>>542641 Hadrian's Wall isn't what you think it is. It was little more than a glorified border crossing. Britons from north of the wall would cross it every day to trade with the local auxiliary garrisons.
Beat me to it. The greatest armies of late antiquity and the middle ages threw themselves against the walls of Constantinople and failed. The Turks literally had to invent the biggest cannon in the world to breach them.
Common misconception. The Turkish cannons at the final siege of Constantinople were actually damn ineffective against the walls. The Turks had no seasoned gunners and thus they weren't accurate in the slightest, they couldn't fire the things very frequently otherwise they'd overheat and explode (and that still happened a few times), and what damage they DID cause was quickly repaired with earthworks by the defenders, often in between barrages. Oh, and that big monster cannon? Fucking cracked itself after a few shots and played no further role in the siege. This is all evident in contemporary accounts, like that of Niccolo Barbaro.
The reason the Turks succeeded during the siege is because they had the better troop organization. They had a clearly-defined chain of command with officers at several levels who were free to exercise initiative as necessary, had liens of communication going all the way up to the Sultan so he and his generals could make commands as the battle unfolded, and had elite troops like the Jannisaries who were simply better soldiers than anyone in Constantinople.
By contrast, the defenders were made up of mercenaries from all sorts of states from around Italy and Greece, and were hamstrung by their independent chains of command, ethnic tensions, and rivalries. Barbaro's account wastes no opportunity to play up the exploits of his native Venetian compatriots or to disparage everybody else save the Emperor. Because of this, there were only a handful of officers who had the charisma and respect necessary to keep all the guys organized, and when the Turks stormed the walls and these officers inevitably fell in the clash, the defense crumbled.
>>543837 they didn't take noblemen's daughters. The Sultan was literally just given European peasant women captured on raids. Also, most respectable empires at the time looked down upon marrying "infidels" let alone infidels of low birth
>>543296 >>543255 >>543240 Thats a little misleading. The Byzantines didn't really choose to turn down the cannon makers services, they simply couldnt afford him. He did come to them, yes, but the Byzantine state at the time was a shadow of its former glory and imply didnt have enough cash to pay him. >>543895 I agree with much of your post, but you underplay the cannon a bit too much. While they didn't cause as much harm as their future counterparts, they were still extremely valuable assets. Their demoralizing effects cannot be discounted, as well as the fact that they kept the defenders on their toes and pretty much working day and night to keep putting up earthworks. There were sizable breaches created by them as well, which were unable to be sealed by more earthworks.
>>544506 >they were still extremely valuable assets
Oh, I agree. But all the same, my analysis is that they were not the deciding factor in the Siege. Even if the Turks had had to make due with more primitive artillery, I think they still would have taken the city just by the fact that they were the better military force in both quantity and quality. The walls of Constantinople were not laid low by gunfire; they were trampled beneath the soles of professional soldiery.
>>544760 >they were trampled beneath the soles of professional soldiery Ah yes, you see if enough smelly Turkish people push on a wall, they can tear it down
Idiot. Artillery is the deciding factor in a siege of that magnitude, at least where food stores aren't a limiting factor. It doesn't matter if you're defending the city with 100 people against a horde of 100,000. If they can't undermine the walls and tear them down, they can't get to you.
>>547512 What is your point? Yes, the most crime ridden, poverty stricken, "dindu nuffin" part of our population we imported here. I'm well aware, it was a bad call. Kinda how it's a bad call to import literal millions of Muslims into a continent that shares none of their social or political ideals.
>>547603 The majority of what would become the United States was uninhabited when European settlers arrived. Both my parents' families arrived in this country and settled in an area that no one else, Indian or European, lived. We have been living here ever since.
That's a genuine sign of autism, you know. Or a lack of reading comprehension skills. Either way, might want to do something about that, friend. Those shortcomings won't help you in life.
All that aside, however, you're still wrong. 100 against 100,000 (or in the case of the Siege, approx. 10,000 against 100,000) is a huge problem for the simple fact that, yes, the attacking force can indeed get to you without "undermining the walls and tearing them down." This is precisely what happened during the Fourth Crusade, where the Crusaders sacked the Constantinople by scaling the walls from multiple angles (including the sea) and establishing bridgeheads through which the rest of their forces poured in.
The Turks did the exact same thing. In addition to dozens of ladders, they built several siege towers to assault the walls, stunning the defenders by doing so overnight. Thanks to these, the Turks were able to pressure multiple points along the walls simultaneously, and to get their troops up there in greater numbers. They tied down the defenders with large numbers of lower-quality troops, and then sent in the Jannisaries as shock troops at pivotal point, which broke the backs of the defenders.
And again, the Turks were only able to achieve this level of coordination because they had superior organization, command structure, and discipline. In other words, they were the more professional soldiers.
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