Contrasting views of "Mongol" cavalry in Napoleonic Wars

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,001
Canary Islands-Spain
#1
Surprisingly, I found today that during the Battle of Leipzig, Mongol units, actually Kalmyks and Bashkirs, entered fighting with the French. The curious part is that they did armed with bows and arrows, performing the classical steppe tactics of running around, showering the enemy with arrows and so

It seem the Russians enlisted them as irregular cavalry, and that they went down to Paris, where the fear to them led the French citizens to surrender. These Mongol troops entered and occupied Paris




Other sources are less generous with their performance. Marbot told that when charged by a mass of 20,000 Cossacks and Bashkirs, the later started to ride around in a wheel, loosing their arrows into the French infantry formations. But according to him, most of the arrows were weak when hitting the target, if hit, and the French fusiliers hit back them with fire well

It is a fascinating encounter in any way
 
Likes: Niobe
Nov 2015
1,741
Kyiv
#2
Horde in Europe - this thought made me remember one old interesting picture.

In the early 1970s we lived in the Russian military garrison in Grossenhain, in East Germany. I studied at school, and my father headed aerial reconnaissance there in a division equipped with Su-7B fighter-bombers.

Оne day I am walking in the city along the Radeburger Straße. And suddenly I see that the Germans are beginning to look out of their windows of the 2nd floor and look somewhere far away - in the direction where our garrison was. Then a loud military song was heard. And in the middle of the street a marching company of our soldiers appears. They sing a gallant song about some bomber that " sank 17 barges and shot down 4 aircraft" - 17 барж он потопил и сбил 4 самолета...

There is not a single European face among these hundred of soldiers. Each and every one of them looked lije the Mongoloids - the Buryats, the Yakuts, etc. This was the Company of the Guard - рота охраны - of our division. In those years, a serious problem was the flight of soldiers from Russian garrisons in Germany. They often fled while carried guard duty — and simetimes took a Kalashnikov with them. Usually tried to flee to West Germany. This caused a big fuss, a lot of people were sent to catch them, and the GDR police were also involved. The authorities of the unit from which the soldier escaped were to receive serious punishment.

Therefore, over time, many commanders began to form their guard companies in their military unit from the Buryats and Yakuts. For those, Germany was just another galaxy. Such guards zealously carried guard duty and never thought of fleeing to even more incomprehensible West Germany. If they had problems, it was at the beginning of their service. Problems with the understanding of the Russian language of their commanders

The Germans looked at this detachment with great amazement of Mongoloids .

- The horde came to their Germany

Now I have finished editing my book of memories. Soon it will go into circulation. There is this scene there
 
Last edited:
Nov 2015
1,741
Kyiv
#3
It remains to add that on the days of demobilization after the end of regular service, Soviet soldiers often converted their uniforms into a remarkable demobilization version - в дембельский вид. On their way home they could be detained at a railway station by an army patrol. But it did not confuse these mods

As far as I can see, this tradition has been preserved even now in the Russian army. Here are the soldiers in this coloring

 
Dec 2017
271
Regnum Teutonicum
#4
@Frank81
I can imagine that very well. I know mordvins were involved in the Battle of the Nation, because when in 2013 the 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations was celebrated and this giant 4 day long reenactment was done and all over the news, some mordvins were interviewed. They came from Russia and leased some horses in Germany to take part in the reenactment in their traditional dresses. So why not some people from the other side of the Ural mountains?
I remember one TV station reporting on prime time on the 4 days of the event as if it was happening live:

@Dir
I think I red somewhere that soldiers of certain minorities did often desert in Germany, because they were not treated very nicely in the red army. The balts were specifically named. So you say the soviets used people from Siberia and central Asia as guards, because they wouldn't desert as often? Do you know that this is true for mongols? I am wondering about that, because germans and mongols have a rather god relationship. I think a big chunk of mongolians speaks german, bcause 1/3 or so of the population of Mongolia studied at german universities. For example it is no chance that the mongolian contingent in Afghanistan is stationed in and defending a german base there:
Or that the Bundeswehr is twice a year in Mongolia training troops:
 
Nov 2015
1,741
Kyiv
#5
@Dir
I think I red somewhere that soldiers of certain minorities did often desert in Germany, because they were not treated very nicely in the red army. The balts were specifically named. So you say the soviets used people from Siberia and central Asia as guards, because they wouldn't desert as often? Do you know that this is true for mongols? I am wondering about that, because germans and mongols have a rather god relationship. I think a big chunk of mongolians speaks german, bcause 1/3 or so of the population of Mongolia studied at german universities. For example it is no chance that the mongolian contingent in Afghanistan is stationed in and defending a german base there:
...
Or that the Bundeswehr is twice a year in Mongolia training troops:
...
It is difficult to talk about all at once.

Mongols are very few in Russia. According to the 2002 census, there are only 2.5 thousand of them there. And I have never seen the "Russian" Mongol, although I have lived in Russia for several years.

As for Mongolia itself, this is the first country in the world that voluntarily accepted the ideas of Russian Bolshevism and became first ally of the Soviet Union. Red Army strongly supported Mongolia during the Japanese expansion in the region in late 1930s.

Why Mongolia followed Soviet Russia - this is a long history, and it can be begun with the fact that a number of researchers consider the Soviet Union in its administrative structure similar to the feudal bureaucratic medieval China. Let me remind you that in the second half of the 13th century, the Mongols moved their capital from Karakorum to China to Khanbalik (Beijing), and their empire then became Mongolian-Chinese. I hope it will be clear after this that China will become the second country that went to after the the Soviet Union by her own will.

At the same time I don’t know a single country in Europe - except perhaps Albania - that went after the Russian Bolsheviks of its own will

The disloyalty of a number of small peoples of Russia to the Russians had various reasons. For example, the Crimean Tatars actively cooperated with the Reich in the WWII because after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate in the 18th century Russia began to abuse the Crimean Tatars in many ways. And several hundred thousand of them were forced to emigrate to Turkey till the 1917. In 1944, the Moscow authorities severely punished the Crimean Tatars for their cooperation with the Germans. About 200 thousand Crimean Tatars - all of them - were deported to Uzbekistan and eastern regions of Russia. Tens of thousands of them died during the delivery to the place of deportation.

Even the family of the famous Soviet ace - the Crimean Tatar Amet-Khan-Sultan (30 air victories) was deported

The list of peoples of the Soviet Union, deported by the Moscow authorities at that time is very long.

The Germans repressed Jews and Gypsies. The Russians repressed Ukrainians and Kazakhs in the early 1930s. And the Koreans, the “Russian” Germans, the Finnish Ingrian, Karachay, Kalmyk, Chechen, Ingush, Balkar, Crimean Tatars and Meskhetian Turks were totally deported during the WWII.

In 1940, Russia annexed Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And I must say that I have never met in the Soviet garrisons in Poland and Eastern Germany, where I lived, soldiers as natives from these republics. In the Soviet Union they were not considered reliable enough, and usually they were not sent to serve in the garrisons abroad.

As to soldiers from small nations of Russia in the Soviet army from the 1970s, in my opinion, there was a dismissive detachment from many Russian soldiers, and some officers, too.

And in Tashkent, where I was often on business trips in the 1980s, there was hidden hostility between local Russians and Uzbeks. Russian in conversations among themselves are often called Uzbeks - animals (звери). And Uzbek teenagers sometimes caught Russians on the Tashkent street and beat them for no apparent reason. Let me remind you that Turkmenistan was conquered by the Russian army in the 1860s. And in the 1920s, the Red Army held violent punitive actions against Uzbeks and Turkmenians to suppress local Basmachi rebels.

And that way I understand why many Russians had to emigrate from Uzbekistan and other former "Soviet republics" of Central Asia to Russia after 1991.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2017
271
Regnum Teutonicum
#6
That is very interesting. I think I disagree in only one minor fact: Mongolia was the third communist country in the world. First was of course Soviet Russia, second the Commune of Baku and third Mongolia.
 

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