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Review of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople

Introduction to 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople

1453 was a paradigm-shattering year for the Western year, which is why 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople was written about that year. In 1453, Mehmet II and the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire. Unfortunately, few in Christendom know the year or its significance. That’s a problem the West as a whole is experiencing; no one in it knows their own history. But, you can help change that by reading 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople.

Summary of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople is a well-written and fast-paced book by Roger Crowley that is ostensibly about Mehmet II’s capture and pillage of Constantinople.

While it does cover that topic, it is about far more.

For those that don’t know, the Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Its capital, Constantinople, was named after Emperor Constantine, the Roman Emperor who split the empire in half.

It survived from then until 1453, which is when it was finally destroyed by the Ottomans. Between Constantine’s division of the empire and Mehmet II’s sack of Constantinople, the Byzantines fought tooth and nail to recover past Roman glory and preserve their empire, which stretched from Spain to Palestine at its apogee.

Then, the Byzantines experienced their greatest struggle and ultimate demise because of the rise of Islam.

Like Christendom now, the Byzantines had to deal with the so-called religion of peace. Year after year they fought against them, sometimes winning and sometimes losing. The Crusades, first called by Pope Urban II in 1095, were meant to help the Byzantines push back the scourge of Islam.

Despite Catholic help and military technology innovations such as Greek Fire, the Byzantines were gradually pushed back by the Ottoman Turks.

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After all that, in the year 1453, the Byzantines found themselves surrounded and with little outside help as the Ottomans surrounded them. Christian traitors from Hungary had taught them how to build cannons. Those cannons allowed the Ottomans to batter down Constantinople’s famous walls.

The Venetians, always greedy, betrayed them, allowing Ottoman ships across and allowed the Ottomans to set up cannons that bombarded the Byzantine fleet.

And, no help was given from the outside world.

Finally, Constantinople was sacked. Despite the bravery of Constantine XI, Constantinople’s last emperor, and his band of fellow warriors, Mehmet and his hordes of Islamic warriors broke through. With that, a thousand years of Byzantine history was utterly destroyed. It was a serious blow to Christendom. So, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople ultimately ends in tragedy. Islam won that time. Luckily, its spread was later stopped.

muslims entering constantinople in 1453: the holy war for Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople

Analysis of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople is an excellent book. Like An Army at Dawn, it is fast-paced and exciting to read. In fact, it seemed more like a historical fiction novel and less like a historical work.

But, it’s all true. Catholicism turned its back on the Byzantines and so they fell.

To me, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople taught two important lessons.

The first is that technological innovation is crucial to beating hordes of enemies. The Byzantines only survived as long as they did because of inventions like Greek Fire that allowed them to best their numerically superior opponents.

With militarily useful innovations like hypersonic weapons, lasers for fighter jets, secretive space programs, and high-tech jets like the F-35, the West can also beat numerically superior hordes of enemies, whether those hordes are in the Middle East or China.

But, those innovations are only useful if we keep them secret. Cyber-spying, whether based in Iran or China, could take the usefulness of our innovations away completely. The cannons built for Mehmet II by a Hungarian traitor are what let him best the Byzantines. We can’t let that happen today. Nor should we follow the lead of the Venetians and sell them the same weapons they will use to destroy us.

The second lesson is that the West needs to unite against the threat of Islam. Constantinople fell because Christendom wouldn’t unite. We can’t let that happen again today, with whatever Islam’s targets are. Iran’s desire to crush Israel is well-known, perhaps that’s one target. So are the homelands of Christian countries.

Of course, we should still try to avoid foreign entanglements and keep the limits of Iran’s power in mind, but we should not desert our allies. So, The Great War for Civilization will probably continue unabated between East and West.


In my summary of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople, I gave away more than I usually do about the contents of the book. That’s because I think it’s important to understand the scope of the problem.

The climactic struggle against Islam has been going on since its inception. We need to recognize that. Reading 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople might be one of the only ways to understand the historical scope of the problem.

Don’t be afraid of being called a right-wing extremist by those liberals who bow to Islam. It’s worth it to stand up for your homeland and religion.

By: Gen Z Conservative