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Encyclopedia > Battle of Sempach

The Battle of Sempach was fought on July 9, 1386 between Duke Leopold III of Austria and the Swiss Confederation. July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 175 days remaining. ... Events Battle of Sempach: Swiss safeguard independence from Habsburg rule End of reign of Poland by Capet-Anjou family. ... Leopold III (born November 1, 1351 in Vienna; died July 9, 1386 in Sempach) from the Habsburg family was a Duke of Austria, Styria and Carinthia. ...


Duke Leopold III, after he unsuccessfully tried to establish a cheap peace, decided to assemble his forces in order to save possessions and honor of his house. With the help from Tyrol and Italy his army was considerably stronger than that of his uncle Leopold I of Austria at Morgarten. His strength was estimated to be between 3000 and 4000 men. The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as the South Tyrol and Trentino. ... Leopold I (born August 4, 1290 in Vienna, died February 28, 1326 in Strassburg) was a Duke of Austria and Styria from the Habsburg family. ... On November 15, 1315, the Swiss Confederation thoroughly defeated the soldiers of Duke Leopold I of Austria in an ambush near the Morgarten pass. ...


But the Confederation's army was also probably twice as strong as at the Battle of Morgarten and numbered somewhere between 6000 and 8000 men, since it was made not only of men from the four forest cantons, but also other Swiss cantons (Lucerne, Zürich). On November 15, 1315, the soldiers of Duke Leopold I of Austria were thoroughly defeated by an ambush of the Swiss Confederation near the Morgarten pass. ... The twenty-six cantons of Switzerland are the states of the federal state of Switzerland. ... Lucerne (German Luzern) is a canton of Switzerland. ... The Swiss canton of Zürich (German: Kanton Zürich) has a population of about 1. ...


Leopold wisely decided not to attack principal places and turned to the small town of Sempach, some 9 to 10 miles north of Lucerne. He assembled his army at Sursee, about 5 miles down from Sempach, then surrounded Sempach on the evening of July 8. His men taunted those behind the walls of the village, and a knight waved a noose at them and promised them he would use it on their leaders. Another mockingly pointed to the soldiers setting fire to the ripe fields of grain, and asked them to send a breakfast to the reapers. From behind the walls, there was a shouted retort: "Lucerne and the allies will bring them breakfast!" Leopold did not take the direct route to Lucerne, but rather turned east. Sempach is a small town in the Swiss canton of Lucerne, built above the eastern shore of Lake Lucerne, and about 2 m. ... Sursee is a municipality in the district of Sursee, in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. ...


The Confederation army had presumably assembled at the bridge over the Reuss River at Gislikon. It marched from there, hoping to catch Leopold still at Sempach where he could be pressed against the lake. Around noon, the two armies made contact near Sempach, close to the village of Hildisrieden. The battlefield has definitely proven to be by the old battle chapel. The River Reuss is one of the larger rivers in Switzerland. ... Hildisrieden is a municipality in the district of Sursee, in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. ...


As the knights of Leopold's army approached, they dismounted and sought to storm the high ground. Their marksmen then took the Swiss under heavy fire. Leopold reasonably believed that the Swiss army lay before him, and engaged in battle before his rear units moved up from the approaching column. But it was only the confederate's advance guard that they were fighting. A statue of an armoured knight of the Middle Ages For the chess piece, see knight (chess). ... The High Ground is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation first broadcast on January 29, 1990. ...


The main body of the Confederation army finally completed its deployment from the marching column, formed up, and attacked the knights from the flank aggressively. The attack was so powerful that the knights fighting on foot were immediately overrun and the soldiers, who were holding knights' horses, took flight and the mounted Habsburg army was carried away by the fugitives. Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy; also used as the flag of the Austrian Empire until the Ausgleich of 1867. ...


Duke Leopold and with him a large number of nobles and knights were slain. // Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...


The Battle of Sempach is shrouded in mystery to this day, however early chronichles seem to mention extreme heat and clouds of dust. One of the most legendary knights of the Swiss Confederation, Arnold von Winkelried, is believed to be the key to the victory for the Swiss Confederation. Winkelried is believed to have cried: "I will open a passage into the line; protect, dear countrymen and confederates, my wife and children." Then he is thought to have opened a breach in their lines by throwing himself into their lances, taking them down with his body such that the confederates could attack through the opening. 19th century painting of Winkelrieds deed by Konrad Grob. ...


The Lucerne chronicle shows a hill scattered with the fashionable pointy footwear of the Austrian knights, which they had to take off as they dismounted, and which the Confederates found orphaned after the Austrian defeat.


Sources

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Schlachtkapelle Sempach
  • Delbrück, Medieval Warfare, Univ. of Nebraska Press 1990)
  • Wheatcroft, Andrew (1996) The Habsburgs, Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-023634-1

  Results from FactBites:
 
Battle of Sempach, 9 July 1386 (234 words)
Battle between the Swiss Confederation, and Duke Leopold of Hapsburg, provoked by aggressive Swiss moves into Hapsburg territory.
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.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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