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The Fall of Constantinople

January 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted By Phin Upham

The fall of the city of Constantinople has to do with the brilliant military strategies of Mehmet II, also known as Mehmet the Conqueror. It was 1451 when Mehmet was wrapping production of two massive fortresses built on the Bosphorus. These forts would act as a springboard for invasion: Anadolu Hisarı on the Asian side, and Rumeli Hisarı on the European side. Construction was completed within a few months and the forts guarded the thinnest section of the Bosphorus river.

This set the stage for the siege of Constantinople, a battle that would take two years to prepare for.

Mehmet also invited his master craftsmen from across Europe to construct giant cannons to help the efforts of the siege and cripple the city’s defenses. The assault began in May of 1453 when Mehmet’s forces began to gather around the walls of Constantinople. Great chain links had been installed by the Byzantines to prevent forces from laying siege through the ports, so Mehmet’s land-based attack took them by surprise.

At night, Mehmet bombarded the city walls with his cannons. He also used the lack of daylight to cover the movements of his ships, which were transported over land from a cove behind Galata.

Fighting was bitter and lasted almost a full month. The Byzantine emperor Constantine XI ultimately fell while fighting on the walls, and the fall of the city was the beginning of the end for ancient Rome.


About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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