France surged three points clear at the top of Group E with five different goalscorers flooring Switzerland in Salvador.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's men never recovered from conceding twice in as many minutes to Olivier Giroud (17) and Blaise Matuidi, and though Karim Benzema let them off the hook from the penalty spot a third goal eventually arrived in the 40th minute through Mathieu Valbuena. France refused to ease off after the interval and were rewarded further as Karim Benzema (67) added number four and Moussa Sissoko a fifth before Switzerland summoned two late consolations.
Switzerland's game plan was thrown into turmoil early on when Steve von Bergen was forced off with a facial injury but that was nothing compared to the upheaval they endured minutes later. Giroud produced a majestic leap and header back across goal that Diego Benaglio could only tip into the top corner and within a minute of the restart it was two. Switzerland squandered possession immediately and Benzema rolled in Matuidi to plant his finish inside the near post.
Hitzfeld's charges were in shock and their situation seemed destined to become more desperate when Johan Djourou clipped Benzema in the box to concede a penalty just past the half-hour mark. However, the striker's spot kick was parried by Benaglio and Yohan Cabaye could only rifle the rebound against the bar. Respite was brief, though, as a flowing counterattack from a Switzerland corner released Giroud down the left flank and his cross was hammered in by Valbuena.
France remained relentless after half-time though it took until midway through the second period for them to score again, Philippe Senderos only helping on substitute Paul Pogba's deft pass and Benzema slipping his shot under Benaglio. Six minutes later it was five with Benzema again pivotal as he threaded Sissoko in on goal with another unerring finish the result.
Benaglio prevented further damage before Switzerland restored some respectability to the scoreline, Blerim Dzemaili (81) drilling in a free-kick from distance and Granit Xhaka (87) lashing a volley past Hugo Lloris. Switzerland face Honduras and France meet Ecuador in the final round of matches; Ecuador's 2-1 win against Honduras in Friday's late game means they join the Swiss on three points, leaving France needing just a point to make sure of progress.