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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:11 PM   #1041
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I doubt that records of refugees can be found in the historical record, anywhere. But they most certainly existed. The natural behavior of sedentary peoples is to flee from invading armies. Especially particularly nasty ones such as the Mongols were rumored to be.
The usual procedure would have been for the common outlying folk (the farmers and village based peoples) to retreat into fortified castles. If that was even available or there was enough time. However, the reputation of the Mongols was so terrifying that most ordinary people would have heard the rumors of what the Mongols actually did to such fortified cities and to those occupying such cities that resisted the Mongols. It was not a pretty sight. So it would have been natural for many of the common folk to flee to the imagined protection of the distant west with their families and whatever possessions they might have been able to carry. Something which has occurred everywhere and at every time.
Now this is where things get far more interesting. Such refugees are notorious for clogging roads and for straining the resources of the communities they flee to in order to find this imagined safety. Not to mention the forms of social disruption that so many strangers and newcomer populations would engender. The ghastly rumors around the Mongols would have increased this aspect of human behavior far beyond what would seem as a normal refugee flow.
You can see some of these tragic consequences in modern movements of refugees around the recent former Balkan conflict and the current Syrian Civil War. Literally millions of Syrian refugees have migrated to Turkey and thousands of the various conflicting groups in the former area of Yugoslavia also moved into other areas for safety. WW1 and WW2 provided massive refugee movements in both directions to escape whatever army was on its way. One of the major difficulties the French military faced in both wars was the initial movements of refugees out of harm's way. These refugee movements actually prevented the expeditious movement of supplies and troops to the front in the beginning strategies of both wars and on both sides of the conflict. Americans do not understand this because they have no memory of having had to flee to escape any invading army. Not for over 100 years. However, some semblance of what it is like may have been presented when the two World Trade Towers collapsed and so many of the people in New York had to literally flee for their lives. This New York refugee activity actually prevented first responders from expeditiously getting to their locations. One trembles at the thought of a city like Los Angeles suddenly caught in a desperate attempt by its' many residents to escape it en masse for any reason.
I think you watch too many doomsday movies Zarin. The world population would have been pretty low during the times of the Mongol Empire. The means of transportation would have been much slower too. However, this thread is in the Speculative History sub-forum so you have the freedom to draw parallels between the Mongol mayhem and 9/11.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 12:18 AM   #1042
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarin View Post
I doubt that records of refugees can be found in the historical record, anywhere. But they most certainly existed. The natural behavior of sedentary peoples is to flee from invading armies. Especially particularly nasty ones such as the Mongols were rumored to be.
The usual procedure would have been for the common outlying folk (the farmers and village based peoples) to retreat into fortified castles. If that was even available or there was enough time. However, the reputation of the Mongols was so terrifying that most ordinary people would have heard the rumors of what the Mongols actually did to such fortified cities and to those occupying such cities that resisted the Mongols. It was not a pretty sight. So it would have been natural for many of the common folk to flee to the imagined protection of the distant west with their families and whatever possessions they might have been able to carry. Something which has occurred everywhere and at every time.
Now this is where things get far more interesting. Such refugees are notorious for clogging roads and for straining the resources of the communities they flee to in order to find this imagined safety. Not to mention the forms of social disruption that so many strangers and newcomer populations would engender. The ghastly rumors around the Mongols would have increased this aspect of human behavior far beyond what would seem as a normal refugee flow.
You can see some of these tragic consequences in modern movements of refugees around the recent former Balkan conflict and the current Syrian Civil War. Literally millions of Syrian refugees have migrated to Turkey and thousands of the various conflicting groups in the former area of Yugoslavia also moved into other areas for safety. WW1 and WW2 provided massive refugee movements in both directions to escape whatever army was on its way. One of the major difficulties the French military faced in both wars was the initial movements of refugees out of harm's way. These refugee movements actually prevented the expeditious movement of supplies and troops to the front in the beginning strategies of both wars and on both sides of the conflict. Americans do not understand this because they have no memory of having had to flee to escape any invading army. Not for over 100 years. However, some semblance of what it is like may have been presented when the two World Trade Towers collapsed and so many of the people in New York had to literally flee for their lives. This New York refugee activity actually prevented first responders from expeditiously getting to their locations. One trembles at the thought of a city like Los Angeles suddenly caught in a desperate attempt by its' many residents to escape it en masse for any reason.
Good point, the first move would be the fortified castles and higher ground. Which in the case of Hungary in the 1240s many castles in the mountains were not attacked and most likely did shelter fleeing refugees. Wikipedia, for what it's worth, has the record that the Cumans did retreat to the mountains of the Balkans.

More of a parallel to the U.S. in recent years would be the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, where entire areas of the gulf were wiped out and likewise there was migration from the disaster area to other parts of the south. But nature-made is not the same as man-made I guess.

Europe in the middle ages was used to brutality, and there were dukes, dodges, and lords that had a primary stake in keeping the public in line, any rumors causing fear would be stamped out or some sort chivalrous St. George slaying a dragon "heaven is on our side" motivational speech would be enough to inspire a kamikaze mission if need be.

The Mongols turned around before reaching Vienna in the 1240s, they tried invading Hungary again under a new leadership in the 1280s and were driven back by the Hungarians.

In my opinion, granted I'm just a dude on Historum, Subutai had the expertise capable of leveling any European city and defeating any European army - if say, there was a tournament that consisted of 13th century generals and their armies that competed against one another, my money would be on Subutai and the Mongols.

That said, by Subutai turning back, it would be history as we know it. With the Mongols returning in the 1280s and never to return to Hungary again. The only real threat to Western Europe was the initial invasion of the 1240s and if that army was indeed capable of conquering all Europe. My take is no, they couldn't, and they would have focused on attacking the major cities in the area while avoiding the castles and evade/ambush any major army that was thrown against them - then finally turn back like they did and history would be the same as we know it.

Another aspect is the topography of terrain beyond Hungary in which there are mountains and the risk for the Mongols of being pinned down. Attacking Vienna was a risky move as would venturing beyond the Dinaric Alps to go into Italy. My take is that the Mongols stopped before Vienna in the 1240s for a reason and that reason was the risks poised against them, even though Vienna wasn't better suited than say Kiev or other cities that the Mongols leveled, Vienna wasn't worth the risks to the initial invasion force and the Mongols turned backed exactly when they needed to.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:54 AM   #1043

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I think you watch too many doomsday movies Zarin. The world population would have been pretty low during the times of the Mongol Empire. The means of transportation would have been much slower too. However, this thread is in the Speculative History sub-forum so you have the freedom to draw parallels between the Mongol mayhem and 9/11.
Refugees are a historical fact. Not some "fantasy" gleaned from "doomsday movies." You might want to check out what a thousand refugees ( a normal expectation in the 1200s CE) crowding a road to get somewhere might do to any army's transportation plans. And roads were absolute necessities in the movements of most armies. As the Romans well knew. Yes, population numbers were lower then, Duh! However, people still behaved the same in those days, as they do now, in times of threat to their life. Plus, most "roads" were not the wide avenues you may wish to assume they were. Four people walking together abreast will block most of the "roads" of this time. And any single family could easily contain anywhere from 4-10 people. Have you ever tried to move children expeditiously? Especially when there are more children than two hands can manage? And everyone is in a state of panic?
Roads of this time were essentially one lane dirt pathways or two lane Roman style brick. Moreover, in the parts of Europe the Mongols had already conquered and were rapidly moving through, there were scant few of these double wide brick roads.
Anywhere between 100-1000 refugees would become an impassable bottleneck. There would be women and children plus carts laden with goods. Many farmers had carts for transport of either hay or produce.
Moreover, there is no reason to doubt much larger numbers of refugees (than 1000) were crowded along many such roads. Especially from more densely crowded urban centered regions. Moreover, as everyone, who has ever encountered a "traffic jam" knows; the more people trying to escape along a narrow path, the slower the movement actually gets. Often to a complete halt.
Unfortunately, for the European armies, all these refugees were attempting to escape the Mongols not move towards them. Thus, the Mongols had open roads to go down while the Europeans had blocked ones.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:20 AM   #1044
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Didn't the Mongols bring traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture meridian knowledge with them, using Qi Gong and Tai Chi as healing and other knowledge of natural medicine they obtained from the time they were in China? Example, the meridians of Chi energy, the theory that energy blockage is the source of premature aging, and how to work with the electrical energy of the body? I heard that Mongolians were educated in traditional Chinese martial arts, folk medicine, and how Tai Chi helps circulation and health in general, especially for the elderly? If Marco Polo brought back to Italy knowledge of how to work with energy and how to make fireworks and rice noodles, surely the Mongols having lived in or near China for so many more years, would have heard of energy medicine, acupuncture needles for healing, and the meridians of the body's accupressure points? The Silk Road had been open since Roman times between China and Europe for the trade in spices and silks. How about natural healing such as energy points meridian maps used in martial arts and medicine?
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:46 PM   #1045
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No Evidence supports this "mass refugees" theroy.

And it got holes

Mongols devastate region, refugees start fleeing, on foot. all roads leading from this region to other non conquered region that would seem to cover the very roads the mongols themselves wish to move along, and they are much faster moving than the refugees. Either the Mongols have to deal with waiting for the roads to clear or fighting congestion. Large numbers of refugees swarming along a route would in part devastate the route and make living of the land supply much harder thus compromising the Mongol supplies.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:23 PM   #1046

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No Evidence supports this "mass refugees" theroy.

And it got holes

Mongols devastate region, refugees start fleeing, on foot. all roads leading from this region to other non conquered region that would seem to cover the very roads the mongols themselves wish to move along, and they are much faster moving than the refugees. Either the Mongols have to deal with waiting for the roads to clear or fighting congestion. Large numbers of refugees swarming along a route would in part devastate the route and make living of the land supply much harder thus compromising the Mongol supplies.
Refugees do not move towards the things they fear. They move away from them. This leaves the roads in front of whomever is invading open and somewhat clear for these invading troops to easily get access to their targets. While those troops trying to get to these same invaders are blocked by these very same refugees. Moreover, imagine how difficult it might be for troops to move out of any fortified position while hundreds of refugees are desperately trying to get in. This is why many fortified positions had troop exit points and refugee entry points to avoid this very problem. And for all those who wish to dismiss this idea, refugees have been an intrinsic part of war since warfare began. Panicked populations are very difficult to control... if at all. Panicked armies are usually routed and totally destroyed. Moreover, refugees tend to increase by multiples if their defending armies are actually defeated or routed.
As Ghandi so wisely stated: "people would rather have the bad government of their own kind, then the good government of an alien people." The government of a people rumored to be as ruthless as the Mongols would have been totally unacceptable.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 09:44 PM   #1047

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Originally Posted by Summer View Post
Good point, the first move would be the fortified castles and higher ground. Which in the case of Hungary in the 1240s many castles in the mountains were not attacked and most likely did shelter fleeing refugees. Wikipedia, for what it's worth, has the record that the Cumans did retreat to the mountains of the Balkans.

More of a parallel to the U.S. in recent years would be the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, where entire areas of the gulf were wiped out and likewise there was migration from the disaster area to other parts of the south. But nature-made is not the same as man-made I guess.

Europe in the middle ages was used to brutality, and there were dukes, dodges, and lords that had a primary stake in keeping the public in line, any rumors causing fear would be stamped out or some sort chivalrous St. George slaying a dragon "heaven is on our side" motivational speech would be enough to inspire a kamikaze mission if need be.

The Mongols turned around before reaching Vienna in the 1240s, they tried invading Hungary again under a new leadership in the 1280s and were driven back by the Hungarians.

In my opinion, granted I'm just a dude on Historum, Subutai had the expertise capable of leveling any European city and defeating any European army - if say, there was a tournament that consisted of 13th century generals and their armies that competed against one another, my money would be on Subutai and the Mongols.

That said, by Subutai turning back, it would be history as we know it. With the Mongols returning in the 1280s and never to return to Hungary again. The only real threat to Western Europe was the initial invasion of the 1240s and if that army was indeed capable of conquering all Europe. My take is no, they couldn't, and they would have focused on attacking the major cities in the area while avoiding the castles and evade/ambush any major army that was thrown against them - then finally turn back like they did and history would be the same as we know it.

Another aspect is the topography of terrain beyond Hungary in which there are mountains and the risk for the Mongols of being pinned down. Attacking Vienna was a risky move as would venturing beyond the Dinaric Alps to go into Italy. My take is that the Mongols stopped before Vienna in the 1240s for a reason and that reason was the risks poised against them, even though Vienna wasn't better suited than say Kiev or other cities that the Mongols leveled, Vienna wasn't worth the risks to the initial invasion force and the Mongols turned backed exactly when they needed to.
Hurricane Katrina is also a good example of how Americans might face a war scenario. How American refugees might react to any invasion. Although New Orleans does not hold a candle to what Los Angeles would be like.
I doubt if the Alps or any other mountain range would have prevented deep intrusion of the Mongols into Europe. These mountain ranges never prevented the Romans from conquering Gaul, Southern Germania, Greece areas of Eastern Europe and the Balkans either. Nor did these natural barriers prevent the barbarian tribes from conquering Rome. So why would these "barriers" stop the Mongols? I think too much is made of these natural barriers as impassable. Yet the Mongols swept through the Urals and every other mountain range that stood in their way. Or went around these same barriers as did everyone else. People need to look at the various topographies of those areas the Mongols actually conquered before they even first set foot anywhere on the soil of Europe. And it is quite feasible that the Mongols' primary objective in Europe was the governing centers, which are usually located in very accessible topographies. If you control these urban centers you usually control the country as well.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:03 PM   #1048
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OK simple case there is a city X which connects to two other regions Y and Z. The Mongols have already sacked city Z, and intend to attack Y next. The refugees fleeing city X are going to go which way? from X to Y no point going to Z already sacked/devastated more chance of 'friendly' forces at Y.

Enemy army is at Y. At the start roads leading from Y to X are empty but crowded (if these theory holds) at the X to Y end. Which Army is slowed by refugees? The Mongols as the refugees are fleeing from their direct area and thus are on teh very roads in the region leading to area where the Mongols have not been which are the likely areas for the next Mongol attack.

Now the Mongols travel faster than the refugees, so how can the refugees get into the enemy armies way? Only if the Mongols just sit around and wait for the refugees to run along the road to where the the enemy army is. The Refugees are starting from where the mongols ARE they are going to be in the roads in their local area.

(multiplying the number of roads just deceases the number of refugees on any given road)

Driving refugees in from the countryside to city/fortified area to increase the burden of feeding more mouths different case, was used, can work.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #1049

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OK simple case there is a city X which connects to two other regions Y and Z. The Mongols have already sacked city Z, and intend to attack Y next. The refugees fleeing city X are going to go which way? from X to Y no point going to Z already sacked/devastated more chance of 'friendly' forces at Y.

Enemy army is at Y. At the start roads leading from Y to X are empty but crowded (if these theory holds) at the X to Y end. Which Army is slowed by refugees? The Mongols as the refugees are fleeing from their direct area and thus are on teh very roads in the region leading to area where the Mongols have not been which are the likely areas for the next Mongol attack.

Now the Mongols travel faster than the refugees, so how can the refugees get into the enemy armies way? Only if the Mongols just sit around and wait for the refugees to run along the road to where the the enemy army is. The Refugees are starting from where the mongols ARE they are going to be in the roads in their local area.

(multiplying the number of roads just deceases the number of refugees on any given road)

Driving refugees in from the countryside to city/fortified area to increase the burden of feeding more mouths different case, was used, can work.
Although communications in 1200 CE were not perfect, it wasn't that difficult for populations to essentially know the direction where any invader was coming from. The very first refugees would already be coming from that direction. Away from these invaders. It doesn't take long for anyone wanting to survive to get out of harm's way. Moreover, situations such as you suggested would only activate new refugee flows to even more distant assumedly safe spaces.
There would be a "cone" of escaping refugees based on routes out of the direction the invaders would be moving. However, this "cone" would be away from the invaders and limited to route accessibility. Plus, no invading army is everywhere. There is always a directional plan of conquest. And target arenas. The refugees would move as far away from these target arenas in the direction opposite the perceived invasion direction as quickly as feasibly possible. Not so quickly, however, once refugee numbers reached routing saturation. There might have been some directional confusion by a few people as this is to be expected under any panicked conditions. However, panicked populations always move away from any threat...not towards it. Moreover, the vast majority of people living in any area know which routes lead in which direction. Such refugee exodus will leave all routing in front of invaders open and this same refugee density would provide a major barrier to the expeditious approach of any defending assets. However, this does not occlude any defender efforts created to purposely block enemy movements.
Moreover, although the Mongols did travel faster than could ever be expected from any refugee flow, the refugees were always moving away from the target arenas towards which the Mongols may be moving. The actual Mongol objective to conquer these target arenas did take some actual time once they arrived to begin any assault. Acquiring any target would have forced the mass of Mongol efforts to be stopped in their attempt to acquire it. All armies ususually move in a linear way based on their over-all plan of conquest. The main intention of any defender is to halt, reverse or entirely eliminate this linear plan. And in the case of Europe, its' defenders had essentially failed to do this right up to the outskirts of Vienna. And although no one has yet mentioned it, Vienna was most likely sparsely populated. Since most of its' residents were probably on their way to points elsewhere. Points far west of Vienna.
Any refugees choosing to escape a target arena would be long gone once the Mongols actually arrived to begin their assault.
If you follow the logic of your own argument, the Mongols would be sweeping through Europe so fast that even the refugees would not stand in their way. Moreover, conquering armies, such as the Mongols, would have had no problem simply slaughtering whatever refugees did get in their way. If any. Moreover, every refugee would have wanted to get out of their way as quickly as they were able to do so. Even to the point of leaving the roads if necessary for survival. And the Mongols would not have wasted assets hunting these refugees down. Slaughter of refugees would only ensue if it became strategically necessary. Which was seldom the case. Defending armies never had this option, although I suspect it may have occasionally occurred out of frustration.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #1050

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OK simple case there is a city X which connects to two other regions Y and Z. The Mongols have already sacked city Z, and intend to attack Y next. The refugees fleeing city X are going to go which way? from X to Y no point going to Z already sacked/devastated more chance of 'friendly' forces at Y.
Simple. They'll just vanish into the nearest woods. And hope. At least with the wildebeests, they'd have a better chance.
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