Mongol Invasions and Art of War

The Mongols dominated enormous paths of Asia between the 13th and 14th century CE, attributed to their rapid simple horse regiment and outstanding bowmen. However, another substantial aid to the accomplishment involved adopting their rivals’ strategies and technology that let them overthrow well-known army authorities in China, Persia, and Eastern Europe.[1]. Acclimatizing to diverse problems and territory, the Mongols became proficient at both siege, and marine combat significantly changed hunts from their roaming roots on the Asian steppe. Moreover, mediation, reconnaissance, and fright were integrated with equal measure to triumph in a battle prior to the start.  Eventually, the Mongols established the biggest kingdom, and their brutality during warfare inflicted terror over territories they dominated, with generals attaining frightening names. For instance, they were identified as hounds of war while the soldiers were branded as the devil’s jockeys. To defeat the enemies, the Mongols integrated various tactics that aided in successfully conquering the enemies. The research seeks to identify the Mongol invasions and art of war and expound on the Mongol tactics.

Mongol Invasions and Art of War

The fundamental legitimacy sources for a Mongol ethnic leader was the capability to effectively carry out a combat and obtain valuables for his citizens. Under the reigns of the Mongol Kingdom founder, Genghis Khan (r. 1206-1227 CE), the Mongol inhabitants were restructured to precisely prepare the state for perpetual war.[2] Approximately 98 units identified as minghan were developed and were projected to present the militia with a army of 1000 males.  The khan likewise possessed a private army of 10,000 male, also identified as the kesikten, which was considered the exclusive standing military of the Mongols and which offered training to commanders drawn from other units. Leaders made sure of loyalty and enhanced the likelihoods of achievement by elevating commandants founded on excellence instead of using seniority within the clan.  Commanders could anticipate obtaining both loot and property or honor from dominated persons.

Preparation and logistics was another area that was prudently deliberated, best viewed in the intricate operations within southern Russia and Eastern Europe of 1237 to 1242 CE. In this case, numerous Mongol militaries engaged their distinct targets and then reorganized at pre-set durations and positions. Substantial assistance in identifying the location of cronies and adversaries at any point was regarded an outstanding Mongol messenger service, the yam, with a sequence of posts kept with materials and dynamic horses. Smoke indications were likewise utilized as a communication approach between alienated units. Another strong point involved the preparedness in engaging non-Mongols. Uyghur Turks were enlisted in massive numbers, along with Kurds and Khitans, while Korean and Chinese inhabitants were a noteworthy part of the army that attacked Japan between 1274 and 1281 CE. In general, the Mongols were always prepared for warfare.

Mongol Tactics

One of the significant reasons attributed to the achievement of Mongols in warfare was their training and tactics prior to meeting the foe.  Emissaries in the form of nomadic traders or clerics and renegades collected information pertaining to the opponent’s powers and flaws. They exposed any rebels within or between the rival’s associates deemed to be of probable assistance to the Mongol warfare cause.[3]An extraordinary meeting of Mongol leaders was convened prior to any extensive campaign to discuss plans and strategies comprehensively. Upon accessing the battlefield, intelligence would continuously be collected, and emissaries operated up to approximately seventy miles beyond and either side of disseminated Mongol post to evade any case of an unintended ambush.

Mongol militias moved tremendously quick and tried to outwit their rivals by utilizing speed and organization. The fundamental objective was battling the foes when deemed essential and committing enormous numbers only when a particular weak spot had been acknowledged. This approach was aimed at presenting full outcomes for reduced losses. Back-up units of approximately 1,000 soldiers were split into teams of one hundred, which was in sequence distributed into divisions of ten.[4]  In most cases, Mongol cavalry was mainly comprised of associates that staged a war based on their traditions.  Their adversaries typically outstripped the Mongols in field combats. Nonetheless, they overwhelmed this shortcoming through more incredible speed and strategies. A critical defect of fielding comparatively small militaries involved the challenge in substituting the wounded soldiers. Frequently overpowered troops were recruited; however, in campaigns staged in Eastern Europe, where allegiances were robust, it did sometimes demand a removal until back-ups would land from Mongolia.

Surprise attack was another distinctive approach, as was integrating smoke from blazing grassland or dust vapors to facade the movement of troops, or staging an assault at the least predictable duration, for instance, during a snowstorm. The Mongols similarly incorporated several infrequent approaches to outwit their opponents. For instance, they occasionally utilized felt mannequins. They positioned them on horses between mounted troops intending to make the enemy believe they were encountering a more enormous army than they essentially were. The other inventive approach involved dropping fliers from kites over the beleaguered Jin city of Kaifeng (1232 CE) that mainly fortified individuals to decamp for a cash incentive.

One of the most effective tactics deployed during Mongol warfare was fear. For instance, in the event of capturing a city, the whole civilian populace would have stayed. They include men, females, kids, clerics, along with kittens and dogs – with a handful of surviving individuals sanctioned to get away and recount the killing in the adjacent cities. Subsequently, when cities overheard the Mongol’s approach, most were believed to surrender without battling with the hope of leniency in most cases accorded. A more blatant system was incorporated during the battle with the Jin Jurchen Rule of northern China in the initial decade of the 13th century CE[5]. The Mongols constantly sacked towns, and in most cases, the similar town on several occasions, and later permitted Jin to recapture them, compelling them to manage the disarray.[6]. Another ferocious approach involved using convicts as human shields when Mongol soldiers approached the fortified town. Mongol fighters would march the convicts forward-facing so that attackers squandered their weaponry on murdering their countrymen.


The Mongol Kingdom’s accomplishment was attributed to the superior tactics and warfare approaches but likewise attributed to operational preparation. The Mongols generated an operational framework, widely identified as the tsunami strategy due to its similarity to the tsunami wave. The tsunami mode of conquest mainly abetted the development of the kingdom. In this case, the Mongols attacked a region and conducted a far-ranging army operation.  The Mongols later oversaw and controlled the newly occupied territory while the Mongol militias stayed on the border of a newly attained area. Instead of controlling big swaths of the terrain they ruled, they retained only a share of it. Therefore, they could oversee it with fewer troops and maintain many soldiers on the side-line.





Carey, Brian Todd, Allfree, Joshua B., and Cairns, John. Warfare in the Medieval World. Havertown: Pen & Sword Books, 2006.

McDaniel, Ryan James. The Mongol invasions of the Near East. San Jose State University, 2005.

Peers, Chris. Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine. Pen and Sword, 2015.

Setton, Kenneth M. The Later Crusades, 1189-1311. Vol. 2. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1969.

Turnbull, Stephen. Genghis Khan and the Mongol conquests 1190-1400. Routledge, 2003.

[1] Carey, Brian Todd, Allfree, Joshua B., and Cairns, John. Warfare in the Medieval World. Havertown: Pen & Sword Books, 2006.

[2] Turnbull, Stephen. Genghis Khan and the Mongol conquests 1190-1400. Routledge, 2003.

[3] Setton, Kenneth M. The Later Crusades, 1189-1311. Vol. 2. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1969.

[4] Peers, Chris. Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine. Pen and Sword, 2015.

[5] Turnbull, Stephen. Genghis Khan and the Mongol conquests 1190-1400. Routledge, 2003.

[6] McDaniel, Ryan James. The Mongol invasions of the Near East. San Jose State University, 2005.

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