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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

September 14th, 1515 – The Battle of Marignano

Conflict: Italian Wars of Francis I

Combatants: French vs. Swiss

Location: Italy

Outcome: French victory

As with his predecessor, Francis I of France set his eyes upon Italian provinces. While successfully bribing 10,000 Swiss into departing Italy, a force of 15,000 still remained. Near Milan, these loyal Swiss attacked Francis' entrenched army. A battle ensued on September 13th with fierce attacks and counter-attacks stretching throughout the day. On the following morning, a Venetian relief army forced the Swiss to withdraw. The Swiss had lost about 6,000 men to the 5,000 of the French. Francis seized Milan and Switzerland agreed to a negotiated peace.

Francis at Marignan by Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard

Points of Interest:

  • Francis I led one of the cavalry charges himself.

  • The victory was attributed, in part, to the French use of canon and arquebuses against Swiss halberds and pikes.

Francis I of France by Titian

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