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Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach (1597 – 1661)

At the end of June 1630, during the War of the Mantuan Succession, the imperial army besieged the capital city Mantua, which was eventually seized and plundered on 18 July. Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach fought under the imperial ensign as one of commander Matthias Gallas's men.

27.06.2019 | Communication Defence

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Born in 1597 as son of Andreas, advisor to the bishop of Constance and bailiff of Kaiserstuhl and Klingnau, young Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach was well educated. When he was 15 years old, he took on his first assignment as a mercenary for the Duchy of Milan (in the service of Spain). Later, he fought for the Empire in several battles of the Thirty Year's War, including the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, at which he held the rank of a major. In 1624, now promoted to lieutenant colonel, he was wounded at Glückstadt, and six years later he participated in the siege of Mantua.

In 1634, as an adviser to Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Habsburg, Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach accompanied the Cardinal's army to the Spanish Netherlands and fought with them in the battle of Nördlingen. In 1635 Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach was promoted to Major General and appointed a member of the Supreme War Council. The following year he was tasked with reorganising the forces according to the Swedish model. In 1638 he raised his own regiment, which served the Duchy of Milan and which he commanded until 1641. Returning to the service of Austria, the year after he finished his military career with the rank of a lieutenant field marshal.

When his father died in 1622, he followed in his footsteps as episcopal bailiff of Kaiserstuhl and Klingnau. He also carried out diplomatic missions in Munich and in the Confederation on the orders of the emperor, becoming, in 1632, adviser to the emperor and chamberlain. From 1642 onwards, he devoted himself almost exclusively to political and diplomatic activities. As Uri's representative, he was sent to the Federal Diet (1644-58), and also held the positions of vice-governor (1645-47), governor (1647-51 and 1657-59) and state governor (1648).

During the Swiss peasant war of 1653, Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach was appointed commander of the Lucerne troops, which makes him the third commander-in-chief in Swiss history. Three years later, he again commanded Confederate troops, when he led the defence of Rapperswil against attacks from Zürich troops, but refused to take direct offensive action himself. He was one of the most influential men in the Confederate State in the 17th century.

25.09.2019

Wilhelm Bernhard von Muralt
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On 25 September 1792, Wilhelm Bernhard von Muralt of Bern was appointed commander-in-chief of the Swiss army, which included troops from all the cantons. Stationed at headquarters in Nyon, von Muralt prepared to defend Geneva from the French threat with 20,000 deployed soldiers and 12,000 reservists under his command. On 27 October, after long negotiations, the French agreed that they would not attack Geneva and withdrew their troops. The last Bernese garrison was able to leave the city on 30 November and the Swiss army was demobilised in December.

30.08.2019

Joseph Leonz Andermatt
Andermatt

On 31 August 1790, a mutiny within the garrison of Nancy in France was crushed. The uprising broke out on 5 August because the soldiers were convinced that their officers had made unfair deductions from their pay. For his role in suppressing the revolt, Joseph Leonz Andermatt, an officer in the Swiss Châteauvieux regiment that was part of the Nancy garrison, was awarded the title of knight of the Order of Saint Louis.

25.07.2019

Henri Guisan
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On 25 July 1940 General Henri Guisan summoned all Switzerland's military commanders with the rank of major or higher to the Rutli meadow, where he informed them about the military's National Redoubt strategy. France had been defeated in June and Switzerland was surrounded by the Axis powers. In his radio address on 25 June, Marcel Pilet-Golaz, the President of the Confederation at the time, caused confusion among the population by mentioning the New European Order. General Guisan emphasised in his speech the army's willingness to offer unconditional resistance.

27.06.2019

Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach
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At the end of June 1630, during the War of the Mantuan Succession, the imperial army besieged the capital city Mantua, which was eventually seized and plundered on 18 July. Lieutenant Colonel Sebastian Peregrin Zwyer of Evibach fought under the imperial ensign as one of commander Matthias Gallas's men.

22.05.2019

Johann Ulrich von Salis Soglio
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On 22 May 1844 Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio, colonel in the Swiss General Staff, was in the Valais, where a faction of the Young Europe association was causing unrest. The Federal Council had appointed him commander of the troops and tasked him with disarming Young Switzerland, which was a revolutionary liberal group modelled on the Young Italy movement founded by Giuseppe Mazzini. In August 1847 Johann Ulrich von Salis-Soglio was released from the service on account of his conservative views. Shortly thereafter, however, he was back in military uniform again, having reluctantly accepted his appointment as supreme commander of the Sonderbund army.

18.04.2019

Ulrich of Hohensax
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On 19 April 1512, the Swiss Tagsatzung, the legislative and executive council of the Swiss Confederacy, appointed Ulrich of Hohensax supreme commander of the confederate army, which was preparing to enter Lombardy. The Council of War confirmed the Tagsatzung order on 30 May, making Ulrich of Hohensax the first commander-in-chief in Swiss history. The campaign ended on 31 December, when Ulrich of Hohensax led the Swiss army into Milano and restored Massimiliano Sforza to the throne. With the success of this operation, the Confederates strengthened their position, becoming equal partners with other European powers.

28.03.2019

Augustin Keller
Keller

On 28 March 1799, in the midst of a period of upheaval the commander of the Helvetic Legion, Colonel Augustin Keller, was promoted to brigadier general and appointed commander-in-chief of the Helvetic Republic's army. However, the hurriedly assembled troops proved completely incapable of fighting a battle. Augustin Keller was released from his duties on 24 May 1799 due to failure and the militia army was disbanded on 12 August of the same year.

28.02.2019

Johann Ludwig von Erlach
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The first Battle of Rheinfelden took place on 28 February 1638, during the Thirty Years' War. On one side of the field was the Bernese Johann Ludwig von Erlach, the Chief of Staff to Duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar and organiser of the High Rhine campaign, which ended with the cession of Alsace to France. Johann Ludwig von Erlach ended his career as Marshal of France, and is regarded as one of the greatest generals in the mercenary service of the 17th century.

24.01.2019

Charles-Jules Guiguer de Prangins
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On 24 January 1798, the national representatives declared the Pays de Vaud's independence from Bern. Charles-Jules Guiguer de Prangins enlisted in the Vaud military forces as a lieutenant to join the liberation struggle alongside the French forces. He was promoted to captain within a year, and later, as a general, commanded the Swiss forces in 1831 and 1838.

11.12.2018

Ulrich Wille
Wille

On 11 November 1918, World War I ended when the armistice of Compiègne came into force. Fears sparked by the first general strike from 12 to 14 November, however, led to an extension of mobilisation in Switzerland. Finally, on 11 December 1918, General Wille, commander-in-chief of the Swiss military, handed over command and was discharged from his duties.