Battle of Dornach

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Battle of Dornach
Part of the Swabian War
Schlacht bei Dorneck.jpg
Contemporary woodcut of the Battle of Dornach
Date July 22, 1499
Location Dornach, Switzerland.
Result Swiss victory
Belligerents
Old Swiss Confederacy Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Heinrich von Fürstenberg
Strength
ca. 6,000 16,000
Casualties and losses
Heavy Heavy

The Battle of Dornach was a battle fought on 22 July 1499 between the troops of Emperor Maximilian I and the Old Swiss Confederacy close to the Swiss village of Dornach. The battle turned into a decisive defeat for Maximilian, and concluded the Swabian War between the Swiss and the Swabian League: it amounted to de facto independence of Switzerland from the Holy Roman Empire, acknowledged by Maximilian in the Treaty of Basel on 22 September (the independence was however not formally recognized until the Peace of Westphalia of 1648).

On 19 July, Imperial troops marching on Dornach castle were sighted, and Solothurn called Bern for help. Bern sent 5000 troops, Zurich 400, and smaller contingents from Uri, Unterwalden and Zug also started to move to Dornach. On 20 July, 600 troops left Lucerne. The Austrians had about 16,000 troops. Many of these were bathing in the Birs.[1] The first attacks on 22 July were executed by the troops of Bern, Zurich and Solothurn, but they were beaten back. Only with the arrival of the reinforcements from Lucerne and Zug, which suddenly broke out of the woods "with horns and shouting" were the Imperial troops turned to flight after several hours' fighting.

The commander of the Imperial troops, Heinrich von Fürstenberg, was killed in the early stages of fighting. When Maximilian in Überlingen heard about the lost battle, he was reportedly devastated by the news.

The battle of Dornach was the last armed conflict between the Swiss and the Holy Roman Empire. A relief wall was erected in 1949 in the town of Dornach commemorating the battle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fossedal, Gregory, Direct Democracy in Switzerland , (New Brunswick, 2006), p. 23

Further reading[edit]

  • Kurz, H. R.: Schweizerschlachten, 2nd ed; Bern: Francke, 1977 ISBN 3-7720-1369-4; pp. 165 – 171,

Coordinates: 47°29′N 7°37′E / 47.483°N 7.617°E / 47.483; 7.617