dardanelles gun

Uyandırma is a slow-match, muzzle-loaded cannon based on the Great Turkish Bombard (Şahi), commonly known as the Dardanelles Gun due to its use in the 1807 Dardanelles Operation against Great Britain.

The first Turkish bombards were built in 1464, based on earlier Western European models designed by the Hungarian engineer Urban for the Ottoman Army at the Siege of Constantinople a decade earlier. Cast in bronze, each one weighed nearly 18 tonnes and was over 5 metres long. What set them apart was that the powder chamber and barrel were attached by way of a screw mechanism, a stroke of genius which allowed the cannons to be taken apart and more easily transported to the battlefield.

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Orban, also known as Urban (died 1453), was an iron founder and engineer from Brassó, Kingdom of Hungary who cast superguns for the Ottoman siege of Constantinople in 1453.

In 1452 he originally offered his services to the Byzantines, but emperor Constantine XI could not afford his high salary nor did he possess the materials necessary for constructing such a large siege cannon. Orban then left Constantinople and approached the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II who was in preparations to siege the city, claiming that his weapon could blast ‘the walls of Babylon itself’.

Given abundant funds and materials, the engineer built the gun within three months at Adrianople, from which it was dragged by sixty oxen to Constantinople.