Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453 by Roger Crowley, is a history of the momentous struggle waged for the city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1453. This was a real game-changer in historical terms, as it finally and utterly rested power in the region from the faltering Byzantium empire to the Ottoman Turks, and shut Christian Europe out in the process. It is also the history of the titanic and fatal battle of two great leaders, Sultan Mehmet II and Emperor Constantine XI.
Constantinople, sitting as it did on the Bosphorous sea, was a massive and natural fortress. Indeed, it had proved impervious to previous mostly Muslim and other assaults, except for one crucial and brutal sacking of the city by Christian Crusaders in 1204. So it was possibly with no great alarm that the Emperor Constantine and Constantinople’s inhabitants viewed the approach of the young Sultan’s army – that however was soon to change, once they realised the extent of the army, and the iron will of the Sultan.