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Battle of Novara 1513 – War of the League of Cambrai


During the French Wars in Italy, the army of Louis XII was driven out of Milan in 1513 by the League of Cambrai.  This alliance, created by Pope Julius II, consisted of Spain, Naples, the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy, the Swiss Cantons, England and several Italian city-states. A French army of 10,000 under Louis de la Tremoille occupied Novara, 28 miles west of Milan, and the League forces moved against this position. A Swiss army of some 13,000 attacked the French camp, catching the defenders by surprise.  A deadly battle ensued with the Swiss mercenaries defeating the French, although suffering heavy loss to their own ranks.  La Tremoille, however, suffered 50% casualties and hundreds of German Mercenaries fighting for the French surrendered, only to be executed by the vengeful Swiss.  The loss at Novara ended the French invasion of Italy.