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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 2nd, 1476 - The Battle of Granson

Conflict: Swiss-Burgundian War (Old Zurich War)

Combatants: Burgundians vs. Swiss

Location: Switzerland

Outcome: Swiss victory

In 1474, Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, launched an invasion of Lorraine. The Swiss, backed by Louis XI of France and the Habsburgs, marched into France and defeated Charles at Hericourt.

Battle of Grandson by Diebold Schilling the Younger

Two years later, in February of 1476, Charles the Bold invaded Switzerland itself. Charles marched 30,000 men into the Vaud canton and accepted the surrender of Granson. He then ruthlessly executed the Swiss garrison.

Troops of the Old Swiss Confederacy pillage the camp of Charles the bold, duke of Burgundy, after his defeat in the battle of Grandson, 2 March 1476 by Diebold Schilling the Younger

On March 2nd, angered and emboldened by this atrocity, a Swiss army of 18,000 men advanced on the Burgundian forces sans artillery. The Burgundian cavalry was repulsed by determined Swiss infantry. Charles then attempted to envelope the Swiss using a Cannae tactic but the appearance of two new Swiss divisions sent the Burgundian center into rout. The Swiss charged into the retreating soldiers and inflicted some 1,000 casualties before the Burgundians retreated from the field. Swiss losses were around 200.

La Fuite de Charles le Téméraire (The Flight of Charles the Bold) by Eugène Burnand

Points of Interest:

  • Charles the Bold reformed his army after Granson only to suffer another, more severe defeat at Morat in June of the same year.

  • In January of 1477, Charles was killed fighting in rear guard action against the Swiss in Burgundy.

Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy by an unknown artist



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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