This day in history! We all know of the spectacular Christian victories against invasion at Poitiers (732), Jerusalem (1099), Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683), as well as the great leaders of those campaigns: Charles Martel, Godfrey de Bouillon, Don Juan of Austria and Jan Sobieski of Poland. But how many of us have ever heard of the no less pivotal Battle of Belgrade on 4th July 1456 and the great Catholic Hungarian warlord Janos Hunyadi?
After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman advance did not simply cease; Mehmet II, the victor of Constantinople, geared up his forces for an invasion of the Catholic Balkans. His immediate goal was to take the Hungarian fortress-town of Belgrade (then called Nandofehervar) on the border of Hungary and the newly possessed Ottoman lands. Hungary was in a precarious situation, as it had no strong centralized kingship at the time and had been torn by baronial rivalries in the years leading up to the battle. The most powerful of these lords was Janos Hunyadi, a Serb and veteran of many wars against the Turks.
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