Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

For 53 days, the forces of the Ottoman Empire shook what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire (known as Byzantium, or the Byzantine Empire) until they were able to breach the massive walls of Constantinople, conquering the last standing remnants of the once mighty Roman Empire.

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and bronze, and in three months he produced a twenty-seven-foot-long monster that had a diameter of 2.5 to three feet (76.2 to 91.44 cm) and could fire a stone projectile weighing between 1440-1500 lbs (653 – 680 kg).

[Read Part 1]

Moreover, to make sure this weapon fire properly without exploding, the barrel was walled with eight inches (20 cm) of solid bronze to absorb the force of the blast. This massive weapon was finished in January 1453.


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