Battle of Sempach, 9 July 1386
Battle between the Swiss Confederation, and Duke Leopold of Hapsburg, provoked by aggressive Swiss moves into Hapsburg territory. Both sides appear to have had similar numbers of men, and the two armies met on the road, forcing them to fight where they met, rather than where either side would have chosen. The vanguards of both armies met on foot, and the initial fighting went against the Swiss. However, just when it looked like they had lost the fight, the main part of the Swiss army arrived, and was able to charge fresh into the exhausted Austrian troops. The dismounted knights were thrown back. Duke Leopold dismounted, and led the second part of his army into the fray, but they arrived piecemeal, and were unable to turn the tide of battle. The third part of his army saw the battle lost, and fled the field, copied by the squires of the beleaguered knights, along with their warhorses, removing any chance of escape, and the Austrian dead include Duke Leopold himself, along with one Margrave, three counts and five barons. The significance of this battle was that the two sides were fighting in a similar style, and the Swiss were shown to be the better soldiers, man for man, than the imperial knights.
How to cite this article:
Rickard, J. (4 October 2000), Battle of Sempach, 9 July 1386, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_sempach.html