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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #51
Joined: Apr 2011
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If you wanna read bit more about our history I would highly recommend following books.

f you wanna know a little bit more about Mongols from the source which is closer to Mognols, read following books I've uploaded.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Download Genghis Khan and the Making of the Moder - Weatherford_ Jack.pdf for free on uploading.com

Secret History of Mongols
Download Secret Historty of Mongols.pdf for free on uploading.com
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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #52
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When people start saying something like ah Mongols were just barbaric and they just like loot and destroy things. If you spend bit more time and think about it how can they create the largest contiguous empire in history by just looting and destroying things? Unified Mongol Empire lasted at least hundred years and their descendants were still influential till beginning of 1900s. You need brain to accomplish such achievement not just muscle.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by steppeking View Post
Don't be such ignorant. Please read some books and research bit more before open your mouth. Why are some people so ignorant? Especially some people from the west. History is not just about west or east. It's all about us as a global.

Have you heard how Europe was so under developed during the medieval ages? But meantime Middle East and Far East were more advanced than Europe. Anyway it's not just about development or who is rich or powerful.
We can be rich and powerful when you are young but it's not gonna be always like that. You will get old and weak. You will be more dependant on others. Same thing will apply to nations and states. Everything has good bad and up down. So after a couples of decades thing can be different when you get old. Especially being ignorant is first sign of it.

You think Mongolians didn't care about history, books, arts and etc?
Oh boy, you are far from the truth. Maybe Genghis Khan and Mongols didn't know well about other civilizations. But they were keen to know about them and eager to learn from them all the time. Please read and learn bit more about Genghis Khan and his descendants in Yuan dynasty, Ilkhanate, Golden Horde, Timurid and Mogul.

If someone ask me about the biggest achievement of Mongol Empire in history, I would say they were bridge between east and west. They've binded East and West together firmly. Before Mongol Empire, east and west had minimal contact with each other. They were not great communication and trade like how it was during the Mongol Empire. Mongols opened this great opportunities for East and West to exchange ideas and knowledge.

Mongols were carriers between two sides and they accomplished their mission and it was their destiny. The mission was accomplished and Mongols went back to their homeland for their quite life and a long sleep in history. Who knows they might wake up one day again. Everyone in this world, we have our own destinies to accomplish something.

Pretty much a load of crock, the Mongols were conquerors, and murdered many millions of innocent people in villages moving west.

They had many great victories, but most of them was vs peasant armies of untrained troops.
This is why they did NOT accomplish their mission, and that was to conquer all of Asia and Europe from East coat to west coast.

The biggest battles wins for the Mongols were late in the campain vs Hungry, Lithuania and Poland.. using trick tactics to lure foot troops, and calvery away from protection of archers by retreating to a huge ambush.
The Mongolian Horse Archers would circle around the heavy knight carvery and foot troops and pick them off.. Then go after the archers later... divid your enemy when out numbered, then slice em up.

I have always liked the mongol horse archer tactics, but some who think they was un-stoppable should look deeper into history, the mongol empire was not un beatable and did lose a few battles.

out in the open area of the east the trained horse archer was king, but in the thicker wooded areas of western Europe, not so king.

There also was never a Teuton Knights vs Mongols either, the Polish armoy was 95% peasants, maybe 2 or 3 Teutonic knight's offered to help.

The Mongol Empire wanted to conquer all of Europe and threatened the Holy Roman Empire, but knew better. They never got around to invading the West of Europe, then the leader died and the sons came home to dispute who would be king. Divided they returned to try to achive what father could not.
No doubt 50,000 Teutonic knights would not defeat 50,000 Mongols out in the open of the eastern Europe or Asia.
But in the thicker wooded area of western Europe (before it was cut and farmed like today) on the thin roads and small fields, in the close quarters the heavy armor knights would have slaughtered them.

Also the HRE , France and England had many many more stone Castles and more population than western Europe, Archers trained daily...

We are not talking about the mongols moving into a city with 40,000 untrained peasants with swords, bows and spears put in their hands.

Taking over western Europe would have been 100% imposable in the 1200's..

That being said, the Mongols took over more land mass than any other nation in history, and out in the open ranges were vastly superior to anyone at the time. They would study and evaluate a fortress before a siege, so they would know what weapons and men they needed.

the Trick was what they needed was never enough for the HRE they so threatened to conquer. The plans were there, but they never had enough.. and time is not always free.

I would like to know how the West was SOOOOOOOO much technologically inferior to the east... I mean at the time most every one was out of the bronze age, had great steels, swords, spears, bows, crossbows, catapults etc.. what did the East have that was sooo much more advanced in the 1200's ??? .. airplanes, machine guns, flying saucers??
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Old September 14th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #54
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I totally agree with you and Celticguy.

I am a graduate student of this very topic (if it matters), and it's been my main historical period/episode of interest for about half of my life. I mention that only as a way of hinting at the number of primary sources I've looked into, as well as the number of arguments/explanations of modern scholars I've looked at.

First of all, the Weatherford version of the Mongol Empire as seen through rose coloured glasses does not mesh very well with what the non-Mongol eye witnesses said about the empire. Saying life for the conquered peoples was better after conquest is like saying life for convenience store owners is better after gangsters show up, beat him and his family up, and demand protection money which is so inordinately high, that the guy can barely afford to live on what is left. That was the "Mongol Empire" not just according to ethnocentric Europeans, but according to any literate eye witnesses who lived under them. If someone wants to praise the Mongol broadminded rule, all I can do is laugh or cry.

Secondly, the safe explanation for the sudden Mongol departure in 1242 is that news of the death of Ogedei reached the Mongols in Hungary. Rashid al Din, who intimately knew the Mongols, wrote that they left without knowing the Khan had died. Furthermore, the commander of the expedition NEVER returned to Karakorum, EVER. It doesn't sound like he was in a big rush to get involved in the election process. He just made his own state (the Golden Horde).

I side with those who say that the fortifications of Europe were creating major hurdles, and would suggest that China, being fairly stable, bureacracy run empire states (at the time of conquest it was 2 major states Jin in the North, and Song in the South), it did not have the need of fortifications that Western Europe had. I think the castles in the Holy Land, which were defended for over a century against overwhelming odds is testimony to Western Europe having a very advanced level of defensive engineering.

What clouds this argument will always be the sort of self-loathing Western feeling that Medieval Europe was a superstitious backwater compared to the much superior civilizations found elsewhere. While it is true that Marco Polo praised the wealth and population of Chinese cities, he never marveled at superior fortifications. Also, the fact that Frederick II and the Pope were fighting in 1241 during the Mongol incursions does not prove that Europe was hopeless. It proves that the threat seemed negligible after Mongol incursions quickly pulled back east of the Danube on the approach of Frederick II's son Conrad's army.

Lastly, the idiotic idea that the Mongol invasion of 1241 was minor or not intended as a conquest barely deserves to be acknowledged, but I'll respond to it with this: The Mongols minted coins in Hungary in 1241. Were they commemorative "I was in Hungary, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" coins, or what? Batu was the son of Genghis Khan's eldest son. Subetai, his next in command, was Genghis Khan's highest esteemed and most brilliant general. It was not a minor incursion, it was intended as a way of achieving long term tax revenue.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #55
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Yup, because the myriad fortesses so systematically conquered by the Mongols all along China. Central Asia & Russia were just paper walls...

You must be apologetically kidding, people.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #56
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The King of Hungary Bela IV wrote a still extant letter to the pope after the Mongol withdrawal blaming himself for not building castles like other European states. For the rest of his reign, he made a series of laws, which granted more freedoms to nobles (something he had previously done everything he could to avoid) on the condition they build stone castles. He had ramparts made of dirt before, which the Mongols could bust down. The majority of the stone fortifications in Hungary were in the west, and were not taken by the time the Mongols withdrew in 1242.

Sylla, I don't think I was arguing castles elsewhere were made of paper. However, Osprey produced a book called Russian Fortifications 843-1300 (the dates I have aren't exactly right, but you'll find it). Other sources too, including Ukrainian archaeological sites say that Kievan Rus fortifications in the 1200s, even Kiev's, were not made of stone. They might have had a base of stone in places, and a major gate in Kiev was made of stone (not successfully taken in an assault by the Mongols, incidentally, they came through the wood), but they used earthen ramparts and wood mainly. The Mongols did not have much trouble getting through those.

How come the Mongols took the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, but then didn't bother trying to take Constantinople which was part of the weak and hated Latin Empire in the 1240s? It was just down the road and it was still quite wealthy, even after the crusaders looted it in 1204.

Chinese city walls were actually not anything too sophisticated in the pre Mongol period. Magnificent feats of engineering, but they did not build citadels, or choose city sites primarily on how defencible they were. I'm not sure if I can post links on this site, so I won't, but you can read a good English article written by a Chinese guy about this. Chinese fortifications however improved by leaps and bounds in the Ming Period, incidentally right after the Chinese had driven out their Mongol rulers.... Hmm....

Korea had mountain top fortifications. Incidentally, they caused the Mongols huge problems, and the Mongols finally more or less negotiated a submission deal but allowed the Koreans priveleges. One of the conditions the Mongols always tried to negotiate was that the Koreans would dismantle their fortifications. Hmm....

The cities of Kharazm Shah conquered by Genghis Khan were often taken because of a betrayal (some faction in the city opened the gates in exchange for a deal). The irony is, in those early campaigns, the Mongols ended up just massacring everyone in the city anyway. If you read Juvaini, who describes this campaign in detail, you might be surprised how often a Mongol assault was thrown back, then emissaries came out and made a deal to turn over the city, then they were all massacred.

Bohemia had an army that came out and tried to join Henry II at the battle of Liegnitz in April 1241. The Mongols beat the Silesians in the open field only a day or so before the Bohemians could join up. Then Vaclav's army pulled back into Bohemia and took up a defensive position. Why didn't the Mongol forces follow him into Bohemia? It had stone castles. Where did they go instead? Moravia which had almost no fortresses, even though it meant leaving a resisting army in their flank, and it meant going back east several hundred kilometers. I would suggest the HRE fortifications of Bohemia deterred them from pursuing the Bohemian king. They did besiege Olmutz in Moravia though. The siege was not successful and more than one source record them suffering high casualties in the assault.

The devil is in the details.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #57
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Yup, the "details"...

So aside from the weird idea that the Mongols had never ever found real fortresses after more than a generation all along Eurasia, you expect us to believe that poor ol' Batu & Subutai were going to piss their panties after so easily crushing the Polish, Hungarian & Russian armies just at the sight of some fearsome Medieval knigths of the utterly Balkanized HRE, who had been BTW repeatedly defeated by let say both Novgorod and the Muslim arrnies of Syria, both of the latter BTW so easily routed by the Mongols themselves...

The "details" indeed...
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Old September 14th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #58
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Maybe I'm wrong then.

Can you offer a somewhat detailed explanation for the Mongol withdrawal in 1242 (as in, no blanket generalizations), supported by evidence (like what the Mongols did next)? Also, what were the Mongols' TRUE goals in the west in 1240, right after the fall of Kiev, keeping in mind that the balkanized and petty West was going to be hopelessly crushed?

Batu never went east of the Volga again, and he never took part in the elections taking place in Mongolia. Before providing an answer you should remind yourself of that.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #59

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Would the Mongols have conquerred western europe? I dont know, Im not a specialist on Mongols, I only touch on them in my field of medieval history.

But I will offer the following to be considered.

Horses require a considerable amount of fodder to keep them in top notch condition. Lack of fodder but suitable grazing means they will survive but not neccessarily be in top form.

Western Europe is distinctly smaller than the asian steppe and is not noted for its large horse production capabilities, unlike the Eastern europe which stands on the edgeof the steppe and the middle east of course.

The question is one of logistics. Could an army/armies of the mongols size and type survive for an indeffinate period, on campaign in western europe? Or would the geographical differences prove too great a burdern or impracticality, thus stalling or limiting potential conquest?

There is some debate over castels, or so I read, well considering the mongols other successes in siege warfare elsewhere I have little doubt that if they chose to besiege castles then they could very well have overcome. United counter attacks whilst enagged in such a siege and the effect they may have had are of course sepculative at best. However castles are not just military fortifications they are also administration centres, responsibel for the surrounding area. If these castles had gathered in and stored what major sources of potential food and fodder there was in the region, keeping it atleast temporarily safe behind stone walls, how would that have impacted the logistical problem above?

Given my relative ignorance on the mongols at large, my initial reaction is thus, Potentially the could have done it, but not neccesarily completelyor perhaps meaningfuly. A great raid of Atila like preportions with all th chaos that may ensue, but not a lasting conquest in the manner of central asia etc.

your thoughts?
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Old September 14th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Waterbabies View Post
Maybe I'm wrong then.

Can you offer a somewhat detailed explanation for the Mongol withdrawal in 1242 (as in, no blanket generalizations), supported by evidence (like what the Mongols did next)? Also, what were the Mongols' TRUE goals in the west in 1240, right after the fall of Kiev, keeping in mind that the balkanized and petty West was going to be hopelessly crushed?

Batu never went east of the Volga again, and he never took part in the elections taking place in Mongolia. Before providing an answer you should remind yourself of that.
On the retreat of the victorious & undefeated Mongols you are clearly well aware of the consensus standard explanation, AFAIK accepted by most hustorians, the critical kurultai after the death of Ogedei Khan (BTW my source is Harold Lamb, The March of The Barbarians) [ame="http://www.amazon.com/March-Barbarians-Harold-Lamb/dp/B000NPYFTO"]Amazon.com: The March of the Barbarians: Harold Lamb: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ATi55pcyL.@@AMEPARAM@@51ATi55pcyL[/ame] .

You have already mentioned the non-contemporary Persian historian Rashīd al-Dīn Fadhl-allāh Hamadān as your source opposing such general opinion; must confess I'm not aware of such passage.
Can you please be a bit more explicit and directly quote him?
Thanks in advance.

BTW, Batu Khan ruled from Sarai in the Low Volga up to 1255; irrespectively if he may have personally crossed west again or not (I'm not sure about it) his armies most definitvely did so for all his reign, over all Russia and beyond, at least to Poland & Bulgaria. And of course, such armies were never defeated during his life.
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