Could the Mongols have conquered Western Europe in the 1240's?

Sep 2019
1
United Kingdom
#1
Hey everyone.

I am doing an extended project qualification with this very title. Would love to hear anyone's thoughts and opinions, as well as where to get any sources, whether primary or secondary, that may be useful.

I'm particularly interested in how prepared Western Europe for an invasion of this sort, in terms of military power and political alignments. I am having difficulty getting sources for this information.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,443
Las Vegas, NV USA
#3
I think the standard explanation is that the Mongol method of warfare worked well on the open steppes but not so well in forested regions.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
1,193
Magdeburg
#4
I think the standard explanation is that the Mongol method of warfare worked well on the open steppes but not so well in forested regions.
Actually, by the time Mongols reached europe, they adapted a lot. From China to Persia to Russia (which is also forested). Now, i dont claim that they would be succesfull, but i think this arguement is just not strong enough.
 
Likes: Ichon

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,313
Netherlands
#5
Uhm no. Every nutjob with 3 underlings had a fortification. Not to mention the water, bogs and whatnot in Germany. There is a good reason no one conquered Germany or even big parts in the middle ages.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,656
#7
Mongols IF they came in force could have defeated most European armies but there is a huge amount more involved in conquering than simply winning battles. I don't see any way for the Mongols to really make a conquest of Europe given the other historical factors that did exist. If we modify some other things such as Mongols of the Golden Horde not converting to Islam or ALL Mongols converting to Islam I could see Poland and Hungry falling to the Mongols but Europe was so factional and any Mongol victories in one area would probably see rebellions and attacks in other areas so a full conquest of Europe would have been very difficult- no one has managed it ever. Romans, Huns, and Napoleon have come closest and Napoleon can only be said to have 'conquered' actually very small areas- most regions choose to side with the ideals of the Revolution or submitted to Napoleon's appointment of rulers while basically keeping independent because outright annexation or conquest would have been a hugely bloody and distracting process.
 
Likes: ThePharaoh
Mar 2012
1,193
Magdeburg
#8
Uhm no. Every nutjob with 3 underlings had a fortification. Not to mention the water, bogs and whatnot in Germany. There is a good reason no one conquered Germany or even big parts in the middle ages.
Fortifications arent really a miracle against mongols, they conquered huge chunks of them in Persia of which some were more difficult that western fortifications (Alamut and baghdad for example).
Mongols didnt just came and crush everything in their path, they used psychological warfare and politics on a very big scale( they were very good at spying and bribing people beforehand).
I think the question would be how far they could go. I am assuming that they would take the path through austria rather than germany.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,313
Netherlands
#9
Fortifications arent really a miracle against mongols, they conquered huge chunks of them in Persia of which some were more difficult that western fortifications (Alamut and baghdad for example).
Mongols didnt just came and crush everything in their path, they used psychological warfare and politics on a very big scale( they were very good at spying and bribing people beforehand).
I think the question would be how far they could go. I am assuming that they would take the path through austria rather than germany.
You would need to go through Germany or the Alps. I don't doubt they could do it if you only look at their strength, tactics and strategy, but Germany at that time was a logistic nightmare. Hungary for example also wasn't pacified at all.
That being said I am glad some khan decided to die so that the horde turned back and we can just speculate about it.