Battle of Rapallo

The Battle of Rapallo, was fought between Swiss mercenaries on French pay and their Genoese-Milanese allies led by Louis d'Orleans against Neapolitan forces led by Giulio Orsini on 5 September 1494 near Rapallo.[2]

Battle of Rapallo
Part of the First Italian War
Date5 September 1494
Result French victory[1]
 France Bandera de Nápoles - Trastámara.svg Kingdom of Naples
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of France Louis d'Orleans Bandera de Nápoles - Trastámara.svg Giulio Orsini
3,000 Swiss mercenaries
Genoese-Milanese infantry
4,000 Neapolitan
Casualties and losses
Giulio Orsini(Captured)
Fregosino Campofregoso(Captured)

Rapallo was occupied by 4,000 Neapolitan troops on 3 September 1494 with Giulio Orsini, Obietto Fieschi and Fregosino Campofregoso in command, their plan being to force a rebellion in Genoa. Later the Neapolitan fleet was forced away by bad weather.[2] On 5 September,[3] Louis d'Orleans landed with 1,000 Swiss mercenary infantry which was later reinforced overland by 2,000 more Swiss mercenaries and a contingent of Genoese-Milanese infantry.[2]

A skirmish broke out between the Swiss mercenaries and Neapolitan forces, though the terrain did not allow for the Swiss to form up their pike squares.[2] However, the battle was mainly fought between the Genoese-Milanese and Neapolitan infantry.[2] Following concentrated artillery fire from the French fleet, the Neapolitans were routed.[2] The Swiss massacred Neapolitans trying to surrender,[3] although Orsini and Campofregoso were captured in the retreat.[2]

After the battle the Swiss mercenaries killed the enemy wounded and sacked the town of Rapallo.[2] Though a small battle, it was seen as a significant victory which halted Neapolitan attempts to incite a rebellion in Genoa against the French.[2]


  1. ^ Italy and Her Invaders, Stanley Leathes, The Cambridge Modern History, Vol.1, ed. Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, (The Macmillan Company, 1903), 112
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Michael Mallett and Christine Shaw, The Italian Wars, (Pearson Educational Limited, 2012), 19.
  3. ^ a b David Nicolle, Fornovo 1495: France's Bloody Fighting Retreat, (Osprey, 2004), 89.