Saturday, 23 June 2018

Medieval Mongolian Warrior

In my opinion the mongols were the greatest empire that ever lived. Why? While the later European Empires had more land, they won by technological superiority, so in the Americas, with the Spanish, and later other Europeans, it was Renaissance technology versus late Neolithic/Copper age technology, cannon vs flint essentially. In the later European Empires, especially in Africa & Asia, it was 19th Century technology vs medieval, steel swords vs gatling guns. But with the Mongols they took on people their equal in technology or even more often, their superior, the Chinese, the Islamic Caliphate, even European heavy cavalry, and they still defeated them all. They used their militaristic prowess, and their tactical and strategic brilliance to defeat foes that on paper, should have easily trounced them.

The mongols were not the most heavily armored, in fact if caught by a heavy cavalry charge they would been destroyed, they also could not even sustain alot of fighting with heavy infantry. Instead the mongols relayed on their mobility, and their discipline, their ability to feign retreat, encircle and strike again, showed unmatched discipline which they gained from years of training. Constantly keeping their enemies at arms length till it was time for them to launch the killer blow. This often worked too because their enemies were the superior, whose arrogance led them to charge headlong at them, not understanding who they were fighting against.

They travelled quick too as they did not have a baggage train, this made them have the weakness of relaying on foraging, which the Egyptian Mameluks used to their advantage, using scorched earth tactics to starve them. But this also allowed them to gain the strategic ability to move fast, and often surprise their enemies with how quickly they showed up and the ways they could travel, across a desert for instance. They also had no issue about using sneaky tactics, convincing an enemy to change sides and then when they won, destroy them too or taking the offer of betraying a city, then sacking the city and killing the traitors. The Mongols hated treachery, they of course were practical and used it when if it was offered, but they always punished it after.

Its not all good though, the Mongols have been rightly condemned for essentially putting entire cities to the sword but this was a common tactic of the time, make an example of someone who resisted and others would not. Still in modern eyes this is monstrous and there can really be no justification for things like this in my opinion. Overall though,the Mongols came from nomadic herders in the steppes to creating the greatest empire ever made, against foes their superior, using surprise and tactics and their enemies own arrogance against them. Their military genius was even still studied in WWII by the Germans & Russians for ways to use tanks in warfare and their empire is still a fascination in the modern era when most empires are very unpopular.

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