Why did Jin & Xia not ally with each other to stop the Mongol threat earliest?

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,482
Malaysia
Why did Jin & Xia not ally with each other to stop the Mongol threat earliest?

It was like, when Western Xia was invaded by the Mongols, Jin didn't help Xia; while when Jin was invaded, Western Xia didn't help them Jin; instead of allying together and fighting the Mongols, these two apparently bighead realms chose to butt & batter each other's brains out. And later Jin even had the audacity to attack Song, which was an exercise in abject failure.

Anyone has any inspired thoughts?
 
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Jan 2016
591
United States, MO
The mongols were a somewhat unexpected threat, and by the time they got to xi xia territory it was already too late.
 
May 2009
1,315
I could easily imagine the same mistakes being made today. Look how many nations dragged their feet in the face of the Nazi threat (the USA being one of them). Or how the US empowered someone like Bin Laden just to spite Russia. Even after it became obvious that Bin Laden was a threat to the US, nothing was done.
 
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heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,510
China
they had been allies. but in the first invasion against xia, jin did not respond. foolish or smart, to us, we already know the spoilers. to jin rulers, they might just want to avoid a unnecessary war. then xia was ordered to attack jin. indeed, the two guys went into several battles with hate.

but it is aslo true that the two rulers were considered to be worse than so-so level.
 
Feb 2018
235
US
I could easily imagine the same mistakes being made today. Look how many nations dragged their feet in the face of the Nazi threat (the USA being one of them). Or how the US empowered someone like Bin Laden just to spite Russia. Even after it became obvious that Bin Laden was a threat to the US, nothing was done.
Good point. It's really easy to underestimate potential threats. It's not like in 1209 anyone knew they were facing a collection of some of the best generals in history that would conquer more than anyone else in a few generations. The Jin had just finished a war against the Song and probably weren't super eager to fight another one. And once the Ala Shan line was penetrated the Xi Xia heartland was going to be devastated even if the capital could hold out. Thus the Tanguts becoming Mongol vassals seems quite a reasonable choice.

What truly is mind-boggling is the actions of Xi Xia's Asha Gambo and the weak Emperor he served. They knew how skilled the Mongols were by 1223, and yet they committed the worst sin against Genghis Khan, betrayal, after losing so many troops against the Jin. In any event I don't think this Jin-Xia alliance did anything besides free up troops. It's not like the Jin were eager to venture out too aggressively beyond their powerful position in Henan/Wei River valley.

The warring states period showed how difficult it was to maintain coalitions between rivals who had been at war so much, even against an aggressive enemy that had proven many times to be very dangerous. The period from the late 900's to the Mongol conquests also had great levels of bellicosity and frequent plus brutal wars between the same four powers in China. Unifying 'Chinese' resistance at that point against the Mongols would be a diplomatic miracle; Song envoys would attach the caitiff label when referring to the Jin heh.
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
I could easily imagine the same mistakes being made today. Look how many nations dragged their feet in the face of the Nazi threat (the USA being one of them). Or how the US empowered someone like Bin Laden just to spite Russia. Even after it became obvious that Bin Laden was a threat to the US, nothing was done.
I thought Bin Laden just took over control of Afghanistan from the Mujahideen. I didn't think we supported him.
 
May 2009
1,315
I think machismo was a very big part of Tangut culture, so arrogance and pride probably contributed to many of their stupid decisions. They were also probably betting that the Mongols would be defeated in Khwarazm. They probably took Genghis Khan's request for troops as an act of desperation and smelled weakness. The Mongols were certainly the underdogs in that fight, so its easy to see why the Tanguts might've assumed that Genghis Khan had finally bitten off more than he could chew and was about to self-destruct.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,482
Malaysia
^
Mongols were underdogs against Khwarezm? Really. I wasn't really aware all this while that Khwarezm was that powerful. My bad.
 
May 2009
1,315
Yeah, I believe Khwarazm was at its height of power when the Mongols attacked. Supposedly the Shah was even entertaining the idea of invading China.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,437
I think machismo was a very big part of Tangut culture, so arrogance and pride probably contributed to many of their stupid decisions. They were also probably betting that the Mongols would be defeated in Khwarazm. They probably took Genghis Khan's request for troops as an act of desperation and smelled weakness. The Mongols were certainly the underdogs in that fight, so its easy to see why the Tanguts might've assumed that Genghis Khan had finally bitten off more than he could chew and was about to self-destruct.
No Chinese or Mongolian sources inquired much about empires west of China. The Sino-Mongolian source Shengwu qingzheng lu mentioned very little about the Mongol campaigns in the Islamic world (the yuanshi also virtually mentioned nothing about them). For them, the mandate of heaven lies in China (with the addition of Mongolia for the Mongols) and all other campaigns were merely sideshows in world conquest. The Khwarezmian Empire was also once the vassal of the small Western Liao, whereas the Mongols just conquered the capital of Jin, in the heart of the central plains. There is no way that the Tanguts viewed the Khwarezmian as a greater power.