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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

July 9th, 1386 - The Battle of Sempach

Conflict: Swiss-Hapsburg War

Combatants: Austrians vs. Swiss Confederacy

Location: Switzerland

Outcome: Swiss victory

In Swabia, an Swiss force of only 1,600 soldiers was met by nearly 6,000 Austrians under command of Leopold III. The Austrian cavalry advanced dismounted on the Swiss, but the pikes and heavy armor led to exhaustion. Gaps in the line were exploited in a Swiss counterattack and the Austrians were soundly defeated.

Winkelried at Sempach by Konrad Grob

Points of Interest:

  • Swiss legend recounts that Arnold von Windelried, as depicted in the painting above, seized Austrian lances and directed their points into his own body, thus providing a gap for his compatriots to exploit.

  • In 1394, the Habsburgs recognized the independence of the Swiss Confederation.

Leopold III of Austria by Antoni Boys

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