In the early 13th century Temujin, a young Mongol chieftain, had a vision to make his nation great.
Steppe PeoplesHe accomplished this dream by uniting the nomadic steppe peoples of Mongolia through conquest.
Temujin changed his name to Genghis Khan when he became the leader of the steppes.
What followed him becoming leader were some of the most amazing military campaigns still overlooked today.
Genghis Khan wanted his army to be great, powerful, and strong. He achieved this by setting up his army based on the decimal system.
All males from the ages 14-60 were separated into units, built from groups of 10(Arav) 100 (Zuut) 1,000 (Minghan) 10,000 (Tumen)and was watched closely by the Tumen quartermaster Jurtchi.
Men belonging to these units were given command post’s depending on how loyalthey were to Genghis Khan during his rise to power. Tumens, with an occasional Minghan, were commanded by a Noyan, who’s task was to administer specific conquered territories. Ordu, which is a fancy name for field army, were made up of two to five Tumens. However, some men were given the great pleasure of being the leader amongst all the different units. This leader was known as Keshig. Keshig’s operated like imperial guards and trained potential young officers.
Each Mongol Soldier had around two to three horses which they switched outevery day. This strategy allowed the army to travel great distances fast without tiring out one of the horses.
The Mongol soldiers were taught to survive without the use of transportation, such as horses. This benefited the army because soldiers would go on scoutingmissions, in search of terrain that could withstand preferred combat tactics of the Mongols.
-Mongol Bow: The bow was the main weapon the Mongol forces used. It was known as a recurve bow that was made from composite materials such as wood, horn, and sinew. At the time, it was unmatched for accuracy, force, and reach. The way the bow was constructed, allowed it to be small so it could be fired on horseback in any direction. The bow could shoot an arrow over 500 meters. The Mongols were very skilled with the bow and were said to be able to hit a bird on the wing. -Sword: The Mongols curved Scimitar sword was used during slashing attacks. The sword could be used with a one- handed or two- handed grip while the blade was two feet giving the sword an overall length of three feet. -Catapults: Catapults played an important role in attacking fortified cities during Genghis Khan’s warfare. Instead of catapults being taken apart and carried in pieces to be rebuilt at the site of battle, the Mongol horde would travel along with skilled engineers who would assemble the catapults from surrounding materials on site.-Catapults: Catapults played an important role in attacking fortified cities during Genghis Khan’s warfare. Instead ofcatapults being taken apart and carried in pieces to be rebuilt at the site of battle, the Mongol horde would travel alongwith skilled engineers who would assemble the catapults from surrounding materials on site.-Catapults: Catapults played an important role in attacking fortified cities during Genghis Khan’s warfare. Instead ofcatapults being taken apart and carried in pieces to be rebuilt at the site of battle, the Mongol horde would travel alongwith skilled engineers who would assemble the catapults from surrounding materials on site.
The Mongol Army’s tactics and strategy is what helped make it so successful.Battlefield tactics were a blend of skillful training, communication, and disciplinein the time of chaos.
One of the most common strategies was known as the ‘arrow storm’. Mongol forces would keep distance betweenthemselves and the enemies, and then shower their enemies with arrows. The goal was to break up the enemyforces so the Mongolian lancers could finish the job. Commanders of the Mongol army would find high groundwhere they could make skilled tactical decisions based on what they saw. Unlike most of the Mongols foes, theMongol army protected their ranking officers. With the commanders based on high ground, it made it easier for thearmy to protect them. In advance of invasions, Mongols sent out soldiers to carefully spy and scout out theirenemies. Once they located their enemies, they didn’t hesitate to strike. However before the Mongols wouldattack and destroy the city, they offered the chance for their enemies to surrender. If the enemy refused tosurrender, the army didn’t hesitate to attack.
Deception played a key role in the Mongol army. When coming upon a mobile army, the units would split intomultiple groups and attack at the same time. This strategy made it seem like the Mongols appeared out ofnowhere, and that there were more soldiers than there actually was.
Another strategy that helped lure the enemies into the line of fire was by the Mongols showing themselves at a hilltop. They then would retreat into nearby woods or behind the hills while members of the army would strategicallypositioned to attack from all directions. Mongols would also tie tree trunks and branches to the backs of theirhorses. When running, the trunks would hit the ground causing a storm of dusty hills to appear, creating fear withinthe enemies and causing them to think the army was greater than it actually was.
Mongol invasions occurred all throughout the 13th century, which led to the Mongol empire covering much of Asia andEastern Europe.
Genghis Khan created the first initial Mongol empire in Central Asia. He expanded the empire by invading theKhwarezmid Empire.
The Mongols further conquered, either by force or voluntary submission, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and parts of Turkey. Mongolraids reached southward as far as Gaze and Palestine. During this time major battles were the Siege of Baghdad and theBattle of Ain Jalut. One of the biggest achievements under the rule of Genghis Khan was creating the Yuan Dynasty inChina. However it was eventually overthrown by the Han Dynasty. After Genghis Khan died, control was dividedamongst his three sons and grandson Batu. Genghis’ third son Ogedei, was elected grand khan. Ogedei directedMongols into further campaigns and conquests. later, under the rule of Batu, the Mongol army began an invasion ofRussia in 1236. These invasions proved to be very successful. Cities such as Ryazan, Moscow, and Vladimir weredestroyed.
The Mongol Army was an unstoppable force. Their tactics, strategies, skills, and weapons helped them become one of the most famous military groups in history.