1499, when the Swiss, under Heinrich Wolleb, attacked the Austrians who occupied a strongly entrenched position, and drove them out with a loss of 3,000 killed. Wolleb, who led the charge, was the first to fall on the Swiss side.
Battle of the Calven (Swabian ) Swiss victory
Fought March 22, 1499, between 6,300 men of the Grisons under Benedict Fontana, and 15,000 Imperialists under Maximilian I. The Swiss carried the Austrian entrenchments, and drove them out with heavy loss.
Battle of Kappel (War of Kiburg ) Catholics victory
Fought October 10, 1531, between the army of the Swiss Catholic Cantons, 8,000 strong, and 1,300 Zurichers, under George Goldli, reinforced later in the day by a similar number under Rudolf Lavater. Goldli attacked in defiance of orders, and was totally defeated, among those who fell being Zwingli.
Battle of Gislikon   Federals victory
Fought November 23, 1847, when the Federals, under General Dufour, attacked the troops of the Sonderbund, under Colonel Salis-Soglio, strongly posted at Gislikon, near Lake Zug, and drove them from their position. The losses were very small. On the following day the Federals entered Lucerne, and the Civil War, which had lasted 20 days only, came to an end.

Story Links
Book Links
Story of William Tell  in  Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by  James Baldwin
Arnold Winkelried  in  Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by  James Baldwin
William Tell, the Swiss Patriot  in  Old Time Tales  by  Lawton B. Evans
The Swiss Defend the Morgarten Pass  in  Old Time Tales  by  Lawton B. Evans
The Sacrifice of Arnold Winkelried  in  Old Time Tales  by  Lawton B. Evans
William Tell and Arnold Von Winkelried  in  Famous Men of the Middle Ages  by  John H. Haaren
Men of the Forest Cantons  in  Patriots and Tyrants  by  Marion Florence Lansing
William Tell  in  Heroes Every Child Should Know  by  H. W. Mabie
Wenceslaus of Bohemia and Rupert the Mild  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Rise of Switzerland  in  The Story of Europe  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Charles the Bold and the Swiss  in  Historical Tales: French  by  Charles Morris
William Tell and the Swiss Patriots  in  Historical Tales: German  by  Charles Morris
Swiss at Morgarten  in  Historical Tales: German  by  Charles Morris
Sempach and Arnold Winkelried  in  Historical Tales: German  by  Charles Morris
William Tell and Arnold Von Winkelried  in  European Hero Stories  by  Eva March Tappan

Image Links

Jacqueline led the charge
 in Historic Girls

Rocks came plunging down the mountain side
 in Old Time Tales

Charles the Bold charging at the head of his troops.
 in France: Peeps at History

Make way for liberty'
 in Famous Men of the Middle Ages

In a minute or two Joggeli's head appeared at the window
 in Stories of William Tell Told to the Children

Death of Arnold Von Winkelried
 in European Hero Stories

After the capture of Castle Granson
 in The Swiss Heroes

The Battle of Saint Jacob.
 in The Swiss Heroes

Hagenbach's Execution
 in The Swiss Heroes