Mehmed the Conqueror Siege of Belgrade 1456

After conquering Constantinople, Mehmed the Conqueror made it his throne and turned towards Europe, but after the conquest of Constantinople, all the Christian states considered the Sultan as a weak prince and expressed happiness on his becoming Sultan. Now they felt the sultan was not harmful to them. All the Christian states of Europe knew very well that the Ottomans would now advance towards Europe.

With this in mind, the Pope again tried to unite the Christian states and wanted to form a crusade against the Ottomans, but he failed. The King of France openly refused to join the alliance because He preferred to fight England rather than the Ottoman Turks. Another major reason for this was that France had already been defeated by the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Nicopolis upon the Pope’s declaration of a crusade.

Christian States Unite Against Ottomans

And now he didn’t want to take any risk. But with this Pope’s effort, all the Christian states that were threatened by the Ottoman Turks were united, that is the states that bordered the Ottoman Empire, including the Republic of Venice, Geneva, Hungary, Morea, Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia. Among them, Maurya and Serbia were already vassal states of the Ottoman Empire.

But even so, these two states considered it better to participate in this alliance, and in 1404 AD, both the states of Maurya and Serbia surrendered to the Ottoman Empire. refused to pay tribute and declared a rebellion. The sultan first proceeded to the Morea, where the two brothers of Emperor Constantine, Thomas and Demetrius, were ruling.

Ottoman Campaign in Serbia and Hunyadi’s Resistance

When they learned that the sultan was coming to suppress them, Before the arrival of the sultan in Maurya, he sent his ambassadors and promised to pay an annual tribute. The throne of Serbia besieged the city of Sarandiwa, but at the same time, John Hunyadi also came forward to help the king of Hungary and he forced Sultan Muhammad II to raise the siege of Sarandiwa.

In the leadership, he left his army in Serbia and returned to Constantinople to recruit a new army, but in the meantime, the united forces of the King of Serbia Dorad Branković and Hunyadi attacked the Ottoman army and defeated him decisively to destroy this army of Ottomans. Later, Shah Sarbia and Hanyadi started attacking the border cities of the Ottoman Empire and destroyed important cities like Widin.

Siege of Belgrade

The fort was besieged. The Sultan sent an army of 20,000 men under the leadership of Ishaq Bey, who defeated Sikandar Beg and forced him to raise the siege of Berat. After that, Sultan Muhammad II made war preparations against Shah Sarbiah and Hunyade. Begin Hunyadi also knew very well that now the Ottomans would invade Hungary, but before the Ottoman armies could enter Hungary, they had to conquer Belgrade first.

This was because Belgrade was located on the border between Hungary and Serbia. If the Ottoman forces entered Hungary without conquering Belgrade, the Hungarian army in the fortress could attack them from the rear. In addition, the Ottoman navy could not enter Hungary through the Danube River without conquering Belgrade.

Challenges for Ottoman Entry into Hungary

Even if the Ottoman armies had entered Hungary by land, they would have had to march along the banks of the Danube, as water for such a large army and their cavalry could only be supplied in that way, and for The capture of the Danube River was necessary and it was not possible to capture the Danube River without capturing Belgrade.

Hunyadi also knew that the Ottomans would now attack Belgrade, so Hunyadi strengthened the fortress of Belgrade in every way. tried his best to do so since Hunyadi entered the battlefield against the Ottoman Turks. Since then, Belgrade has been used as a military garrison of Hunyadi. The fortress of Belgrade was also considered among the strongest fortresses in Europe in terms of defense.

Hunyadi’s Defense Measures

On three sides of it was the water of the Danube River and the Sava River. And only one side was dry.Also, the city was built in such a way that three strong and high walls were defending the city one after the other. The walls of the Belgrade fortress were very high, but their weakness was that their thickness was not so high that they could withstand the latest Ottoman cannons.

That is, Laszlo and his brother-in-law Michael were given an army of 7,000 and assigned to protect Belgrade and he went to the Hungarian throne and was busy gathering troops from the surrounding areas against the Ottoman Turks. Before Hanyadi had gathered an army against the Ottoman Turks. Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror advanced with his land and naval forces from Constantinople to Belgrade and without any hindrance passed through Serbia and reached the walls of Belgrade.

Sultan Mehmed The Conqueror Army

According to Western historians, the number of Sultan Muhammad II’s army was one hundred and sixty thousand. When most historians have written the number of this army as sixty to seventy thousand, on July 4, 1456 CE, Sultan Muhammad II went to the city of Belgrade. In addition to Sultan Mehmed II’s army, an Ottoman fleet of two hundred ships had also reached Belgrade via the Danube River.

Sultan Muhammad II had divided his army into three parts, the heart was led by Sultan Muhammad II himself, which consisted mostly of high-ranking Janissary troops, and on the right was the Romulan army, led by Karaja Bey. and on the left side was the Anatolian army led by Mahmud Pasha, besides the Ottomans also had huge artillery.

Defense and Reinforcement by Hungarians

On the other side, the number of the army defending the city was seven thousand, led by Michael the year of Hunyadi and Hunyarde. His son Laszlo was doing it. After the Sultan surrounded the city from all sides, he started shelling the city. could not gather such a large army against the Pope, but at the request of the Pope, John Capistrano, an Italian priest, started preaching a crusade against the Turks in Hungary.

They managed to raise a large army. These peasants were untrained in warfare, had no weapons to fight with, and had no time to give them military training or weapons. could provide but the greatest strength of this peasant army was the religious and national fervor that had been instilled in their hearts and minds by the priest John Kapistrans. Now they could go to some extent to defeat the Turks.

Naval Engagement

Apart from this, Hunyade had prepared a fleet of two hundred ships. So Hunyade and the priest John Kapistranus advanced with this army. At the same time, the Hunyadi’s fleet in the Danube also advanced.

On July 14th, 1456 CE, after approaching Belgrade, Hunyade’s fleet first attacked the Ottoman ships and, in addition to destroying the Ottoman ships, captured many Ottoman ships. He entered the city of Belgrade with the troops and John Capistrano took a large part of the army and stayed outside the fortress just in front of the left wing of the Ottoman army on the other side of the river Sava.

City Defenses

In addition, the defense of the castle became even stronger because, on the one hand, the Danube and Sava rivers were occupied by Hunyadi, and on the other hand, troops were defending the city both inside and outside the city, now Hungary.

Intense Siege and City Damage

The number of the Ottoman army was almost equal, but Sultan Muhammad II continued to bombard Belgrade despite these conditions and tried to tighten the siege more and more. Due to this intense shelling, the walls of the city were cracked in many places.

Finally, at sunset on July 21, 1456 AD, Sultan Muhammad II ordered his army to launch a powerful attack on the city. And the fight continued all night. The Ottoman army attacked so forcefully that all the troops defending the city were pushed back from the outer walls and the Janissaries entered the city.

While the war between Hunyade and the Yannicheri army was raging in the city, Hunyade ordered his guards to set fire to the cracks in the city wall with the help of incendiary material and wood should be given so that the Ottoman army outside the fort would lose contact with the Ottoman army fighting inside the fort, this maneuver of Hunyade cut off the contact of the army fighting inside the city with the outside army due to lack of further support.

Uncoordinated Attacks

The day after this attack, the disorganized Hungarian army, without Hunyade’s permission, attacked the Ottoman encampment with the intention of looting. Seeing this army outside the fort, the Christian army standing on the other side of the Sava River also attacked the left wing of the Ottoman army despite the unwillingness of the priest John Capistrano.

he was shocked because of this sudden fierce and two-pronged attack, the left wing of the Ottoman army became panicked and started to leave the battlefield. But had been destroyed, now Sultan Muhammad II with his troops was surrounded by the Christian army, but the Sultan’s guards gave their lives for the Sultan.

Retreat of Ottoman Forces

Forced to retreat, Hunyade also captured the Ottoman artillery. Meanwhile, an arrow hit the Sultan in the thigh, rendering Sultan Muhammad II unconscious. The army also went back to the fort. Arriving back in the fort, Jun Haniade again began to prepare for battle, but there was no movement from the Ottomans that night.

When morning dawned, Haniade saw that the Ottoman army had taken advantage of the darkness of the night. Having lifted the siege, Constantine took his wounded Sultan Nia has returned, thus ending the siege of Belgrade with the defeat of Sultan Mehmed II and the victory of June Hunyade.

Legacy and Temporary Triumph

The Pope announced that prayers should be offered for this crusader Mujahid Hanyadi. But this happiness of Europe proved to be temporary and after a few days of this war, Hunyade also died.

According to some historians, Hunyade died of the plague in Belgrade. But later, according to historians, he died due to injuries sustained during the siege of Belgrade. But Haniarde’s victory halted the growing foothold of the Ottomans in Europe for many years to come.

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