In 1315, an army under the command of Duke Leopold I of Austria narrowly survived a Swiss ambush in the Morgarten Pass.
Ambush at the Morgarten PassThe architect of the clandestine attack was Werner Stauffacher. He had mobilized a a Swiss Confederation force of 1,500 infantry archers to regain their local autonomy within the Habsburg Empire.
The dispute had arisen despite the Swiss holding imperial letters of guarantee signed by former Emperors. And after a raid on the Habsburg-protected monastery of Einsiedeln, Duke Leopold I had set out to crush the rebellious Confederates. And his ultimate victory was the end of hopes to restore the Old Swiss Confederacy.
In 1705, at a decisive moment in Rákóczi's War of Independence, the invading force of Austrian-Danish-Serbian Corps under the command of Field Marshal Ludwig Herbeville were defeated in Transylvania.
Glorious Kuruc Victory at ZsibóIn a struggle that would change the balance of power in central Europe, a group of noblemen, wealthy and high-ranking progressives under his leadership were bidding to topple the rule of Habsburg Austria over Hungary. Because relations between the court and the nobility had deteriorated so badly and the new Habsburg rulers treated the peasants so poorly that eventually some people wished for a return to Turkish rule.
The outcome of the battle secured Transylvania, marking the beginning of the end for the Hungarian nobility in their quest to defend the Hungarian interest.
In 1395, in a desperate battle fought on the banks of the Terek River in the North Caucasus, the forces of Tokhtamysh khan of the Blue Horde prevailed, saving the capital city, Sarai from falling to Timur's invading army.
Golden Horde triumph at the Terek RiverHaving briefly united the White Horde and Blue Horde subdivisions of the Golden Horde into a single state, it had taken all of his guile and diplomacy to prevent some of the the emirs going over to Timur on the eve of battle. Of course Tokhtamysh himself was no stranger to making war on a former ally, that was in fact the cause of the entire conflict.
Mistakenly believing he could defeat the Ilkhanate Chobanids and capture the disputed territories of the Caucasus since the days of Berke Khan, he had, in 1385 Tokhtamysh, with an army of 50,000 (or five tumens), invaded Persia and taken Tabriz. Returning north they took 200,000 slaves from Caucasus, including tens of thousands of Azeri Turks from the districts of Shirvan, Mugan, and Daghestan. This proved to be a fatal error for, who Tokhtamysh moved north from the Caucasus, thus allowing his Ilkhanate rivals to side with Timur, who annexed Persia to his own expanding kingdom. Furious, Tokhtamysh turned back and made war on his former ally. Eventually, Tokhtamysh conceded defeat and withdrew to the steppe. However, in 1387 he suddenly invaded Transoxiana, the heart of Timur's realm. Unfortunately for Tokhtamysh, heavy snow forced him back to the steppe.There he made his stand, and was fortunate to recover sufficiently in order to overcome Timur the Conqueror.
In 1388, at the Battle of Näfels, the Habsburgs crushed a heavily out-numbered force of the Glarus and their allies, the Old Swiss Confederation.
Habsburg Victory at the Battle of NafelsThe victory, which established Habsburg Control over the Central Alpine region, was won by a force of about five thousand men under the command of the Graf Donat von Toggenburg and the Knight Peter von Thorberg. A second column, with about fifteen hundred men under the command of Graf Hans von Werdenberg-Sargans, had also marched over the Kerenzerberg Pass.
Whereas the opposition was a force of only four hundred Glarner troops and a few dozen men from both Schwyz and Uri. But following up the easy victory was much more difficult and the Empire struggled to create an Austrian Puppet State. Within a century, they were forced to place a Habsburg Swiss monarch on the throne, creating a Kingdom of Switzerland.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.