Sep 25, The success of the Mongol Empire was due not only because of a superior tactics and battle strategies, but also due to operational planning. The Mongols developed an operational strategy which I term as the tsunami strategy, due to its resemblance to a tsunami or tidal wave. 1 Candidate number The Shortcomings of the Mongol Art of War as seen in China, Korea and Eastern Europe This paper will briefly discuss the nature. The Mongol Art of War and the Tsunami Strategy. Timothy May. Loading Preview. Sorry, preview is currently unavailable. You can download the paper by.

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The Mongol Art Of War Pdf

The Mongol Art of War [Timothy May] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Mongol armies that established the largest land empire in. The Mongol Art of War: Chinggis Khan and the Mongol Military. System (review). Denis Sinor. The Journal of Military History, Volume 71, Number 4, October. Aug 8, Read The Mongol Art of War PDF - Chinggis Khan and the Mongol military system by Timothy May Westholme Publishing | An authoritative.

Recently there has been an increased interest in Mongols and Chinggis Khan in particular. The first chapter is a brief historical narrative on the rise, apogee and decline of the Mongol empire. These eighty years chronicle the times from Changgis Khan to Khubilai Khan and give readers some sense of the tribal alliances and Mongol customs and traditions. Rational of going to war is generally understood within a socio-economical framework, and the intent of this work is not to explore the rational, but to analyze the tactical aspects employed by the Mongol armies. Hence the patrilineal social structure, or the economic basis for the Mongol conquest, or the reasons why the Mongols razed the cities they conquered to the ground, or even why the Mongols embarked on long campaigns or waged war are peripherally addressed. Genghis was a great organizer. He took the best of steppe warfare methods and incorporated additional techniques from different cultures. He imposed strict discipline, tamed his warrior aristocrats and increased social mobility.

Pure territorial expansion was certainly not one of them. Occasionally, we know the reason that prompted a Mongol attack. Other campaigns were motivated by other factors, personal vengeance, booty or, as Amitai-Preiss once remarked, "to keep the Mongol tribesmen busy. The author likes to pepper his text with references to western military practices, from Byzantine to French under Henry IV, and there is even one to the military quality of a U.

Navy SEAL. For lack of relevant knowledge, I cannot judge all of May's remarks concerning the legacy of Mongol warfare to western military thinkers. Yet, contrary to his view, I think that the idea of the Blitzkrieg of World War II is basically different from the Mongol concept of warfare.

What characterized the long-range Mongol campaigns was slow advance that could take years preceding the final onslaught. The Mongols eventually crossed the Danube when it froze over during an extreme winter and after several unsuccessful attacks on Hungarian fortresses, they suddenly withdrew.

Thomas of Split records this as occurring at the end of March , with these forces joining the army of Batu which had already began its departure from Poland. He had witnessed the tactic of the feigned retreat before and it had been successful in claiming the lives of many of his countrymen who had left their hiding places believing the invaders had withdrawn during the years of their occupation.

Master Roger. Bak and Martyn Rady Budapest: CEU Press, , p. Mirjana Sokol and James Sweeney Budapest: CEU Press, , pp. A History of Medieval Hungary: Tauris, , As demonstrated, scholars have tended to consider the numerous arguments which exist but provide no significant conclusion. He bemoans the fact that scholars are eager to emphasize the decisive nature of the withdrawal but content to afford little attention to unpacking why it occurred.

The Mongol Art of War

It has been endorsed by Soviet historians such as V. Carpini speaks of a huge cemetery in Hungary which had been constructed after huge losses there whilst he also claims that the Mongol forces under Batu had been put to flight at Mohi. A Crusade was called in with the goal of liberating Hungary and some sources attest to a number of victories over the Mongols, but Jackson has dismissed these as either insignificant or wholly fabricated for propagandistic reasons.

Importantly for the topic of this paper, it reveals that, although the Mongol victories in Dawson, The Mongol Mission, pp. George A. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, , pp. Ibn al-Athir. Part 3: The Ayyubids after Saladin and the Mongol Menace, trans. Richards Aldershot: Ashgate, , p. The stubborn resistance of their opponents is noted on numerous occasions and the Yuanshi does not shirk away from describing the uncertainty of Batu, one of the most powerful and feared great men in the Empire at the time, in returning to face them after suffering heavy casualties.

Furthermore, the strength of European fortifications, as well as their sheer number, provided an insurmountable obstacle for the Mongols who, at this time, did not possess the manpower or necessary technology to subdue them. Firstly, as has been acknowledged, the Mongols established an artillery corps in when they realized that the subjugation of the Jin would require siege technology.

Furthermore, although it took a long time, the Mongols were successful in subduing the fortresses of both the Jin and Song Empires. Pow acknowledges this and insists that it was the sheer number of these fortresses and the nature of their defences which ultimately defeated the Mongols, neutralising their ability to simply bypass those which proved too troublesome.

Two particular factors undermined the Mongol offensive in Europe. Firstly, as demonstrated against the Jin and Song, Mongol success was dependent on the complicity of native populations who could provide the technology and labour force required for siege warfare. This was not the case in Europe.

The Mongol Art of War

Secondly, the arrival in the Far East of the counter weighted trebuchet dramatically changed the course of the war against the Song, demonstrated by the almost immediate surrender of Xiangyang which had been under siege for five years.

No such decisive technology was made available to the Mongols from elsewhere in their European incursion. Following the capture of Kiev in , Batu organised the employment of the nerge on a territory wide scale, securing the surrender of a number of settlements but bypassing Danilov and Kremenets after failing in their attacks. As the nerge continued its advance, it gave rise to the idea that the Mongol army constituted an almost endless force. Michael Howard and Peter Paret Princeton: Princeton University Press, , p.

These engagements clearly demonstrated how even large European forces containing the elite knights of the Teutonic Order and the Knights Templar could not match the Mongols in open battle.

It was not long before a wholly defensive policy was adopted by those remaining in Eastern Europe. A Mongol detachment under Baidar and Orda attempted to overrun Bohemia at the fortress of Klodzko but the topography favoured the defenders and the siege was lifted.

Yet the adoption of a defensive policy in itself did not save the Jin, the Song or the Khwarazmians. What hindered Mongol success in Eastern Europe was the nature of its fortifications and the skill of Matthew Paris. English History: From the Year to Giles London: Conqueror of the World London: Tauris Parke, , p.

Harold T. These castles were also equipped with large cisterns and platforms on their walls capable of bearing artillery. Western defensive capabilities were observed by numerous non- European contemporaries.

The Mongol dependency on native expertise and manpower for their own siege enterprises must also be acknowledged as undermining their invasion and exposing a shortcoming in their style of warfare. Whereas many Jin and Song defectors willingly made their skills available to the Mongols and even more were coerced into doing so, many Russian weapon artisans fled to fortified places in Eastern Europe in order to escape Mongol servitude.

Akad miai Kiad , , p. The inability to employ their preferred tactics, which centred on mounted horse archers, meant that the Mongols were forced to fight on foot in besieging cities. Rubruck describes how the lightly equipped Mongol warriors possessed almost no armour, besides their leather tunics, and states that any additional armour would have been that acquired from their enemies. Carpini corroborates this in observing how they preferred to avoid dismounted combat, resorting to this only in the case of finishing off enemies they had wounded with their missiles.

Wright has considered its historic Chinese use in repelling the Mongols of the steppe. At the same time, Frederick II ordered the assembly of as many crossbowmen as possible in Germany. Peter Jackson London: Hackett, , p.

Poland possessed almost no stone fortifications at the time of the Mongol invasion. The citizens of Krakow also fled, along with Duke Boleslaw, and its citadel made of wood was burned by the Mongols. This can be accounted for by the movement of German settlers into the region during the thirteenth century, with merchants, knights and artisans endowing these towns with fundamentally German characteristics. The defenders of these castles felt confident in their abilities to resist the Mongols, expressing greatest concern at the potential for Mongol ruses.

He besieged the well positioned fortress of Klis where its defenders were able to launch boulders down the steep surrounding slopes, sabotaging the Mongol assault and causing them to retreat.

No major sieges were initiated, probably due to the small size of his force and an inability to obtain a native force of labourers to conduct an assault. A Ibid.

University of Washington Press, , p. Random House, , p. Berichte von Augenzeugen und Zeitgenossen , trans. Sweeney Graz: Verlag Styria, , p. Having been captured by the retreating Mongols and thus accompanying them through Hungary, Master Roger mentions several castles which the population had fortified during the westward Mongol thrust. Sedlar has observed how the region was too impoverished to construct substantial fortifications and many towns did not even possess wooden walls or palisades.

Bela ordered the completion of sixty-six new castles, all made of stone and constructed on elevated sites. Penguin Books, , p. Difficulties in obtaining native siege expertise and labour, the adoption of an effective defensive policy by the Hungarian and Polish powers and the nature of Latin fortifications combined to undermine the Mongol war effort.

However, it should be recognised that these obstacles were not insurmountable and political considerations on the part of Batu and the distance of these territories from the steppe also played their part in guiding this decision.

Mongol military tactics and organization

Another factor in balancing the argument is to be found in the case of the Song Empire. The sheer persistence of the Mongols in overcoming the obstacles they encountered, this being a defining quality of Mongol warfare in the eyes of Smith, detracts from the absolute primacy of specific strategic considerations in themselves as grinding the Mongol offensive to a sudden halt.

The examination in this paper of the obstacles encountered by the Mongol armies has revealed several shortcomings in their art of war and detracted from traditional stereotypes. It is clear that the sedentary neighbours of the Mongols soon realized that the adoption of a defensive policy based on strategically placed and well-defended fortifications would hinder and possibly halt the Mongol advance.

Betrayed by many of their own men and condemned by their Song neighbours, the Jin could only download time in adopting an approach which included the large scale use of gunpowder against the Mongols.

The mountain fortresses of Korea and its island capital of Kanghwa, however, proved unassailable, the Koreans demonstrating their superiority in siege warfare and naval engagements.

In Song China, Sichuan was equally impregnable and forced the Mongols to completely re-think their strategy.

Mongol military tactics and organization - Wikipedia

Only the acquisition of the counter weighted trebuchet and the assistance of Korean and Song naval engineers enabled them to subdue the fortresses along the Yangtze.

Finally, in Europe, although the factors were more complex, the Mongols were unable to secure the native expertise and manpower necessary to conquer the castles of Eastern Europe and receive any sort of formal submission. However, an evaluation of the ways in which the Mongols were successfully resisted reveals that military shortcomings are to be found in the Mongol army and that these were revealed and exploited by their opponents in China, Korea and Eastern Europe.

He has criticized the viewing of events in one area of the Mongol realm as isolated and largely unaffected by developments in other parts of the Empire.

Secondly, he has cited a tendency to view matters exclusively from the viewpoint of the subject population, with a disregard for the effects of Mongol policies on their own motives and goals. The Secret History of the Mongols SH , written in the Uighur script, has been viewed with varied appreciation by scholars in its usefulness for the study of the Mongol Empire.

The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , though focusing exclusively on this conflict, can certainly not be regarded as ignorant of wider developments across Mongol Eurasia. Furthermore, Juzjani, writing his history in the safety of the Delhi Sultanate, had experienced the invasions of Chinggis Khan and his value lies in the fact he was not writing for a Mongol patron.

House of Stratus, , p. A History of Central Asia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. The E. Gibb Memorial Trust, , p. In all these works, the influence of varying interpretations of Islamic teleology is clearly identifiable. The accounts of Latin envoys, such as John of Plano Carpini, and missionaries, such as William of Rubruck, are very different from Muslim sources in their accounts of the Mongols, not least because their lands were not conquered by them.

Whilst the distinction between missionary and envoy was a blurry one, it is important to note that the commissions of these two men were clearly distinct from one another. I am therefore limited to utilizing the English fragments made available in relevant secondary sources The Yuan-shih is valuable in recounting the Mongol conquest of the Song and the establishment of the Yuan dynasty, though the fact it was written by a succeeding dynasty must be acknowledged.

Supplementing these major pieces are a variety of letters and other diplomatic correspondence, such as those sent between the rulers of Europe during the Mongol invasions, revealing what they perceived to be the size, tactics and effectiveness of the Mongol armies. Annales seu cronicae incliti regni Poloniae, trans. Maurice Michael and Paul Smith Chichester: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Ibn al-Athir. The History of the World Conqueror, trans. Hackett, The Secret History of the Mongols: Igor de Rachewiltz, 2 Volumes Leiden: Shaw London: Denise Aigle Leiden: University of Southern California Press, , pp.

Allsen, Thomas T. The Mongol Empire and its Legacy Leiden: Curzon, Boyle, John Andrew, ed. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Seljuq and Mongol Periods Cambridge: Routledge, Bretschneider, E. As it is with most books on Mongol history, the author chose to end when the conquering empire became seperate khanates. I feel this is missed opportunity for by doing so the book fails to explain why the mongols lost their dominace in all regions they had conquered with exception of what is Mongolia today.

Other chapters go into detail on equipment, logistics, medicine, leadership, siegeworks, espionage, tactics and long term strategy but again limited to the imperial period. The three final chapters I liked best; detailed accounts of the wars they fought both from their point of view as that of their enemies and analysis of the tactics available and used by the enemies of the Mongols as well as their reaction of it.

The final Chapter is dedicated to the long term impact of mongol warfare on the societies they encountered, in particular Russia; again it would have been ideal to add the long term changes of the mongol art of war in stead of hints and little snap shots sprinkled in the chapters. It does cost May a star in my appreciation. One aspect I liked tremendously however is May's refusal to go all out great man history on this subject.

Yes Djenhis khan was pivotal but he was not a unique genius who did everything by himself, he was surrounded by several strong generals, companions and commanders several of whom had risen up from the lowest ranks of Mongol society Subotai as the example par excellence.

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