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Notable Battles of Medieval Hungarians

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    Posted: 14-Feb-2006 at 05:22

The Battle of Zemun (hung. Zimony) or Sava river 1167

Background:

a) Hungarian army in the XII. century

After the coronation of St. Stephen and the foundation of the christian state the steppe style army and its organization was changed. Hungary was divided to counties (comitatus) under an appointed count (comes) who represented royal power. In St. Stephens time the 2/3 of the counties territory was the private property of the king or more exactly the royal family. These vast estates were the base of royal supremacy and unquestioned power for the next 250 years. The population of the royal estates were theoreticaly the property of the king. (proprius) Of course they were very different from the classical slaves.

The army composed of the contingents of the counties led by the count. In these contingents fought:

- the soldiers of the royal estates led by the vrjobbgyok (iobagiones castri) as officers. Their commander was the hadnagy (maior exercitus)

- free people living in the country; the richer fought personally often with their personal retinue, the poorer armed together one soldier.

There were also privilegized ethnic groups with their own leaders like the Seklers, the Petchenegs, the so-called Saracens (mostly muslim khwarezmians) and later the Cumans and the Saxons. The elite troops were the members of the royal retinue. The wealthiest barons, the foreign knights their own retinues, and the rus mercenaries. (King Stephen organized his own varangian guard.)

The bulk of the Hungarian soldiers was some kind of hybrid cavalry. They wore leather armors, their main arms were composite bow, lance, and sword (instead of sabre). This troops was able to fight as horse archers or in melee. The rate of western style knights were low, they fought mainly in the royal retinue. The Seklers, Petchenegs and Saracens fought in traditional steppe way as horse archers.

The overall size of the full royal army was around 30 000 men (in foreign campaigns) and total menpower was 50 000 men.

b) The conflict with the Byzantine Empire

The Rise of Byzantine military power under the Comneni caused rivalry between the empire and Hungary on the Balkans. Altough the the conflicts were limited till the times of Manuel I.

Manuels main goal was reviving the ancient Roman Empire. And he shows uncommon interests in the affairs of Hungary. Some historians beleive that this was caused by the simple fact that through his mother (Piroska/St. Eirine) his grandfather was St. Ladislaus of Hungary. (In truth nobody knows what he thought really). All in all Manuel frequently launched campaigns against Hungary and aided more anti-kings and pretenders. On the other hand Hungary aided the Serbs against the Byzantines.

The emperor also found a diplomatic, dynastic way to unite Hungary with the empire. In 1163 according to the currenct peace treaty Bla the younger brother of king Stephen III. was sent to Constantinople to be raised under the personal tutelage of the emperor himself. As Manuels relative and the fiance of his daughter Bla (then Alexius) became a despot (a newly created title for him.) and in 1165 he was named as a heir to the throne. He was also the heir of the Hungarian throne and it could be easily happened a union between the two states.

But in 1167 king Stephen still lived and he denied to give Manuel the territories of Bla's duchy. This caused war between Hungary and the Byzantine Empire wich was ended by the Battle of Zemun.

The battle:

Neither the king, nor the emperor was personally present. The Hungarian army was cca. 15 000 men large and aided by an Austrian contingent of knights. This army was led by count Dnes.

The Byzantine army was led by Andronicus Contostephanos andthey had cca. 20 000 men. The Byzantine battle plan was made by emperor Manuel (after consulting his astrologers) and Contostephanos was bound to it.

The first line of the imperial army was light cavalry with heavy cavalry on its flanks. The second line was heavy infantry reinforced with seldjuk archers with also heavy cavalry on its flanks. The third line was the reserve: Serbian and Norman knights (mercenaries) with the general.

Dnes the Hungarian general focused all of his heavy cavalry (Hungarians and Austrians) to the first line of the centre. On the flanks and on the second line of the centre were medium cavalry. There was no reserve and there was no infantry.

During the battle the Hungarian centre frontally attacked the byzantine light cavalry and its right wing pushed back the left wing of the Byzantine army. The Hungarian heavy cavalry simply trampled the Byzantine light cavalry, but was checked by the phalanx of the heavy infantry. Meanwhile the Byzantine right defeated the Hungarian left wing and the Byzantine reserve in a hard fight stopped Hungarian advance on their left wing. With the Byzantine victory on the wings and failure of the Hungarian centre the battle was lost. It is said the after the battle Byzantines collected 2000 armours from the battlefield. Byzantine sources also mentioned the superiority of the weapons of imperial troops. When the lances broken both Hungarians and Byzantines used swords, when the swords chiped the Byzantines used maces, but the Hungarians ran out of weapons.

With this victory the empire secured the newly seized territories and ended the war.

Aftermath:

In 1169 Manuels son was born. And the plan of the dynastic union under Bla was changed. Bla lost the title of despot (he became a caesar) and his engagement with Manuels daughter was broken. He married the half-sister of the empress: Anna (or Agnes) Chatillon of Antioch. (daughter of Raynald de Chatillon).

In 1172 he was invited to the throne of Hungary and with Manuel help he became the king of Hungary as Bla III. Manuel and Bla remained close allies. After Manuels death Bla launched a campaign to save Alexius II. (and he recaptured the teritorries lost after Zemun). Gyula Moravcsik presumed that he tried to seize the imperial throne from Andronicus, but he failed by the sudden appearance of Isaac II.

Nevertheless Bla III. was one of the most powerful and significant kings in the Arpad age.

Reconstruction of Bla's face based on his skull:

Manuel Comnenus:

 



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  Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2006 at 18:44
interesting


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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2006 at 07:00

The Battle of Mohi (or Saj River)

Background:

In 1235 a group of Hungarian dominican monks left Hungary in order to find those Magyars who according to the Chronicles- remained at the east. Finally Friar Julian reached the Capital of Volga-Bulgaria where he was said that the Magyars lived in two day jouney. Julian found them, he could speak with them in Hungarian. He named their country Magna Hungaria (= Hungaria Maior) or Non-Christian Hungary. He also heard about the infamous Tartars who were the enemies of eastern Magyars and Bulgars. Two years later he tried to return to them, but they were devastated by the Mongols. Friar Julian returned with news of deadly danger and a Mongol ultimatum to Hungary.

In 1223 the expanding Mongol Empire defeated an allied Russian Cuman army at Kalka river. With this victory the Mongol seized control over Eastern Europe and became threat to Central Europe. The defeated Cumans retreated towards Hungary. Hungary continously tried to convert them and expand her influence over the Cuman tribes for the last decades. The Hungarian king Bla IV. even began to used the title king of Cumania. When the Cuman refugees (cca. 40 000 people) sought asylum in his kingdom it seemed that at least a portion of the Cumans accept Hungarian rule. The Mongols considered the Cumans as their slaves and saw Hungary as a rival, and the cuman migration to Hungary as a casus belli. In their ulttimatum they also blame Hungary for missing envoys.

khan Bathu:

The Tartar threat reached Hungary in state of political turmoil. Traditionally the base of royal power was the vast estates in royal property. Under Andrew II. the donations of land reached a new and never seen peak. Whole counties were donated. As Andrew II said the best mesure of royal generosity is measureless. After Bla IV. inherited his father throne he began to confiscate Andrews donation and to execute or expell his advisors. He also denied the Lord's right of personal hearings and accept only written petitions to his chancellery. He even had the chairs of the council chamber taken away in order to force everbody to stand in his presence. His action caused great disaffection among the Lords. The newly arrived Cumans gave the king better position (and increasing perstige in Church circles for converting them) in his powerplay, but caused a lot of problem also. The nomadic Cumans seemed unable to live together with the settled Hungarians and Lords were shocked that the king supported the Cumans in these incidents.

Mongol campaigns in the eastern half of Europe:

 

The battle of Mohi:

The Mongols attacked Hungary with three armies. One of them attacked through Poland in order to withhold possible Polish auxiliaries and defeated the army of Henry Duke of Silesia and the Teutonic knights at Legnica. A southern army attacked Transylvania, defeated the voivod and crushed the Transylvanian Hungarian army. The main army led by khan Batu and Subotai himself attacked Hungary through the fortified Verecke Pass and annihilated the army led by the count palatine. (March 12th 1241) The main Mongol army consisted approximately 20-30 000 men.

Bla began to mobilize his army and ordered all of his troops and Cumans to Pest. Frederick Babenberg the Duke of Austria and Styria also arrived there to help him. In this moment the conflict between Cumans and Hungarians caused riots and the Cuman khan -who was under the personal protection of the king- was murdered. Some sources mention the role of Frederick inciting this riot, but his true roles are unknown. The Cumans beleived they were betrayed and left the country to the South piliging all the way. The full mobilization was unsuccesful. Many contigent were unable to reach Pest, some destroyed by Mongols, some by Cumans and many noble denied to take part in the campaign because they hated the king and wanted his defeat. Hardly anybody beleived the Mongol attack is dangereous it was considered a usual minor attack of the Cumans. This misbeleif was also a cause of the death of khan Kuthen. The whole Hungarian army numbered cca. 15-25 000 men.

The Tartar vanguard reached Pest in March 15th and began to pillage the neighbouring area. Bla forbid his men to attacked them, the Hungarian army was still unprepared. Even so Duke Frederick attacked and defeated a minor raiding party, so the king generally beleived coward. After this heroic act Duke Frederick returned home. Ugrin Csk the archbishop of Kalocsa also tried to attack a Mongol contingent, but he was lured to a swamp and the armoured cavalry stuck in it. He could barely save his own life.

Finally the king decided to offer battle with the Tartars, but they began to retreat. This affirmed the opinion of the Lords that the Tartars are not a threat and the kings behaviour is not caution, but cowardice. After a weak of forced march and regular tartar attacks the Hungarian army reached the flooded river Saj. Here the army stopped to rest and wait for additional suplies. The king and the Hungarians still did not know that the main Tartar army is present, becauses of the wooded terrain of the other side of Saj. The cautious king ordered to build a heavily fortified camp of wagon trains.

It is highly unlikely that the Mongols originally wanted to cross a wide and dangereous river and attack a fortified camp. It is more likely that their original plan was attacking the Hungarians while cross the river just like in the case of Kalka. But all in all we will never know what thought Mongol generals in reality. We know that a Ruthenian slave of the Tartars escaped to the Hungarians and warned the Hungarians for the Mongol night attack through the bridge of Saj. The Hungarians still did not beleive that this would be a full scale attack, but the troops of prince Klmn the younger brother of king Bla (He was Duke of Slavonia, but primary sources often refers him as king, because he was the titular king of Galich too) and archbishop Ugrin Csk with the templar master left the camp to surprise the Tartars and defend the unguarded bridge. They reached the bridge at midnight. The sun set at 18:29 (April 10th 1241) so they had to march 7 kilometres in darkness.  It is very unlikely that the Mongols wanted to attack at night (horse archers avoid night battles), but they wanted to cross the river to be able to attack the Hungarian camp at dawn. When Klmn and Ugrin arrived they found the Tartars unprepared and in the middle of crossing the river. They succefully forced them to melee and achived a great victory at the bridge. (It was a huge bridge. According to its remains its was minimum 200 metres long.) The Hungarians left some soldiers to guard the bridge and return to the camp. This shows that they still did not know that the main Mongol army was there. When they returned to the camp (cca. 2 am.) they celebratied the victory.

The unexpected Hungarian victory forced the Mongol generals to modify their plans. Sejban was sent to north to a ford with a smaller force to cross the river and attack the back of the bridgeguard. At cca. 4 am (they need light) they began the crossing. Meanwhile Subodai  went to south to build an emergency bridge during the Hungarians are engaged at the bridge. (They were able to begin crossing cca. 9 am). At dawn Batu with the help of seven stone thrower attacked the Hungarian guards on the bridge and after the arrival of Sejbn the Hungarians retreated to their camp. The mongol main forces finished crossing the river cca. 8 am.

When the fled Hungarians arrived to the camp they woke up the others. Klmn, Ugrin andthe templar master left the camp again to deal with the attackers. Other remained there beleiveing this is also minor attack and prince Klmn would defeat them again. Klmn and Ugrin saw more and more Tartars and they realised that this is not a minor raid, but a very dangereous attack of the main Mongol forces. After some heavy fight they returned to the camp to reinforce themselves and to return with the full army. They were disappointed, the king didnt even give orders to prepare for the battle. Archbishop Ugrin opprobriated the king in public and finally the Hungarian army left the camp, but this delay gave enough time to Batu to finish the crossing. A hard struggle ensued. The Hungarians outnumbered Batu troops and the Tartars were unable to move quikly because the Saj was behind their backs. A Chinese-Mongol source mentions that Batu lost 30 of his bodguards and one of his lieutenant Bakatu and only the personal action and bravery of Batu withhold fleeing. At this moment the Subodai who was delayed by bridgebuilding attacked the Hungarians back and the panicked Hungarians retreated to the camp.

It is possible that in the camp the Hungarians would have been able to defend, but the outbreaks were ineffective and they panicked by the flaming arrows (many soldier trampled in the tight room). Finally the panicked soldiers routed andtried to escape on a gap left open on purpose by the mongols. (Fleeing soldiers can be killed more easily than those who forced to fight till death.) The Tartar casulties were so large that Batu didnt wanted to pursue the Hungarians. Subodais had to exhort him. Archbishop Ugrin was killed, but prince Klmn and king Bla managed to escape. Altough the wounds of Klmn were so serious that he died later. The Hungarians lost cca. 10 000 men and were unable to field an other army to contain the Tartars.

Monument of the battle:

Memorial tablet of the Templars:

Aftermath:

There was not an other Hungarian army to fight the Mongols, but there were some remaining troops, mostly those who did not arrived Pest in time and those who remained home. The king supposed to halt the Mongols at the Duna, but when it was iced over, the Tartars crossed the river and tried to capture the king. The royal family escaped to Austria, but Duke Frederick arrested and blackmailed them to pay a huge ransom and give him 3 counties. Finally they went to Dalmatia and locked themselves in the castle of Trau (now Trogir) on an island of the Adriatic Sea.

The fleeing king Bla:

The Mongols gave up and in 1242 they retreated from Hungary. They lost too many man, they might fear a possible german crusade, and they were unable to break Hungarian resistence. Many castles (cca. 160 castles, fortified monasteries etc.) were able to defend themselves. (The Death of the Great Khan was falselly beleived the cause of the retreat.)

Though Hungary was in ruin and lost cca. 25 % of her total population Hungarian power was not broken. In the following year the king was able to recapture the territories and castles from Austria and beat down a rebellion in Slavonia. The fear of the returnig of the Mongols created an exceptional national unity and helped to rebuild the country as a major power player of the region.



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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 00:51
Originally posted by Raider

The Battle of Mohi (or Saj River)

The Mongols gave up and in 1242 they retreated from Hungary. They lost too many man, they might fear a possible german crusade, and they were unable to break Hungarian resistence. Many castles (cca. 160 castles, fortified monasteries etc.) were able to defend themselves. (The Death of the Great Khan was falselly beleived the cause of the retreat.)

Hmm i have been really enjoying your posts so far but im not so sure about this information got any evidence?

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 02:47
Originally posted by BigL

Originally posted by Raider

The Battle of Mohi (or Saj River)

The Mongols gave up and in 1242 they retreated from Hungary. They lost too many man, they might fear a possible german crusade, and they were unable to break Hungarian resistence. Many castles (cca. 160 castles, fortified monasteries etc.) were able to defend themselves. (The Death of the Great Khan was falselly beleived the cause of the retreat.)

Hmm i have been really enjoying your posts so far but im not so sure about this information got any evidence?

1. For the German crusade. The crusade was organized (though without explicit papal permission), large sum of money collected and the troops began to rally. Finally this troops  were used in the current civil war, and the collected extra tax was kept by the lords. But there was a chance to a crusade and this might be affected the Mongol decision.

2. A letter from Bla IV. to the pope in Februr 2nd 1242 mentions 17 major fort and numerous, uncount minor castles resisting the Tartars. The source of the 160 number was Hungarian Wikipedia. I will search for more reliable source if you ask.

3. The Death of the Great Khan:

- It is unlikely that this information got to Hungary so quickly.

- The election of the new Great Khan was far later 1246.

- Bathu did not take part of the election and presumably he did not have ambitions to become the supreme ruler.

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 23:30

[/QUOTE]

2. A letter from Bla IV. to the pope in Februr 2nd 1242 mentions 17 major fort and numerous, uncount minor castles resisting the Tartars. The source of the 160 number was Hungarian Wikipedia. I will search for more reliable source if you ask.

3. The Death of the Great Khan:

- It is unlikely that this information got to Hungary so quickly.

- The election of the new Great Khan was far later 1246.

- Bathu did not take part of the election and presumably he did not have ambitions to become the supreme ruler.

[/QUOTE]

Firstly one cannot take bela's words accurately as he is obviously biased or has a hidden agenda in his words, Why the mongols didnt take the castle of hungary ,The army "invading" Hungary was a recconaisance mission,the mongols do this to nearly every country it invades,Xi Xia ,Jin ,Russia etc.The aim is to destroy the armies in the feild and kill or capture the king/emperor of that country to weaken it for a later full scale invasion which aims to capture and consolidate the enemys population,oppurtunistic capturings of enemy fortifactions were a secondary objective like the capture of beijing.Hungarian castles holding out to mongols therefore is likely due to a lack of a determined effort  by mongols and their purposefull avoidance of drawn out seiges.After all they took the Assasin castles in the mountains of syria,the much larger fortresses of china.

I agree that Ogedei's death didnt cause batu to go back to mongolia,but he knew that the mongol empire was on the verge of splitting and civil war and needed a strong base of operations in russia to protect his new kingdom from the eastern mongol threat.



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 02:35
Originally posted by BigL

2. A letter from Bla IV. to the pope in Februr 2nd 1242 mentions 17 major fort and numerous, uncount minor castles resisting the Tartars. The source of the 160 number was Hungarian Wikipedia. I will search for more reliable source if you ask.

3. The Death of the Great Khan:

- It is unlikely that this information got to Hungary so quickly.

- The election of the new Great Khan was far later 1246.

- Bathu did not take part of the election and presumably he did not have ambitions to become the supreme ruler.

[/QUOTE]

Firstly one cannot take bela's words accurately as he is obviously biased or has a hidden agenda in his words, Why the mongols didnt take the castle of hungary ,The army "invading" Hungary was a recconaisance mission,the mongols do this to nearly every country it invades,Xi Xia ,Jin ,Russia etc.The aim is to destroy the armies in the feild and kill or capture the king/emperor of that country to weaken it for a later full scale invasion which aims to capture and consolidate the enemys population,oppurtunistic capturings of enemy fortifactions were a secondary objective like the capture of beijing.Hungarian castles holding out to mongols therefore is likely due to a lack of a determined effort  by mongols and their purposefull avoidance of drawn out seiges.After all they took the Assasin castles in the mountains of syria,the much larger fortresses of china.

I agree that Ogedei's death didnt cause batu to go back to mongolia,but he knew that the mongol empire was on the verge of splitting and civil war and needed a strong base of operations in russia to protect his new kingdom from the eastern mongol threat.

[/QUOTE]1. I do not see why would Bla bias this information.

2. The Mongols tried to capture these castles, but they failed. Of course if they concentrate more men and did not lack siege weaponry they might be succeded. But this question is "what if".

When the king returned he began a large (stone) castle building programme. It seems logical that this was because of the former successes of the stone castles.

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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 06:20
Maybe Bathu didn't formaly participate in the election, but he could have been backing one of the contenders with his forces? Even if not, you don't want to be far away from an event of such importance...
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 08:02

Hi Maljkovic:

May be you can help me. It is known that Klmn and his troops had an important role in the Mohi Battle. Since he was the duke of Slavonia it is possible that he had Croatian soldiers. Do you know something about Croats in this battle?

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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 12:10

The title of duke of Slavonia was only a royal titular, something like the prince of Wales. It wasn't actually linked to Slavonia, some dukes never even crossed the Drava. From what I know, noblemen from Dalmatia mostly didn't respond to Bela's call to arms. Ironically, this helped save his life later on. Slavonian nobles mostly did respond, so there were Croatian soldiers in the battle of Mohi. One account is of a Ivan Brekovacki who was captured in the battle. He describes the end of the battle, from point where the royal army was surronded, and his description coincides with the one you gave in the forum. Brekovacki also says Mongolian arrows were four times longer then the nes the royal army was using. He further states that he escaped captivity to save his life, since the Tatars (Mongols) were executing all the prisoners.

However, there is one thing that interests me. There are records of a battle fought after Mohi, at the Field of Grobnik (Grobnicko Polje) between the army of Dalmatian nobles and Mongol forces that pursued the king that the Mongols suposedly lost. Since the Mongol forces continued the pursuit, I'm inclined to believe this battle was either a draw or it involved a smaller Mongolian detachment, but I haven't found any accounts of it. Do you know something about that?

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 18:02

When the mongols invaded hungary the castles were mainly made of wood ,after bela rebuilt stone castles because he is scared of mongol invasions

+your estimates of Hungarian casualties and numbers involved are highly exaggerated in the lower case.As several sources mention 40,000-100,000 hungarians died and in battle



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 02:44
Originally posted by BigL

When the mongols invaded hungary the castles were mainly made of wood ,after bela rebuilt stone castles because he is scared of mongol invasions

+your estimates of Hungarian casualties and numbers involved are highly exaggerated in the lower case.As several sources mention 40,000-100,000 hungarians died and in battle

1. And because only the stone castles could resist the tartars.

2. This sources must be quite unreliable or old. 100 000 dead or even 40 000 is totally unrealistic. We speak a medieval campaign. In this time an army of 30 000 was rated a very big army. The total manpower of the country was max. 50 000 men, and the king could field only a small portion of this quantitiy (hence the estimated 15-25 000) as I wrote above. By the way contemporary sources mention either the "whole army" or 10 000 men. And this ten thousand was a very large number anyway. Do not forget that older sholars spoke 100 000 Hungarians in the battle of Lechfeld, where there were only max. 8000 men. Hungary was an underpopulated country and even contemporary Germany (HRE) or France was not able to field an army of 100 000.

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 02:55
Originally posted by Maljkovic

The title of duke of Slavonia was only a royal titular, something like the prince of Wales. It wasn't actually linked to Slavonia, some dukes never even crossed the Drava.

 This is quite surprising to me. Of course there had to be cases when the title was only nominal, but in the Arpad age the territorial power of the princes was quite general. Some times the princes as dukes ruled nearly independently from the king. I must do some deeper research in this area.

Originally posted by Maljkovic

From what I know, noblemen from Dalmatia mostly didn't respond to Bela's call to arms. Ironically, this helped save his life later on. Slavonian nobles mostly did respond, so there were Croatian soldiers in the battle of Mohi. One account is of a Ivan Brekovacki who was captured in the battle. He describes the end of the battle, from point where the royal army was surronded, and his description coincides with the one you gave in the forum. Brekovacki also says Mongolian arrows were four times longer then the nes the royal army was using. He further states that he escaped captivity to save his life, since the Tatars (Mongols) were executing all the prisoners.

This seems a very impotant source. I have a book collected Hungarian and foreign primary sources (and modern essays) about the Mongol invasion, but Brekovacki's account is missing. As far as I know this source is completely ignored or unknown in the Hungarian historiography. Are there any English translations?

Originally posted by Maljkovic

However, there is one thing that interests me. There are records of a battle fought after Mohi, at the Field of Grobnik (Grobnicko Polje) between the army of Dalmatian nobles and Mongol forces that pursued the king that the Mongols suposedly lost. Since the Mongol forces continued the pursuit, I'm inclined to believe this battle was either a draw or it involved a smaller Mongolian detachment, but I haven't found any accounts of it. Do you know something about that?

I do not know this battle, but I will try to find some reference.

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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 07:04

The title of duke was certainly only nominal in the time of the Anjouvins and later Arpads, but it's possible Kalmans was real.

I'm 99% certain there is no translation. The Croatian historic archives are one of the least studied ones in the world.



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 07:11
Originally posted by Maljkovic

I'm 99% certain there is a translation. The Croatian historic archives are one of the least studied ones in the world.

I will try to find it somewhere.

Could you write us some information about the Croatian military system and units during the joint kingdoms in the Arpad age? I have hardly found any information in my sources.

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  Quote Maljkovic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 11:16

I made a little mistake, it should of said no translation.

The military system was basically feudal. Each noble had a given area of governing and a set number of troops he had to mobilize at the kings request. In the Arpad times the numbers were lowered in favor of quality, as oposed to the situation during the independent kingdom.

P.S. I have another correction to make, it seems I mixed up two brothers, Ivan and Jakov. Jakov was the one who was at Mohi and was not captured,  while Ivan was part of the kings rear guard after Mohi and was captured.

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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2006 at 20:14

 

[/QUOTE] 1. And because only the stone castles could resist the tartars.

2. This sources must be quite unreliable or old. 100 000 dead or even 40 000 is totally unrealistic. We speak a medieval campaign. In this time an army of 30 000 was rated a very big army. The total manpower of the country was max. 50 000 men, and the king could field only a small portion of this quantitiy (hence the estimated 15-25 000) as I wrote above. By the way contemporary sources mention either the "whole army" or 10 000 men. And this ten thousand was a very large number anyway. Do not forget that older sholars spoke 100 000 Hungarians in the battle of Lechfeld, where there were only max. 8000 men. Hungary was an underpopulated country and even contemporary Germany (HRE) or France was not able to field an army of 100 000.

[/QUOTE]

Stone castles couldnt stop Mongols ,firstly castles are small and can only hold thousands of population,they hold no centre of power only can protect local princes,the mongols sacked the citys of hungary,if they made a concerted effort to take castles then we would see them easily taking them , after all they took the mountain top Assasins castles in syria which the crusaders or arabs couldnt.They took the city of Sarmakland in 1 week defended by 100,000 soldiers with walls higher than any castle in europe,and then they took the many fortified citys of China which also had walls higher than any city in europe.

Only in medieval western europe are armies of small size its not uncommon for other countries to feild 100,000 troops,Mongols mobilized 100,000 for invading china,even in roman times the romans could mobilize 70,000 men for the battle of carhaee.

The Hungarian army (some 60,000 on the eve of the Battle of Muhi)/11

 

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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 02:57
Originally posted by BigL

 

Originally posted by Raider

 1. And because only the stone castles could resist the tartars.

2. This sources must be quite unreliable or old. 100 000 dead or even 40 000 is totally unrealistic. We speak a medieval campaign. In this time an army of 30 000 was rated a very big army. The total manpower of the country was max. 50 000 men, and the king could field only a small portion of this quantitiy (hence the estimated 15-25 000) as I wrote above. By the way contemporary sources mention either the "whole army" or 10 000 men. And this ten thousand was a very large number anyway. Do not forget that older sholars spoke 100 000 Hungarians in the battle of Lechfeld, where there were only max. 8000 men. Hungary was an underpopulated country and even contemporary Germany (HRE) or France was not able to field an army of 100 000.

Stone castles couldnt stop Mongols ,firstly castles are small and can only hold thousands of population,they hold no centre of power only can protect local princes,the mongols sacked the citys of hungary,if they made a concerted effort to take castles then we would see them easily taking them , after all they took the mountain top Assasins castles in syria which the crusaders or arabs couldnt.They took the city of Sarmakland in 1 week defended by 100,000 soldiers with walls higher than any castle in europe,and then they took the many fortified citys of China which also had walls higher than any city in europe.

Only in medieval western europe are armies of small size its not uncommon for other countries to feild 100,000 troops,Mongols mobilized 100,000 for invading china,even in roman times the romans could mobilize 70,000 men for the battle of carhaee.

The Hungarian army (some 60,000 on the eve of the Battle of Muhi)/11

1. In generally you are right. But in this particular case you are not. Stone castles built in hills were able to resist the Mongols during the Hungarian invasion. This is proven fact. (We have royal charters in which the king granted land to the defenders.) I do not doubt that the Mongols had the ability of capturing large fortresses if they had enough time, men and adequate siege weapons with qualified crew. So in Hungary some of these factors were surely missing.

Naturally you are right, the castles were only capable of protecting a small protion of the population, but this do not change the fact that these castles were needed to control the country.

2. I agree. This was the cause of Hungary (only 1.5 million population) was generally able to field an army of 30 000 men. But those huge numbers you spoke are unrealistic. Of course thre are different recontstructions of the battle. (my source was: Ngyesi, Lajos: A muhi csata 1241 prilis 11. in Hadtrtneti Kzlemnyek 2/1997.) In my observation the older renconstruction means larger numbers. By the way the text on your link mentions 40 -50 000 men not 60 000. According to primary sources the Mongols were able to shoot arrows to all parts of the camp. A camp of 100 000 or even  60 000 horsemen would be simply too large to this actions.

We simply cannot count with so large numbers. Do not forget the Mongols destroyed an army in Transylvania and an other at Verecke Pass separated. And we know that the full mobilization was unsuccesful. If the Hungarians had so large army that the king was able to field and army of 60 or 100 000 against all these factors the king why not used this army against any other enemy? No, the 100 000 Hungarian soldiers is a myth just like the 1 million Persians at Thermopyle.



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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 03:03
Originally posted by Maljkovic

I made a little mistake, it should of said no translation.

The military system was basically feudal. Each noble had a given area of governing and a set number of troops he had to mobilize at the kings request. In the Arpad times the numbers were lowered in favor of quality, as oposed to the situation during the independent kingdom.

P.S. I have another correction to make, it seems I mixed up two brothers, Ivan and Jakov. Jakov was the one who was at Mohi and was not captured,  while Ivan was part of the kings rear guard after Mohi and was captured.

Were this warriors horsemen or foot soldiers? What kind of weapons did they use.

I have hardly found anything about the battle of Grobnick so far. One essay metions that In 1916 Croats carried ground of important battlefields (where croats defended the kingdom) to the coronation mound of Charles IV to show loyalty. One of these battles was Grobnick.



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  Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2006 at 03:49

"A southern army attacked Transylvania, defeated the voivod and crushed the Transylvanian Hungarian army" any info on this battle?

"The Tartar casulties were so large that Batu didnt wanted to pursue the Hungarians" ,Where did you get this from, i know the mongol casualties at the bridgehead were high,but werent the other mongol divisions relatively untouched.

 "A camp of 100 000 or even  60 000 horsemen would be simply too large to this actions." mongol bow can shoot roughly 300m ,the mongols surrounded the camp so shooting from all directions,does this mean the camp has a diameter of 600meters/

How many of the hungarians are horsemen?

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