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In the meantime, byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus entreated major powers in Christendom to aid him in the impending siege. Hungary refuse to assist, and, rather of sending out men, Pope Nicholas V observed the precarious instance as an possibility to press for the reunification the the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, a priority the the papacy because 1054. Orthodox leader voted in favour that union, but the civilization of Constantinople were adamantly against it and also rioted in response. Armed forces support came from Venice and Genoa. An Ottoman assault on a Venetian delivery in the Bosporus motivated the Venetian Senate come send 800 troops and 15 galleys come the byzantine capital, and also many Venetians presently in Constantinople additionally chose to support the battle effort, however the mass of the Venetian pressures were delayed because that too long to it is in of any type of help. For Genoa’s part, the city-state sent 700 soldiers to Constantinople, every one of whom come in January 1453 through Giovanni Giustiniani Longo at their head. Emperor Constantine XI named Giustiniani commander of his land defenses and also spent the remainder of the winter increase the city for a siege.


In the 15th century, Constantinople’s walls were widely recognized as the most formidable in every one of Europe. The floor walls covered 4 miles (6.5 km) and consisted of a dual line that ramparts with a moat top top the outside; the higher of the 2 stood as high together 40 feet (12 metres) through a basic as much as 16 feet (5 metres) thick. These walls had never been breached in the thousand years since their construction. One adjoining sea wall ran follow me the golden Horn and also the Sea of Marmara, the last section being 20 feet (6 metres) high and also 5 mile (8 km) long. When linked with a huge metal chain that had actually been drawn across the golden Horn, Constantine was confident that the city’s defenses could repel a marine assault and withstand Mehmed’s land pressures until relief come from Christian Europe. However, Constantine’s volume to defend his city to be hampered through his little fighting force. Eyewitness Jacopo Tedaldi approximates a presence of 30,000 come 35,000 armed civilians and only 6,000 to 7,000 trained soldiers. Giustiniani intended to concentrate many of these males at the land wall surfaces to the north and west, the centre of i beg your pardon he observed to it is in the most breakable section of the city. A tiny fleet of naval and armed seller vessels were additionally stationed in the golden Horn to protect the chain. However, without external support, Constantinople’s defenders would certainly be spread thin.

The ottoman besiegers vastly outnumbered the Byzantines and also their allies. In between 60,000 and also 80,000 soldiers fought on land, accompanied by 69 cannon. Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey commanded a fleet stationed in ~ Diplokionion with an approximated 31 big and midsize warships alongside nearly 100 smaller sized boats and also transports. Mehmed’s strategy was straightforward: the would use his fleet and also siege lines to blockade Constantinople on all sides while relentlessly damaging the wall surfaces of the city with cannon. He hope to breach lock or otherwise force a surrender before a Christian relief force can arrive.

On April 6 the Ottomans began their artillery barrage and also brought down a ar of the wall. They an installed a frontal attack of the land walls on April 7, yet the Byzantines repelled them and were may be to repair the defenses. After ~ pausing come reposition his cannon, Mehmed reopened fire and thereafter maintained day-to-day bombardment.

On April 12 the sultan dispatched a random of troops come subdue two nearby Byzantine forts and ordered Baltaoğlu to rush the chain. The fleet to be twice pushed back, and also Baltaoğlu retreated to Diplokionion until the night that the 17th, as soon as he relocated to record the Princes archipelago southeast that the city in ~ the very same time that Mehmed’s soil regiments attacked the Mesoteichon section of the wall. Constantinople’s defenders when again held their ground, however, and also Baltaoğlu’s success in ~ the islands to be irreparably marred by the revelation that three relief ships native the pope and one large Byzantine ship had almost reached the city unhindered. The ottoman galleys to be too brief to catch the high European warships, and, through the aid of the golden Horn fleet, the warships safely sailed past the chain. ~ above hearing the his navy’s defeat, Mehmed stripped Baltaoğlu of his rank and also arranged for his replacement.

Mehmed was determined to take the golden Horn and also pressure the Byzantines into submission. That angled one of his cannons such that it can strike the defenders that the chain and then began to construct an oiled wooden ramp upon which that intended come portage his smaller sized vessels indigenous the Bosporus come the golden Horn. Through April 22 the ships had actually circumvented the chain in this way and, barring the chain itself, seized manage of all the waters surrounding the city. The defenders test to attack the remainder the the ottoman fleet in the Bosporus, however they to be defeated.

Having encircled Constantinople in full, Mehmed ongoing his pho barrage of the land wall surfaces through may 29. The ottoman cannon created several breaches, yet most were as well narrow come send troops through. The city’s defenders continued to repair the wall surfaces at night and also reinforced areas at the damaged gate of St. Romanus and also the Blachernae sector. In the at an early stage hours of may 29, footrest labourers filled the moat neighboring the city. Just before dawn, the sultan released a combination artillery, infantry, and also naval attack on Constantinople. 2 attempts to sirloin the door of St. Romanus and also the Blachernae walls were met v fierce resistance, and also the ottoman soldiers were forced to autumn back. Mehmed bespeak a third attack top top the gate, this time with one of his very own palace regiments that 3,000 Janissaries. A small group reached the optimal of a tower through one more gate but were virtually eliminated through the defenders till Giustiniani was mortally injured by footrest gunfire when on the ramparts. The was lugged to the rear, and his absence sowed confusion and also lowered morale among the ranks. This enabled the sultan come send in one more Janissary regiment and take the inner wall surface at the door of St. Romanus.

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A rout that the defenders ensued, with many of the Venetian and also Genoese fighters retreating to your ships in the golden Horn. Emperor Constantine XI is reported to have been eliminated while either fighting close to the breach or fleeing to an escape boat. Return the sultan attempted to avoid a full sack that the city, he permitted an initial duration of looting that experienced the devastation of numerous Orthodox churches. When most of Constantinople was secure, Mehmed himself rode through the streets of the city come the good cathedral that Hagia Sophia, the largest in every one of Christendom, and also converted it into the mosque Ayasofya. He quit to pray and then demanded the all more looting stop immediately. The sultan hence completed his conquest of the byzantine capital.