Actual 45 mm size by Hughes Bovy, L. Furet, Genf E. / Robert Dorer, Baden
Hans von Hallwyl, the distinguished and heroic Swiss army commander reaches to the heavens and does the Schwurhand, an oath gesture in traditional depictions of the Rütlischwur.
Blazon at right, bearing the coat of arms of the noble Hallwyl family, is also boldly etched on his armored breastplate. His trusty sword may be sheathed, but would be quickly drawn at the first sign of danger.
It was at the Battle of Grandson on 2nd March 1476 when his troops dealt a decisive humiliating defeat onto the expansionist plans of Charles de Bold, Duke of Burgundy. In the background, Castle Grandson stood still, player of dual roles of bold witness yet active participant to the tales of despair, then victory on those fateful days.
Divine rays of illumination burst forth from the heavens, his raised hand reached to the heavens, allegory of the oath reminiscent of the legendary Rütlischwur, everlasting symbol of Swiss cohesion, for victories against all invaders, power in the collective brotherhood of the Confederacy.
"Mit Gott Zum Sieg" - "With God to Victory"
Noble heraldic Lion emblem of city Bremgarten, venue of the free-shooting competition, stands above the coat of arms of Canton Aargau, on a pair of Swiss shooting rifles.
The winner’s wreath of true oaken branch and flora laurels, the victorious champions’ prize of the competition, with an intricately ornate design of the grand Schützenfest of 1891.
In late February 1476, Charles the Bold besieged the castle of Grandson with a large mercenary army of over 20;000 strong, with many heavy cannon, and the Swiss garrison soon feared, after the effectiveness of the bombardment was demonstrated, that they would be killed when their fortress was stormed. A boat approached the garrison with the news that an army was coming to its relief, but the vessel was unable to approach the fortress closely for fear that it would be hit by Burgundian cannons.
The men only gave up when Charles assured them they would be spared. Instead, He ordered all 412 men of the garrison to be executed. In a scene described as "shocking and horrible”, all the victims were led past the tent of Charles on 28 February 1476 and hanged from trees, or drowned in the lake, in an execution that lasted four hours.
On 2 March 1476 the Swiss army approached the forces of Charles. The Swiss advanced, moving directly into combat without deploying, in typical Swiss fashion. Poor reconnaissance left Charles uninformed as to the size and deployment of the Swiss, and he believed that the Swiss vanguard was the entire force sent against him. After brief skirmishing, Charles ordered his cavalry to pull back so that the artillery could reduce the Swiss forces before the attacks were renewed. At this time, the main body of the Swiss emerged from a forest that had hitherto obscured their approach. The Burgundian army, already pulling back, soon became confused when the second, and larger, body of Swiss troops appeared. The speed of the Swiss advance did not give the Burgundians time to make much use of their artillery and missile units. The withdrawal soon turned into a rout when the Burgundian army broke ranks and ran.
The Swiss did not have the cavalry necessary to chase the Burgundians far. At insignificant cost to themselves, the Swiss had humiliated the greatest duke in Europe, defeated one of the most feared armies, and taken a most impressive amount of treasure, including jewellery, silver and gold plate, tapestries and much of Charles' artillery.
After the battle, the Swiss troops came upon the bodies of their countrymen still hanging from trees. “There were found sadly the honorable men still freshly hanging on the trees in front of the castle whom the tyrant had hanged. It was a wretched, pitiable sight. There were hung ten or twenty men on one bough. The trees were bent down and were completely full.
Here hanged a father and a son next to each other, two brothers or other friends. And there came the honorable men who knew them, who were their friends, cousins and brothers, who found them miserably hanging. There was first anger and distress in crying and bewailing. ..."
Charles had attempted to break the will of the Swiss by killing any of their countrymen he could apprehend. Instead he united them as never before. When the Burgundians met the Swiss at the Battle of Murten in June 1476, the Swiss annihilated his army.
In memory of the heroic deeds of Hans von Hallwyl, and of significant events of 2nd March 1476 at Grandson Castle and of 22nd June 1476 The Battle of Morat, where the Confederacy united to annihilate completely the armies of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.