Militias existed in Khwarezmia's major cities but were of poor quality, and the Shah had trouble mustering them in time. Initial invasion[ edit ] Though they technically bordered each other, the Mongol and Khwarezm Empires touched far away from the homeland of each nation.
Initial invasion[ edit ] Though they technically bordered each other, the Mongol and Khwarezm Empires touched far away from the homeland of each nation. In between them was a series of treacherous mountain ranges that the invader would have to cross.
This aspect is often overlooked in this campaign, yet it was a critical reason why the Mongols were able to create a dominating position. The Khwarezm Shah and his advisers assumed that the Mongols would invade through the Dzungarian Gatethe natural mountain pass in between their now conquered Khara-Khitai and Khwarezm Empires.
One option for the Khwarezm defense was to advance beyond the towns of the Syr Darya and block the Dzungarian Gate with an army, since it would take Genghis many months to gather his army in Mongolia and advance through the pass after winter had passed.
The Khwarezm decision makers believed they would have time to further refine their strategy, but the Khan had struck first. The Tien Shan mountain passes were much more treacherous than the Dzungarian Gate, and to make it worse, they attempted the crossing in the middle of winter with over 5 feet of snow.
Though the Mongols suffered losses and were exhausted from the crossing, their presence in the Ferghana Valley stunned the Khwarezm leadership and permanently stole the initiative away.
Because the Shah did not know if this Mongol army was a diversion or their main army, he had to protect one of his most fertile regions with force.
Therefore, the Shah dispatched his elite cavalry reserve, which prevented him from effectively marching anywhere else with his main army. Jebe and Jochi seem to have kept their army in good shape while plundering the valley, and they avoided defeat by a much superior force.
At this point the Mongols split up and again maneuvered over the mountains: Jebe marched further south deeper into Khwarezm territory, while Jochi took most of the force northwest to attack the exposed cities on the Syr Darya from the east. Rashid Al-Din stated that Otrar had a garrison of 20, while Juvayni claimed 60, horsemen and militiathough like the army figures given in most medieval chronicles, these numbers should be treated with caution and are probably exaggerated by an order of magnitude considering the size of the city.
Frank McLynn argues that this disposition can only be explained as Genghis laying a trap for the Shah. However, the Shah dodged the trap, and Genghis had to change plans. Instead the garrison remained on the walls and resisted stubbornly, holding out against many attacks.
Inalchuq held out until the end, even climbing to the top of the citadel in the last moments of the siege to throw down tiles at the oncoming Mongols and slay many of them in close quarters combat. Genghis killed many of the inhabitants, enslaved the rest, and executed Inalchuq.
Sieges of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Urgench[ edit ] At this point, the Mongol army was divided into five widely separated groups on opposite ends of the enemy Empire.
After the Shah did not mount an active defense of the cities on the Syr Darya, Genghis and Tolui, at the head of an army of roughly 50, men, skirted the natural defense barrier of the Syr Darya and its fortified cities, and went westwards to lay siege to the city of Bukhara first.
To do this, they traversed miles of the seemingly impassable Kyzyl Kum desert by hopping through the various oases, guided most of the way by captured nomads.
The Mongols arrived at the gates of Bukhara virtually unnoticed. Many military tacticians regard this surprise entrance to Bukhara as one of the most successful maneuvers in warfare. The Khwarezm army could only slowly react to the lightning fast Mongol maneuvers.
Bukhara[ edit ] Bukhara was not heavily fortified, with a moat and a single wall, and the citadel typical of Khwarezmi cities. The Bukharan garrison was made up of Turkic soldiers and led by Turkic generals, who attempted to break out on the third day of the siege.
Rashid Al-Din and Ibn Al-Athir state that the city had 20, defenders, though Carl Sverdrup contends that it only had a tenth of this number. Survivors from the citadel were executed, artisans and craftsmen were sent back to Mongolia, young men who had not fought were drafted into the Mongolian army and the rest of the population was sent into slavery.
As the Mongol soldiers looted the city, a fire broke out, razing most of the city to the ground. During this period, the Mongols also waged effective psychological warfare and caused divisions within their foe. Since Mongols and Turks are both steppe peoples, Genghis argued that Tertun Khatun and her army should join the Mongols against her treacherous son.
Meanwhile, he arranged for deserters to bring letters that said Tertun Khatun and some of her generals had allied with the Mongols. This further inflamed the existing divisions in the Khwarezm Empire, and probably prevented the senior commanders from unifying their forces.Site Index.
Introduction & Recurring Sources; About the author; FAQ; Alphabetical Index of Wars, Oppressions and other Multicides A-J; K-Z; Multicides of the 20th Century, Grouped By Size. The Mongol Empire (Mongolian: Mongolyn Ezent Güren listen (help · info); Mongolian Cyrillic: Монголын эзэнт гүрэн; Mongolian pronunciation: [mɔŋɡ(ɔ)ɮˈiːŋ ɛt͡sˈɛnt ˈɡurəŋ]; also Орда ("the Horde") in Russian chronicles) existed during the 13th and 14th centuries and was the largest contiguous land empire in history.
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The Mongolian Empire had an overarching impact on China during Kublai Khan’s () reign. During the 13th century, a period of Mongolian peace (Pax Mongolica) led to “economic growth, cultural diffusion, and developments.”.
The Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia from to marked the beginning of the Mongol conquest of the Islamic states. The Mongol expansion would ultimately culminate in the conquest of virtually all of Asia (as well as parts of Eastern Europe) with the exception of Japan, the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, Siberia, and most of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
The Mongol Empire (Mongolian: Их Монгол Улс, meaning "Great Mongol Nation;" (–) was the largest contiguous land empire in history, covering over 33 million km² at its peak, with an estimated population of over million people.
The Mongol Empire was founded by Genghis Khan in.