Why the Mongol Invasions of Europe so small?

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,630
USA
#1
Why were the Mongol invasions of Europe(and also Eastern Mediterean) not in large scale? When they invaded Persia numbers could go up to the hundreds of thousands and in Vietnam and Japan as well. But Subtai's invasion was only 30,000. Even the force at Ain Jalut was quite small. Why? Logistics? Couldn't they provide a massive supply base in Mespotamia?
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,397
China
#2
one reason is their Khan Möngke was killed in Sichuan, China. the sons of the gold family hurried up(get back home...) to succeed the throne of Khan.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,385
India
#3
Why were the Mongol invasions of Europe(and also Eastern Mediterean) not in large scale? When they invaded Persia numbers could go up to the hundreds of thousands and in Vietnam and Japan as well. But Subtai's invasion was only 30,000. Even the force at Ain Jalut was quite small. Why? Logistics? Couldn't they provide a massive supply base in Mespotamia?
Tsubutai was only one among several of Genghis' Generals. He kept some of the force for himself, part of the force had been sent to China, Korea (under Jelme) etc.

Genghis' main aim was against the Chinese, specifically the Xia, Jin and Song dynasties. He only invaded Persia due to their blatant insult and barbaric treatment of Mongol emissaries. His invasions into Russia and Europe were never the focus of his policy and so the numbers involved were small. It is also possible, that the Mongol tactics became ineffective with very large armies. Size can be a huge hindrance in many ways, and large armies are not always as effective as smaller ones. Tsubutai probably didn't feel having more numbers would prove more useful
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,397
China
#4
Tsubutai was only one among several of Genghis' Generals. He kept some of the force for himself, part of the force had been sent to China, Korea (under Jelme) etc.

Genghis' main aim was against the Chinese, specifically the Xia, Jin and Song dynasties. He only invaded Persia due to their blatant insult and barbaric treatment of Mongol emissaries. His invasions into Russia and Europe were never the focus of his policy and so the numbers involved were small. It is also possible, that the Mongol tactics became ineffective with very large armies. Size can be a huge hindrance in many ways, and large armies are not always as effective as smaller ones. Tsubutai probably didn't feel having more numbers would prove more useful
except Jin(and Xia)-war, Genghis died for years before these wars.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,385
India
#5
except Jin(and Xia)-war, Genghis died for years before these wars.
My point was that Genghis had no specific beef against the Europeans, Eastern or otherwise. The Persians got what they had coming for brutalizing his emissaries and and the Chinese were traditional enemies of the Mongols. Thus against these enemies the Mongols brought their entire strength to bear.

I am aware that the Song campaigns started after Genghis' death, but as far as i am aware, tensions along their borders existed as well.

Also I'm pretty sure Tsubutai's first foray into Europe, was under Genghis' rule

Genghis Khan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,102
#6
The Mongols did not have unlimited amounts of manpower. Actual mongol warriors 200,000? Europe was a long long way away. Mongols had much more critical interests closer to home. (China) They obviously could not devote all their resources to campaigns a long long way away.
 

Mrbsct

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
2,630
USA
#7
The Mongols did not have unlimited amounts of manpower. Actual mongol warriors 200,000? Europe was a long long way away. Mongols had much more critical interests closer to home. (China) They obviously could not devote all their resources to campaigns a long long way away.
Total Mongol Army would be about 100,000. But after their conquest they recruited mass amounts of infantry troops. The Yuan Dynasty had army went to the hundreds of thousands if not 500,000. Didn't Timur have high amount troops?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,102
#8
The deployment of Chinese troops, to Europe, they would not be willingly and extremely difficult to near impossible for foot troops. Timur wasnt based in Mongolia or China, but central Asia closer, also used many allies (mostly mobile horse tribe stuff or pretty close to the action)
 
Apr 2012
67
#9
Genghis never went to Europe. The only major invasion of Europe was by a scouting force led by Batu and Subutai, which managed to defeat the forces of Poland, Hungary, and Russia all in about a month. You have to realize that Batu was actually the firstborn of Genghis' firstborn, which meant he was a contender to the position of Khan. In all honesty, Ogedei probably wanted to get rid of him so he sent him to the furthest area possible with only sufficient resources. There's probably a chance that Tsubotai supported Batu as well. When Ogedei died, Tsubotai returned to Mongolia but Batu did not, and his army became the Golden Horde that would draw tribute from the Russian princes until late 1300s.
 
#10
Europe @ the time was insignificant. It was also far away. The leading civilization was China and it already killed 2 Mongol Khans when Chinggis took over the empire. One by Liao and the other by Jin. Last khan to be killed by the Chinese, I believe it was Mongke, was by Song.
Persia like the other poster mentioned beheaded one of Khan's messengers as a sign of disrespect. The Mongols destroyed them for it.
 

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