|Battle of Novara|
|Part of the War of the League of Cambrai|
Illustration of the battle of Novara in the cronicle of Johannes Stumpf, 1548
Republic of Venicehttp://www.condottieridiventura.it/tabellestoria/1510.htm
| Swiss Confederation|
Duchy of Milan
|Commanders and leaders|
|Louis de la Trémoille||Council of Swiss captains|
|10,000 or 13,000||1,200 cavalry|
|Casualties and losses|
|5,000/10,000 dead or woundedhttp://www.condottieridiventura.it/tabellestoria/1510.htm||1,500http://www.condottieridiventura.it/tabellestoria/1510.htm|
In 1513, the French army of 10,000 under Louis de la Trémoille was stationed at Novara, which they were besieging, the city being held by some of the Duke of Milan's Swiss mercenaries, who, it is argued, may have intended to annex part (or all) of Milan to the Confederation. Novara, c. 40 kilometers west of Milan, was the second most important city of the Milanese duchy. However, the French were surprised at their camp there on June 6 by a Swiss relief army of some 13,000 troops, come to relieve the mercenaries in the town. The German Landsknecht mercenaries of the French, pike-armed like the Swiss, were able to form up into heavy squares, and the French were able to deploy some of their artillery. Despite this, the Swiss onslaught, sweeping in from multiple directions due to forced marches which achieved encirclement of the French camp, took the French guns, pushed back the Landsknecht infantry regiments, and destroyed the Landsknecht squares. Caught off guard, the French heavy cavalry, their decisive arm, was unable to properly deploy, and played little role in the fight.
The battle was particularly bloody, with 5,000 casualties (other sources state up to 10,000) on the French side, and moderate losses for the Swiss pikemen, mostly suffered from the French artillery as the Swiss moved into the attack. 700 men were killed in three minutes due to heavy artillery fire. Additionally, after the battle, the Swiss executed the hundreds of German mercenaries they had captured who had fought for the French. Having routed the French army, the Swiss were unable to launch a close pursuit because of their lack of cavalry, but several contingents of Swiss did follow the French withdrawal all the way to Dijon before the French paid them off to leave France. The Swiss captured 22 French guns with their carriages.
The French defeat forced Louis XII to withdraw from Milan and Italy in general, and led to the temporary restoration of Duke Maximilian Sforza, although he was widely regarded to be the puppet of his Swiss mercenaries and "allies", who held real military power in Milan.