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Who are the Mongols and what did they do?

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Published: Thu, 18 May 2017

Who are the Mongols?

They are a tribe that has variety of groups, nowadays they spread into China, Mongolia, and Russia.

In the past they were great invaders that controlled Europe and Asia.

The name Mongol appeared in Tang Dynasty in the 8th century as an invading tribe

They became more powerful after the fall of Liao Dynasty (1125). Later the Tatars and Jin Dynasty weakened them.

Where did the Mongols live?

It is the dwelling place for the Mongolians and Turkic, it is similar to tents, but has thick wall.

It is not stable, however, it can be assembled again transported easily, such as transported by camels to be rebuilt in other places.

The Founder of the Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan

He was the founder of the Mongol Empire in 1206 and invaded Europe and Asia.

He improved writing system, brought religion, and made a unified empire.

Before he died, he split his empire for his sons and grandsons.

Mongol Conquest

The Mongols conquest was throughout the early 13th Century, throughout Europe and Asia.

They might began their conquest because less people traded with them and began to trade with Jin and Xia Dynasty.

Another reason is that Genghis Khan believed that it was God’s mission.

Central Asia

After the unification, Genghis Khan started to expand his empire starting from the Khwarezmid Empire or Iran.

The population in Islamic Central Asia and northern Iran was decreased because each Mongolian soldier was required to kill a certain number of person, such as 24.

Europe

The Mongols started the invasion in Rus, the Battle of the Kalka River in 1223 between the scouts.

Over 1237-1240, they destroyed all the cities in Europe except Novgorod and Pskov.

The evidence was the journey wrote by the Giovanni de Plano Carpini, the envoy of the Pope.

Middle East

They invaded Iran, Iraq, Syria, and parts of Turkey, later they also went to Gaza into Palestine in 1260-1300.

The Battle of Baghdad and the Battle of Ain Jalut occurred and the Muslims were the first ones to be able to stop the Mongol force at Ain Jalut.

East Asia

They invaded China, which later they set the Yuan Dynasty, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea.

When they invaded Korea, Korea was forced to be the vassal and becoming an ally of Yuan Dynasty in the future.

The Founder of the Yuan Dynasty: Kublai Khan

He was the 5th great khan of the Mongol Empire and grandson of Genghis Khan.

He found Yuan Dynasty in 1271 and the Mongols ruled China since then.

He died at the age of 72 due to his conflicts and sadness in the empire.

Marco Polo and Kublai Khan

Marco Polo met Kublai Khan and became a confidant for him from 1214-1294, as well as official.

Kublai Khan liked him, he requested Marco to tell him about the world.

As a reward, he gave Marco and his brother the “gerege” (the golden tablet) to protect them.

Yuan Dynasty, the End of the Mongol Empire

It was in between the Song and Ming Dynasty (1271-1368)

Kublai Khan maintained the Chinese government during this dynasty, or absolute monarchy.

Later the dynasty had a famine and conflicts between people, and the Chinese overthrown them and became the Ming Dynasty.

Use of 3-4 Horses

Each soldier will have 3-4 horses because they can travel for a long period of time without resting of the horse.

They would switch horses throughout their traveling. Using this advantage, each soldier can scout easily and observe the routes.

Cavalry Archers

60% of the Mongols were archers that ride horses, they were very light and could maneuver.

Mongolian horses were used, they were strong and sturdy.

The Mongols also used stirrups to make the archers shoot arrows in any directions.

Breaking Tribal Connection

In the past, many tribes were fighting each other such as Naimans, Merkits, Tatars, and Keraites and they often causes blood feuds.

When Genghis Khan had new soldiers that came from those tribes, he set leaders to divide them and cut the heritage connections to prevent conflicts.

Biological Warfare

Infected Mongolians were thrown using catapults over the Crimean walls.

The plague spread inside Crimea and spread to Sicily, North Africa, Southern Italy, and Europe in 1348, or the famous Black Death.

They thought that the stench killed them, but it was actually the plague.

Mongol Bow

It was constructed by many types of material, or Composite bow.

This type of bow was used during Genghis Khan’s reign and could shoot in a far distance with great accuracy.

Range of the Bow

In Siberia, there is a stone that was inscribed says that in the time after Genghis Khan’s conquest of East Turkestan, Genghis Khan’s nephew shot a target at 536 meters.

In a novel “Khökh Sudar”, it describes 5 Mongolian soldiers hitting the target for 3 times using the bow at about 500 meters.

The Kharash

When a city surrender to the Mongols, the Mongols would gather the people in the city out and force them to be “human shields”.

They would push them in front of the army and let them take arrows and other attacks. This tactic can also feared the other enemies of the Mongols.

Flanking

The Mongols would set leaders and let them split the army into groups, about 10 – 10,000 troops per group.

They would flank their enemy from the sides using the groups of troops, such as 500 to right side and 500 to left side.

Encirclement

This tactic was used to prevent the escaping of the people in the city they’re fighting with.

Basically, they would surround the city from both side, and support each other.

If they fail, they would flee, choosing to save the soldiers, and study the opponent for the next time’s attack.

Feigned Retreat

The Mongols would “pretend” to retreat and lure the enemy into the position where they have advantage.

If they used this tactic once, they would wait for days or weeks to trick the enemy that they were really defeated, then they would attack the enemy later.


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