1453

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100 Years' War: The Last Battle

Since the death of King Henry the 5th of England and France, and the crowning of King Henry the 6th, the 100 Years' War has been prosecuted by the Duke of Bedford, an able commander, but with the death of Bedford, the English fight has faltered. King Charles the 7th of France has overcome his chronic depression (thanks to the office of The Royal Mistress) and has led his standing army of 20 companies of hand-picked mercenaries supported directly by the government rather than by plunder... the beginnings of a professional military. With the inspiration of Joan of Arc, the French troops have been so successful that all they have to do is to roll up with their cannons and a city will surrender without a shot fired. The final battle of this war is fought at Castillon. John Talbot advances his troops into the French firing line when he mistakes flying dust as the retreat of the French. The English have lost it all except for a toehold at the city of Calais on the French coast. They also maintain a presence on the Channel Island of Guernsey but France holds Jersey Island. No one knows it yet but this war is over. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
When one side wants peace at any price they pay a heavy price. England has lost France forever. An economic slump has produced general rebellion throughout Europe, and especially in England and Flanders. King Henry will take the blame for it all mostly because the nobles who owned lands in France are now disowned. This will have the unexpected effect of strengthening the English Parliament since it is the last bastion of stability against a passive and mentally ill king. The seeds of the "War of the Roses" have been sown. The nobles of York want a new king... someone who is not a Lancaster. [6]

The Fall of Constantinople

The Ottoman Sultan no longer trusts the Christians in his midst so he resolves to destroy the City of Constantinople and scatter the people of the Morea in Greece. A German engineer constructs a massive cannon for the Sultan's use but the boat used to transport it sinks under the weight so the Sultan orders a second cannon, twice as large. He fortifies the roads and bridges, moves the cannon to Constantinople and fires into the walls of the city. Sultan's navy does poorly in the assault. They twice ram the massive chain that hangs across the Golden Horn waterway without success. This enrages the Sultan. Within days, the city walls fall and with them, the last remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire are blotted out. Byzantium [bih-ZAN-tee-um] is no more. The city of Constantinople becomes the city of Istanbul. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The eastern Christians scattered, looking for refuge in the western Christian world. They carried stories of terror that were mostly accurate. An advisor said that Emperor Constantine the 11th refused to run when escape was possible. Instead he said that he would rather die than run, threw off his royal robes, grabbed a sword and marched to the walls to defend the city. He found his death almost immediately. The Sultan had the Emperor's head cut off, impaled on a pike and paraded around the city. The Emperor was buried in an anonymous grave along with his men. There are rumors that his body was entombed in the south-east pier of the church of St Theodosia which is now a mosque. There is a coffin located there, but it is most likely someone else.[10]

Additional observation: The fall of Constantinople effectively cuts off the markets to the east making it more important than ever for Europe to find a path around Africa to China and India.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1453, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 593-594. (BOOK) Quote: "Talbot was killed and his army routed. Bordeaux itself fell soon after. Nothing was left of England's continental empire except Calais and an empty claim to the French crown. The longest war was over, though perhaps few were aware of it."
  2. Castillon-la-Bataille - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Battle of Castillon - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Channel Islands - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Cantor, Norman F. The Civilization of the Middle Ages. Harper Perennial. August 3, 1994. pp. 519-520. (BOOK) Quote: "The departure of the English army from France did not bring peace but the beginning of a civil war among the English royal family for possession of the throne turned the nation's attention to domestic problems. By 1453 the war between England and France, which had lasted for over a century, was at an end."
  7. Norwich, John Julius. (John J. Norwich, bio). Byzantium: Volume 3: Decline and Fall. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1995. pp. 417-440. (BOOK)
  8. Fall of Constantinople - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Golden Horn - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Norwich 1995. pp. 439-440. Quote: "There is indeed such a chamber there, accessible by a narrow stair that leads up inside the pier itself. Within it is a coffin, and on the lintel of the doorway is a Turkish inscription reading 'Tomb of the Apostle, Disciple of Christ--Peace be unto him'. But the tradition, old as it is, comfortably postdates the conquest; the coffin is covered, as is usual in the Islamic world, with a green cloth; and there is another equally persistent tradition among the local people that it belongs to a Muslim holy man named Gul Baba."

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