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Mongols versus Western Europe post-1241

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Jonathan4290 View Drop Down
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  Quote Jonathan4290 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mongols versus Western Europe post-1241
    Posted: 12-Jun-2008 at 22:04
After the crushing victories of Liegnitz and Mohi in 1241, some books describe the rest of Europe as "open" to the Mongol hordes. The Mongols instead returned home because of the death of the Great Khan and a new successor had to be named.

Could the Mongols have conquered Western Europe as easily as some sources make it seem or would the Western European powers have been able to repel them?
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  Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 06:20
The Mongols would come across a few problems with a European campaign. At the time, there were fields of trees in Western Europe. Horses, especially horse archers, do not maneuver well in dense foliage. The Mongols' strength was in its horse archers, without them the Mongols would be at a disadvantage. Arrows might often miss their target, leaving their front ranks open for European knights. Attila the Hun learned this in his campaign against the Roman Empire in the mid fourth century A.D.

There also might have been revolts across the Empire. Before departing for Europe in 1240, the Mongols sent toumans to keep their Empire in strict order. Three touman, or 30,000 Mongol soldiers were stationed in conquered western Russian territory alone.

The Mongols would also come across issues with the Egyptian Muslims. The Muslims routed the Mongols at Ain Jalut in 1260, at Albistan in 1277 and at Homs in 1281. The Egyptians saved Europe by defeating the Mongols at these battles. So, the answer is in history the Mongols could not conquer Western Europe.


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 13-Jun-2008 at 06:21
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  Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 06:48
Stefan the Great defeated the Mongols at Lipnic and since then they never returned to Europe. There were also several Russian figures that defeated the Mongols.
 
So to say Egypt saved europe from the Mongols? I think Egypt saved itself from the Mongols would be more accurate.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 07:03

Mongols absolutely could conquer Europe without much problem. European kingdoms were dwarfes compare to the Chinese states and Kwarezmian empire destoyed by Mongols. European armies were a joke against Mongolian force. What caused Mongols' retreat was the death of the great khan and the urgent necessity of Batu's presence in Karakorum.

The same thing happened in Ain Jalut. The most of the Mongol army had to withdraw due to internal issues. Arabs having superior numbers defeated just a small part of Mongolian army.
 
What stopped Mongolian advance were just internal problems in their empire and simple fact that they had already so much posessions that it was very hard to control just because of large distances. Additional lands would just give them unnecessary burden. Besides, frankly speaking poor lands of Europe were much less attractive than the rich Middle East and China.

 

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  Quote ataman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 07:04
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa

The Mongols would come across a few problems with a European campaign. At the time, there were fields of trees in Western Europe. Horses, especially horse archers, do not maneuver well in dense foliage.
 
Poland had more forests than countries in Western Europe. It didn't help though.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 07:05
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

Stefan the Great defeated the Mongols at Lipnic and since then they never returned to Europe. There were also several Russian figures that defeated the Mongols.
 
So to say Egypt saved europe from the Mongols? I think Egypt saved itself from the Mongols would be more accurate.
 
You confuse  the 15th century with the 13th. Stefan the Great never fought Mongols. He fought Tatars, much weaker remnants of the great Mongolian empire.
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  Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 08:12
How am I confusing the 13th and 15 centuries? I said nothing of a date at all.
 
Stefan fought Ahmed Khan of the Golden Horde. Those were Mongols. Tatar is just a western name for Mongol.
 
 
And what did the Mongolians due? Conquor an internally fractured Chinese Empire and managed to avalanche smaller steppe kingdoms. After they got their new Khan they could have gone west to conquor the rest of europe but they didn't. The terrain did not suit their tactic. Some nations (Like Stefan's) managed to beat steppe archers at their own game. So I don't really think the Mongols could have brought anything new to the battle field.
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  Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 08:15
"Mongols absolutely could conquer Europe without much problem. European kingdoms were dwarfes compare to the Chinese states and Kwarezmian empire destoyed by Mongols."
 
You have to keep in mind that the lands the Mongols took over were A LOT less populated per square mile then europe. Most of their empire was steppe.
 
"European armies were a joke against Mongolian force."

Kind of general speaking and really largly untested.
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  Quote ataman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 08:42
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

Stefan the Great defeated the Mongols at Lipnic and since then they never returned to Europe. There were also several Russian figures that defeated the Mongols.
 
Carpathian Wolf, this is discussion about 13th c. Poland also was defeating the Tartars many times in 15-17th c., but it lost in 1241.
Russia eventually (after centuries) defeated Mongols/Tartars, but it lost in 13th c.


Edited by ataman - 13-Jun-2008 at 08:43
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 11:13

Hello Sarmat

At Ain Jalut, The mongols had two tumens, some 6 thousand Armenians+Georgians and about 10 thousand Auybids from Homs. The highest estimate of the Mamelukes was 60k and the lowest, and earliest by the way, was 40 thousand, so hardly outnumbered I would say. There were two or three other tumens in the rest of Syria and were all defeated by the Spring of 1261. hulegu had the power to mass an army, he was in Maraghah after all, and "distroy" the mamelukes but he failed to do so especially when we know that Baibars reached Diyarbakir (Hasan Kayfa) the heart of mongol controlled lands when he was in Iran yet for some unknown reason he decided not to go to war. For the rest of the mongol-Mameluke wars, the armies were even with mongols having the upper hand due to Auybid, Armenia and western European support.

As for why did the mongols not go into europe, well as ataman said, europe was a jungle and when you look at it carefully, you will find that all the battles were fought in steppe like areas not forests, and eventually, with millions between them and the rest of europe and europe beeing so densly populated, I really doubt if they were to go beyond where they reached because europeans were not bad in guerilla wars (remeber Arminius and Teutburg Forest).

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  Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2008 at 22:34
Um okay? I don't know what you mean.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 00:24
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Hello Sarmat

At Ain Jalut, The mongols had two tumens, some 6 thousand Armenians+Georgians and about 10 thousand Auybids from Homs. The highest estimate of the Mamelukes was 60k and the lowest, and earliest by the way, was 40 thousand, so hardly outnumbered I would say. There were two or three other tumens in the rest of Syria and were all defeated by the Spring of 1261. hulegu had the power to mass an army, he was in Maraghah after all, and "distroy" the mamelukes but he failed to do so especially when we know that Baibars reached Diyarbakir (Hasan Kayfa) the heart of mongol controlled lands when he was in Iran yet for some unknown reason he decided not to go to war. For the rest of the mongol-Mameluke wars, the armies were even with mongols having the upper hand due to Auybid, Armenia and western European support.

As for why did the mongols not go into europe, well as ataman said, europe was a jungle and when you look at it carefully, you will find that all the battles were fought in steppe like areas not forests, and eventually, with millions between them and the rest of europe and europe beeing so densly populated, I really doubt if they were to go beyond where they reached because europeans were not bad in guerilla wars (remeber Arminius and Teutburg Forest).

Al-Jassas

 
These numbers are simply false.
 
First of all, again the main Mongol force was away and involved in the civil war with other parts of the former Mongolian empire which lasted from 1259 until 1301. Hulagu simply couldn't afford another expedition to Syria because he needed his forces for other, more important, in the view of the Mongols, purposes. All the bulk of Mongolian forces was moved back to Central Asia.
Mamluks defeated a very small detachment of Mongolian governor of Syria Kit-Buga numbers range from 10 to 20 thousands, most likely only 10 thousands
Also Mongols many of whom were Nestorian Christians were disgustinly bertrayed by Crusaders who instead of supporting their Christian "brothers" refused to supply Kit-buga army, but sold enough provision to Mameluks. Mameluk army BTW consisted mainly of Kypchaks, another steppanse who hated Mongols nevertheless.
The battle of Ain Jalut is very often exagerrated as a battle of macro-scale which saved the whole Muslim world from Mongol menace, but in fact it was a small scale battle where a small Mongolian force was routed by much more superior in numbers Egyptian Kypchaks.
 
What saved the Muslim world was the death Monke-khan in 1259, then the subsequent death of Hulagu in 1265 and the endless Mongolian civil war which lasted until 1301.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 00:41
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

You have to keep in mind that the lands the Mongols took over were A LOT less populated per square mile then europe. Most of their empire was steppe.
 
Really?
 
I suggest you to check the density of population of the agricultural areas Southern Song state in the 13th century, before claiming something like this. Have you heard about the man called Marco Polo?
 
He was shocked with what he saw in China (in terms of population, industrial and cultural and technological development). Europe of that time was much less populated than the Middle East, not even to mention China. Also the density of population in Southern Song far exceeded any "comparable" numbers in Europe. Mongols, conquered all these.
 
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

"European armies were a joke against Mongolian force."

Kind of general speaking and really largly untested.
 
You need just to compare the powers of Kwarezmian empire, Jin Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Abbasid Chalifate etc. with the military capabilities of Europe at that time to understand that this is true. What happened is just that Mongols defeated European armies several times and then withdraw back to Asia due to their internal problems. The terrified Europe was saved due to the death of Mongolian great khan.
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  Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 01:13
"Really?"
 
Really. Most of the Mongol Empire was steppe. The chinese empire was broken into two and in internal strife. They fell in chunks to the Mongols.
 
"You need just to compare the powers of Kwarezmian empire, Jin Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Abbasid Chalifate etc. with the military capabilities of Europe at that time to understand that this is true. What happened is just that Mongols defeated European armies several times and then withdraw back to Asia due to their internal problems. The terrified Europe was saved due to the death of Mongolian great khan."
 
Kwarezmian Empire was just another Steppe kingdom that got avalanched over by the Mongols. The two chinese kingdoms you mentioned I already explained. And the caliphate was largly tested only against heavy crusader knights in smaller numbers in open desert or against the Byzantine Empire during its internal struggles.
 
Mongols are a strong military kingdom, to me the horse archer warrior is my favorite. Even today I look at Mongols with a bit of awe and respect. But I really think they were over rated. Stefan beat them at Lipnic, regardless of their internal issues they did not work out the same as other kingdoms. Even so Stefan was out numbered and had what behind him? The Moldovan principality? Not a very large power base. No where near equal to just the Golden Horde section of the Mongolian domain. Stefan also had to fight against the Turks, Hungarians and Poles. And against all of his enemies he won 36 of 38 battles.
 
Mongols are far from invincible.
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 02:18
Your not really paying attention to timelines are you Carpathian? In fact the Song held the Mongols for quite a while. The germans couldn't put more than 10,000 men onto the field and the only troops which the Emperor could be assured of their loyalty was the Luceran Imperial Muslim Army who were drawn from a total population of 10,000. (Fredrick II was excommunicated and in battle with the pope when the mongols attacked)

What really saved Europe from the mongols was not forests, and certainly not population but poverty. The battles in Germany were not a challenge to the Mongols - shooting foot knights from horseback. Especially after fighting the Hungarians, who were skilled horsemen with yurts filled with treasure, Germany had nothing to offer.
Truth is, the mongols were bored. No loot, no challenge, no reason to be in germany. Personally though I think Fredrick II should have struck a deal with the mongols and unleashed them on the rebellious Italian city states.


Edited by Omar al Hashim - 14-Jun-2008 at 02:22
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 02:51
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

 
Really. Most of the Mongol Empire was steppe. The chinese empire was broken into two and in internal strife. They fell in chunks to the Mongols.
"Chinese empire" wasn't broken. Jin Dynasty (which was a Jurchen state BTW) and Song Dynasty were different states at this time. Each of this large states' military capabilities far exceeded European ones.
 
But anyway even in your "logic." Europe at that time was not broken in chunks, was it?
 
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

 
Kwarezmian Empire was just another Steppe kingdom that got avalanched over by the Mongols.
Very strange statement. Have you heard about such ancient, large, stone cities as Samarkand, Bokhara, Iskhafan etc. May be in your opinion those were just steppe yurt camps or what?
Those cities population and wealth and defences far exceeded any of European cities.
They were all taken by Mongols who used superior Chinese siege technologies.
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

The two chinese kingdoms you mentioned I already explained.
You explained nothing, except that you revealed the lack of understanding of what "Chinese kingdoms" really were at this time.
 
 
Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf

Mongols are a strong military kingdom, to me the horse archer warrior is my favorite. Even today I look at Mongols with a bit of awe and respect. But I really think they were over rated. Stefan beat them at Lipnic, regardless of their internal issues they did not work out the same as other kingdoms. Even so Stefan was out numbered and had what behind him? The Moldovan principality? Not a very large power base. No where near equal to just the Golden Horde section of the Mongolian domain. Stefan also had to fight against the Turks, Hungarians and Poles. And against all of his enemies he won 36 of 38 battles.
 
Mongols are far from invincible.
 
Complete nonsense. Stefan never fought Mongols. He was born a couple of centuries after the Mongolian empire had vanished from the world's map. Nothing even to comment here.
 
About the Mongol military, some researches suggest that its organization and mobility was complitely matched only by the time of WWII. These kinds of assesments may be very disputable. But they say something.
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  Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 03:22

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

Personally though I think Fredrick II should have struck a deal with the mongols and unleashed them on the rebellious Italian city states.

It's possible that the opposite was what actually happened. There is some evidence that the Mongols were in regular contact with the Venetians. Although this is fairly speculative, it wouldn't be hard to imagine that the Venetians might have welcomed or even encouraged a heavier Mongol presence in Europe - traders benefitted more than anyone else from Mongol expansion.

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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 03:33
Venetians certainly had contact with the Mongols, they were buying Qipchak slaves from them before selling them to Egypt.
 
The city states and the Papacy had the most to gain from a mongol invasion of Europe, so the idea that they were trying to encourage it is quite possible. They were bitter enemies of the HRE at the time, so powerful "pagans" wiping the excommuncate's empire off the map would certainly have served their purposes. Not only that, but given the decietfulness of the Venetians, Milanese and Pope Innocent III (who took power shortly after the Mongols depature from Europe) it is entirely believable that they would do that.
Innocent III pioneered the selling of salvations to raise funds to fight against Fredrick II and the HRE.
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  Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 03:47
You wouldn't happen to know where one could find good sources on the Venetian reationship with the Mongols, would you? And, for that matter, I'd be interested in finding information about Middle Eastern groups that had ambivalent relations with the Mongols.
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2008 at 06:32
Not specifically. Most of what I know comes from Soldiers of Fortune by Sir John Glub, and Fredrick II of Hohenstaufen by Georgina Masson. They focus on the Mamluke Dynasty and Fredrick II but naturally they describe many of the states around them (especially their enemies)  to a much lessor extent too.
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