•  
  •  
 

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Authors

Keywords

Switzerland, Swiss history, European history

Abstract

From the 1360s to the 1470s, the Valois Dukes of Burgundy increasingly employed artillery in both siege warfare and head-on battles. For over a century, these four dukes integrated gunpowder weaponry into different military units, forging the way for other European powers to quickly determine where such weapons would be most successful. In 1476, however, a large Swiss confederation defeated Charles the Bold, capturing the majority of Burgundian artillery. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven surviving pieces still reside in Switzerland in various museums, and their loss was a devastating blow to the Burgundians who had come to rely fairly heavily upon gunpowder technology in certain military situations. In The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy, 1363-1477, Robert Douglas Smith and Kelly De Vries detail the dukes ' accumulation of artillery pieces and proliferation of their use in battle. Smith and DeVries question past ideas about the manufacture and use of gunpowder weapons, challenge "established" dates when many powers obtained and how they began regularly employing these weapons in battle, and ultimately aim to use contemporary narratives, documentary sources, and surviving artillery examples to create a framework for the development of gunpowder weaponry in Europe through the fifteentr century.

Share

COinS