Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Article Title

The Battle of Murten


Albert Winkler


Switzerland, Swiss-American, Battle of Murten


Frequent warfare was a harsh political reality in central Europe in the late Middle Ages as ambitious states tried to extend their power and influence by attacking and subjugating other territories. As a result of this frequent aggression, success on the battlefield was necessary for the survival and independence of many nations and peoples, including the Swiss Confederation. The most critical threat to the existence of the Swiss alliance in the fifteenth century was the invasion in1476 by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, one of the most powerful rulers in Europe. In two stunning victories, Granson (Grandson in German), and, most importantly, Murten (Morat in French),1 the Swiss assured the survival of the Confederation, and these impressive feats of arms also propelled the Swiss states to the status of major players in international affairs for a short time.