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What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?

Genghis Khan is considered a particularly important figure in world history with his military talent and brilliant vision. The Mongol Empire founded by Genghis Khan is considered the largest and most seamless country in the world ever. This series will tell the vivid stories of Genghis Khan’s life, career, and extraordinary talents.

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 1.

The Mongols captured a city in the Rus region (present-day Russia).

The Mongol Empire invaded Europe in the 13th century affecting Central Europe, the Kingdom of Hungary (Battle of Mohi), the disintegration of Poland (Battle of Lenigca) and many other countries. Historians consider this to be one of the bloodiest military campaigns in history.

In charge of the great battles, there were talented generals Toc Butai and two grandchildren of Genghis Khan, Bat Do and Hop Dan. At this time, Genghis Khan had been dead for 10 years while pulling troops to capture the Western Xia Dynasty at Mount Liu Pan (present-day China).

Conquer the Rus region (Russia)

King Waokutai ordered Batu to invade the vast Rus land in 1235. Rus is an area of ​​Russian territory plus a part of Kiev (Ukraine). The main army led by Bat Do, Mong Kha and Quy Do were present at Ryazan in December 1237. The Ryazan army refused to surrender, so the Mongols massacred, swept and then conquered the city of Suzdalia. Prince Yuri of the Rus region was killed in the Sit River in 1238. The great cities of Vladimir, Torzhok, and Kolzelsk were all lost.

Next, the Mongols attacked and destroyed the nomadic Kypchaks in western Turkey and captured the Crimean peninsula. Batu appeared in Ukraine in 1239, destroying the cities of Pereiaslav and Chernihiv. Most of the crown princes in Rus surrendered when resistance to the Mongols proved ineffective. It should be known that at this time the Mongols had gunpowder – an invention from China – used in battles.

In 1240, the Mongols attacked Kiev and conquered Galich. Bat Do sent an army to the northernmost region before moving it to Central Europe. The troops going to the poles also completed their reconnaissance missions and destroyed a few Poles and then returned.

Attack Central Europe

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 2.

Emperor Henry II killed at the Battle of Lenigca, painting by Jan Matejko.

The European invasion was planned, calculated, and executed by Toc Butai. After defeating Rus, Toc Bu Dai sent scouts to Poland, Hungary, and even as far away as eastern Austria to prepare to attack the “heart of Europe”.

After obtaining complete and detailed information about Europe with its important citadels, key cities and population distribution, Toc Bu Dai sent Bat Do and two other generals out to conquer.

Batu, son of Trucchi (the eldest son of Genghis Khan), is the commander-in-chief, but the planner and direction is still Toc Butai. He was also present in two campaigns to the north and south of Rus. Toc Butai also personally commanded the army to attack Hungary.

While the northern army led by Hop Dan won the historic battle of Lenigca, the northern army of Quy Do also won the battle of Transylvania (present-day Romania). At that time, Toc Bu Dai just waited for them to return on the Hungarian plain. The two merged armies then retreated to the Sajo River but were fiercely resisted by the armies of the Hungarian king Bela IV at the Battle of Mohi. Once again, Toc Bu Dai had to take action and win a resounding victory for the Mongols.

Attack on Poland

The Mongols invaded Central Europe with 3 armies. A Mongol army defeated the alliance of Vuya Henry II, duke of Silesia and Poland at the Battle of Lenigca. The second army crossed the Carpathian mountains and the remaining army crossed the Danube. These three armies united and crushed Hungary in 1241 at the Battle of Mohi. The Mongols at that time had killed half of the population of Hungary and the empire’s hooves were only stopped when the king of Wakottai died suddenly in 1241. At that time, high-ranking generals in the Mongol army were forced to return home to mourn and elect a new marshal.

Batu, after pacifying Kiev, led troops to invade Poland and destroy the Lublin stronghold. In general, the Polish army led by King Wenceslas did not resist much of the Mongol attack.

Invading the Kingdom of Hungary

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 3.

Historical Battle of Mohi.

The Hungarians first became aware of the threat of the Mongol empire in 1229, when King Andrew II housed a few remnants of Russian troops in his kingdom. Before that, the Russian army was beaten by the Mongols and had to flee.

Although the threat of the Mongols was real, Hungary did not prepare anything to deal with it. For a country that lived for hundreds of years peacefully without being invaded, the tragedy of being attacked by the enemy was an illusion. Hungary is also not a country full of soldiers. Only wealthy noble families were trained in heavy cavalry. In contrast, the Mongols used light cavalry tactics.

Upon learning that the Mongols had entered the border, the Hungarian army was stationed at the Hernad River on October 4, 241. Even so, all that night the Mongols did not move. It was not until the night of the next day that the attack took place. The Hungarian army could not resist the light cavalry in small groups, training in the field every day and seasoned with experience. When the king fled with the escort of soldiers, the remnants of the Hungarian army were mercilessly killed by the Mongols or drowned while trying to cross the river.

The Mongols then took over the vast Hungarian plain, the northern Carpathian Mountains, and Transylvania. When the natives fought back, the massacre took place again. If they did not resist, the Mongols would recruit them into the formation. Tens of thousands of people evaded the attacks of knives, swords, and bows from the Mongol soldiers by hiding behind the city walls or hiding in the depths of the forest. They could not resist the powerful Mongol forces at that time.

During the summer and spring of that year, the Mongols annihilated the remaining locals and pacified the entire occupied territory.

End the invasion process

In the summer and fall of 1241, most of the Mongols rested on the Hungarian plain. In March 1242, the troops began to withdraw. The most mentioned reason is the death of the king of Wakottai. The retreat to the country was done to help the generals choose a new marshal.

The real reason why the Mongols withdrew is still a mystery, with many theories still existing today. One of them is a hard and long battle, but the spoils obtained are not much.

Despite winning the battles, the Mongols also lost a large number of troops, up to about 7,000 people. Another theory is that European weather was too harsh for the Mongols. Hungary is very prone to flooding and this makes winters in this country uncomfortable. The Hungarian plain became swampy and the movement of horses and food for them were difficult to obtain. The Mongols were forced to retreat to Russia in search of more grassy plains.

Continue to attack Poland

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 4.

The Poles resisted the Mongols.

18 years after the first conquest of troops, in 1259 the Mongols with 20,000 troops from the Golden Horde, one of the four great empires (khanates) belonging to Mongolia, returned to Poland. The Golden Horde was located in the western part of the Mongol empire assimilated into the Turks, corresponding to present-day Moldova, Ukraine.

Under the leadership of generals Biet Nhi Ca, Burundai, Na Hai and Talabuga, cities in Poland such as Lublin, Sieradz, Sandomierz, Zawichost, Kraków and Bytom were attacked and plundered.

In 1287, generals Talabuga and Na Hai led 30,000 troops to invade lower Poland (in present-day Krakow). These two armies met north of Krakow. When attacking the strongholds of Sandomierz and Krakow, Talabuga and Nogai’s troops were fiercely resisted and suffered countless casualties despite their victory. After this battle, Talabuga was forced to return to his homeland with some of the spoils obtained.

Second Conquest of Hungary

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 5.

The Mongols invaded Hungary in 1285.

Na Hai dragged his army to invade Hungary for the second time in 1285 with General Talabuga. Na Hai’s army devastated Transylvania and captured several key areas such as Reshin, Brasov and Bistrita. However, Talabuga’s army was stopped when it entered northern Hungary due to heavy snowfall in the Carpathian Mountains and was ambushed and attacked by the royal army of King Ladislaus IV.

Na Hai’s army was no better when it was attacked by local militiamen including Saxons and Vlachs on their way to escape the pursuit of royal soldiers. This second invasion, the Mongols gained almost nothing and were defeated and scattered.

Historians say that after the first defeat in 1241, King Bela IV drastically reformed the military strategy, built more stone citadels, making it difficult for the Mongols to attack. The Mongols were stopped in Hungary, causing the empire’s desire to conquer all of Europe to crumble. Another fundamental reason for the sudden withdrawal of Mongolian troops from Europe is believed to be the adverse weather situation in Hungary.

What bloody campaign helped Mongol rule Europe?  - Photo 6.

The Golden Horde during the battle at Ryazan.

By the time of Kublai Khan’s death in 1294, the Mongol empire had been divided into four separate khanates. Each pursued its own interests and goals: the Golden Horde Khanate in the northwest, the Chagatai Khanate in the west, Yi Er Khan in the southwest, and the Yuan dynasty established its capital in present-day Beijing.

In 1304, the three western khanates briefly accepted Yuan hegemony, but when this dynasty was overthrown by the Ming dynasty of Han in 1368, the Mongol empire officially disintegrated.

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