“The greatest joy for man is to defeat the enemies, drive them before you, to Rob them of the property, to see their loved ones weep, to ride their horses, shrinking in his arms their daughters and wives,” said the Son of Heaven, Genghis Khan. This Mongolian warlord has declared war on the cities, where, as he believed, lived the weak and mediocre people.
Although Genghis Khan was obsessed with the idea that the clash of West and East — the main engine of history, actually throughout the same centuries other centrifugal forces faced each other as strong or even stronger. For example, the North opposed the South. But above all, the periphery struggled with center. In other words, the world of the nomads resisted the world cities. In the best tradition of hordes of horsemen of Central Asia in the XII century, Genghis Khan launched a large-scale invasion of China, the Arab world and Eastern Europe that shook the planet and have overshadowed such events as the Crusades. Today, experts study in details the Mongol conquest.
Bet on ingenuity, not violence
During the battle, the horsemen under the command of Genghis Khan, and the inhabitants of the cities were completely different. Mongolian horsemen war never tired, they didn’t want to settle in one place. Despite the fact that these tribes are accustomed to bloodshed in local wars, Genghis Khan managed to unite the Mongol peoples and to direct their anger to win far from their lands. His army consisted of more than half a million people, and command, which consisted mainly of Mongol nobility, was a great experience.
“As the heavens are prophesied to me to rule over all the Nations, I command away from tumens (military unit, which consisted of about 10 thousand people), Mingenew (thousand people) and Dragunov (a hundred) a hundred thousand people for my personal guard. Those who will always be beside me must be tall, strong and skillful, and they must be the children of generals, prominent politicians or freedom fighters,” said Khan. So not only has he formed an elite guard, but also made sure that the various warlords are loyal to him, fearing that their children may suffer the consequences if they will not obey. The result of the great Khan established himself faithful privileged class. As well as an important institution of power, consisting of an infinite number of officers and officials for the benefit of a vast Empire.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mongols moved not mindlessly, they carefully prepared each campaign in advance and studied the peculiarities of the enemy. During the wars of the significant role played by the network flying “like arrows” whistle-blowers and messengers to stop of which was forbidden. At least in the first fifty years the enemies of Genghis Khan knew almost nothing about the Horde, we have myths, but the Mongol commanders knew the weaknesses and strengths of victims, enemies and allies, and understand their internal differences… This partly explains how they managed to preserve the integrity and without any difficulties to destroy the Kingdom, which, like Hungary, has survived all kinds of invasions.
Lightning war in the Middle ages
The Mongols deliberately used the strategy of terror. They attacked different parts of the country and sought to use the internal contradictions of the majority of medieval States. The Mongols, who are accustomed to travel at high speed through the endless expanse of the steppes, would suddenly attack any country from the most remote places. It seemed that their army was more numerous than it really was.
Merchant, who managed to flee from Bukhara, destroyed in 1219, described the fear which was inspired Horde: “they Came, burnt, killed, plundered and left”. The simplicity of this phrase plunges into horror. In the cities where I lived to a million people, there was “no live dogs or cats,” because in exchange for the slavery of death, saved only by artists, craftsmen and women. The Mongols used to devastate enemy city, turning rich provinces into deserts. They did not hesitate to kill all useless for them living creatures.
Due to the large number of horses, as each rider had three or four reinforcements, the Mongols have always arrived on time. In General, the Mongolian army has shown great mobility. Because of the mobility of visually Mongolian troops seemed more effective than was actually the case. About them there were legends like the natives of hell, invincible and not in need of food. In fact, due to the small horses with dry and sinewy limbs, the Mongols were able to survive and fight for a long time, having only a small supply of food. During the battle, they drank Mare’s milk, and in case of emergency — the blood of dead animals. Mongolian soldiers are too accustomed to the nomadic life and easily endured the hardships of war.
“I came, burnt, killed, plundered and left”
Of course, the main weapon of the Mongols was the composite bow, which surpassed the effectiveness of onion that time. Each warrior had two bows, one for long and another for short distances, as well as dozens of arrows with different arrowheads. Due to the fact that nomadic tribes relying on the stirrups, skillfully shot to go, they hit the target, even if fired, rushing at full speed horse. As a companion weapon the Mongols used a 3.5-metre lance, and were often armed with swords, hand axes and maces. However, the main weapon was the bow: they tried to avoid close combat.
By nature the Mongols had a talent to shoot a bow while riding on a horse. In addition, Khan has established strict discipline. Because of this, they successfully carried out tactical maneuvers, always trying to infiltrate the ranks of the opponent, as if driving a wedge in the center. Because of the ambush, the alleged derogation of the Mongols and all sorts of other fraudulent maneuvers regular army despaired. Their infantry and heavy cavalry were not ready for new tricks of the enemy. For four years the Son of Heaven has passed more than twenty thousand kilometers in battles and defied almost all troops of Eurasia. Including those which exceeded his own army in all respects.
The Mongols were skillful horsemen in the open field, in siege they were not equal. They used war machines, invented in China, Persia and the Arab countries. Because of failures in the confrontation with the Chinese song dynasty, the Mongols realized how important it is to learn new means of warfare. Among the first lessons he received the generals of Genghis Khan, was the use of scaling ladders and sandbags, as well as the manufacture and use huge shields during the approach to the fortress of the enemy. Each tribe was supposed to produce weapons for siege. This technique is under protection was in special warehouses and are issued only at the start of the campaign.
At the core of the Empire of Genghis Khan, which marked the beginning of the Golden age of Chinese culture and free trade on the territory of almost the whole of Eurasia, lay an important reform in conjunction with the military brutality of nomadic tribes and ancient culture of the conquered territories. As noted by Michael Pravdin (Michael Prawdin) in the book “Genghis Khan and his successors: the Apogee and collapse of the Mongol Empire” (Tschingis-Chan und sein Erbe), thanks to the great YASA, the Son of Heaven at the legal level, completely organized militarized tribal society, which was ruled by a strict code of conduct. For example, cattle rustling was punishable by death, and way of life is determined solely by the war. Those who led the squads of warriors in the campaign, was responsible for the guidance and in peacetime. They after the war, dispensed justice in his tribe.
Any male aged 15 to 60 years was obliged to perform military service
In its severity, and perhaps because of it, something the Mongols were closer to today’s striving for equality in everything, including sex differences, feminist Western society. Every man aged 15 to 60 years was obliged to perform military service — there were no exceptions. And, women had unprecedented rights, they disposed of the family property and contribute in future campaigns. The wife had to ensure that the clothing and equipment of the husband was ready for battle. And that he at any time could hike. The provision of reserves in winter has played a crucial role in the life of the Mongols. Fresh and boiled cow’s milk is always kept in sacks of sheepskin. It was a lot of cooking oil and other food that does not spoil under any circumstances.