Why were the Mongols so effective?

Why were the Mongols so effective?

100 thoughts on “Why were the Mongols so effective?

  1. Why not before? We must not forget that we are looking at all of this after the fact.

    Even if the Mongol armies had a unified focus with highly competent people at all levels – and even if they arrived at the right time to kick in the door on many of the existing power centers – they were still, at times, engaging in fairly high risk operations. The passing through the gates of The Great Wall is one such occasion, the march across the desert into the Islamic Caliphate is another.

  2. your pronunciation is horrible at times, where are you from? Its Loyalty, not loyality, distribute, not diistriibute

  3. Why were the mongols so hard to beat in battle? Standing infantry stood no chance against their hit and run tactics yes but if you had an army of longbowmen with wooden stakes launching volleys at their horse archers whenever they come in range to harass you how could they ever beat you? Also, the parthians had skilled horse archers during Roman times, where were they when genghis invaded the Persians? Weren't the persians already familiar with mobile hit and run style tactics?

  4. Why no single word about their mass-killing and genocides? Listening to this video implicits, that the Mongols were a quite nice empire. But they killed – compared by per cent of the world population – much more people than the Nazis did! They raped so much , it is unbelievable. In some areas every 6th person is an ancestor of Genghis Khan. I am disappointed that this factor is not even worth two sentences in a video that is 20 Minutes! 🙁

  5. The reason is very simple, the mongols drank the blood of their horses and had a flat hierarchy. That means they were "Bodybuilders on horses" while the main community was highly suppressed and had therefor a very low amount of testosteron. So the latter was weak and fell prey to the stronger. That is probably the main and only reason

  6. Please cover the Halbe pocket and or the 36th Waffen SS dirlewagner

    There's virtually no information on either online, and they both should be known.

    The Germans put a convicted (in German courts) pedophile in charge of anti partisan and subduing local civilians. Warsaw is their most notorious incident.

  7. Hey I got a question for you: Was there any way at all for the Germans to ever win Barbarossa and with that, probably the whole war? I know you have spoken about Barbarossa alot already and it seems from your points in the various videos that Barbarossa could have never been won in the first place no matter what.

  8. One much of the Empire were bereft of population and not a territory that any population opted to occupy. Secondly the length of time that the Empire existed is reflective of its lack of stability. Unlike other Empires the ME depended heavily on one man who’s death ushered in the beginning of the end of the Empire. Lastly there is a difference between a military Empire and a great civilization that is also a great Empire. The Moguls did not embrace scholarship nor stability that comes with stable centers of power. Conquering civilizations that amassed wealth through learning and knowledge differs from cultivating this through conquest without adopting this knowledge base. The ME left very little in the way of historical legacy that survives to this day. Compare this to the British Empire which has a legacy that defines the worlds educational, economic and political system.
    Yes it military tactics were revolutionary for the time but they are testament to why military Empires are short lived without institutions that outlive it leadership.

  9. Used to a highly nomadic live style.
    Everything they have is mobile and designed to be so.
    Highly efficient in making and breaking camp.
    Very good at securing food and water for both man and beast.
    Good at scouting ahead for resources and the lay of the land in case of battle or to secure a safe encampment area.
    Highly skilled horsemanship.
    Good knowledge of sturdy horse breeds and beast of burden to use for long campaigns and battle.
    Compound bow tech and the knowledge and training to use them.
    Effective battle tactics using highly mobile and fast forces, shock and awe, not to mention good skirmish tactics breaking the enemies ranks up and moral.

    Not to mention, their reputation always preceded them to almost everywhere they went.

    A few Mongole warriors on horseback showing up on the horizon a few days prior to the main force was enough to send most running for the hills, disrupting their ability to fight and secure their own resources to sustain a resistance for any length of time.

    But most of all, their homeland was large and for the uninitiated very inhospitable, it's people moved around because of their nomadic lifestyle not easily set upon by foreign forces, so it didn't use alot of resources and troops to secure Mongolia itself, freeing them on mass for campaigns almost indefinitely.

    After Temüjin united the Mongole tribes the die was cast.

  10. Hungarians had the same tactics 300 years before the Mongols. That is how we took the land from the moravinans, bulgarians and eastern franks, beat the Germans (907, Pressburg) and secured a Hungary … then we learned the German way of fighting and lost to the mongols in 1241.

  11. Superficial, no depth. For those whose learning is not comprehensive, it might be interesting. For others, not so much.

  12. Ghaghis khan, bledy worst barbarian basted , look at the present situation of his country, very pathetic, punishment given by the God.

  13. The whirlwind Mongol campaigns westwards are famous, but what gets less attention is that it took them 40 years to conquer to all of China. The final conquest of the Song Dynasty was not completed until 1279, 20 years after Mongol expansion west had ended. One Chinese fortress even held out for 17 years. By the end of the war, the Mongol armies were just as much infantry armies as anyone else's, and they were for the most part not even composed of Mongols.

  14. Perfect work. But, "tactics" part may need some improvement. Note that, against shielded and armored infantry, horesback archery was not the main killer. In long initial skirmish stage of battle, Mongols used to divide their main force to many independent units, each made of 50-100 horse archers, running all over the battlefield and attacking infantry formations from all angles and approaches, rear and flanks included, with their composite bows. This often does not have an immidiate effect over well protected infantry. But this is something Mongols can continue all the day, as they always had a number of camps in proximity, but still away from the reach of enemy infantry, where the tired men can rest, find food and water, change their tired mount, and replenich their arrows and bows. Even if the arrows are not an immidate danger for infantry, constantly being under pressure does have a certain influence. If you were an enemy infantry fighting a field battle against the mongol horsemen, you would constantly see dust from galloping horses around, multiple groups of attackers appear out of the dust from all directions, rain arrows on your formation, and disappear before you can respond by your own ranged attack. This "pulsing"  attacks waves from multiple directions, makes it impossible to focus fire and the direction of your protective shield wall. It is inevitable under such pressure, that infantry units will change their array, replace their positions, direction of shield Wall, individually. That slowly but consistently drive them away from their battle formation. If this goes hours long, inevitably this will end up with units losing their deployments, crossing eachother in an unorganized way, losing their contact with unit commanders, and the huge formation becomes an almost unctrollable mass. This cancels all the advantage of a defensive infantry formation against the cavalry. At one point the infantry becomes disorganized enough, to be totally uneffective in stopping a well placed cavalry charge. Sometimes a real contact may not even necessary. An instruction of orderly retreat, or any maneuver may turn to rout en mass, even before a real engagement happens. The presence of the cavalry around may be sufficient. The trick is, after long skirmish, if the infantry still holds the ground, the well organized and diciplined cavalry can rapidly gather into one big formation that will hit weakest point of infantry who already lost its organization. The charge at the end of long skirmish must be short and safe contact that will certainly break the enemy formation. If you would have 5 horse per man, full cavalry army, you dont need to risk any other tactic and increase your casualities unnecessarily.

  15. I just watch your videos occasionally. I may watch them on a more regular basis if you shorten them. 12 to 15 minutes for clips such as this Mongol topic would be good. If you have to be more elaborate than label 'I', 'II' and so forth. Thanks!

  16. This is historic BS of highest rate.

    In simplest terns.
    1st. In soviet union, at the end of 1930-s, they tryed to recreate the "great march to west" on actual horses. It failed. They had to ferry horses back on train. And it wasnt some random people. It was Budjonnoi and cavalry corp. The result showed, that horses can not keep up any kind of sustained march to cover thousends of kilometers at a time.
    2nd, It was not possible to sustain this amount of people or animals travelling thousends of kilometers. They would have not been able to carry with them enough food for men or horses. If you have 200000 men with 3 to 5 horses each, thats 1mil animals. every one eats about 5 to 9 kilos of hay. Thats 5 to 9 million kilos or 5000 tons to 9000 tons of hay Per Day. Imagine now getting this amount of hay while fighting your way from Asia to Hungary. The logistics are just plainly impossible.
    3rd. Weapons and metallurgy. You need both to have an army. Mongols did not have any of that. You can not have army without mines, foundries and blacksmiths. Where are they? There where non in mongolia, non in steps.
    4th. Mongols heard about what they have done first time when soviets arrived and started to teach them this history. The story was known to them in rather different version, that has not been told to outside world.

    Dig deeper.

  17. Easy – mounted archers that were effective while riding and their method of food preservation allowed them to operate deeper in foreign territories and maintain strength and morale – food stuffs for all soldiers of unrivaled quality till Napolean. Also, fear played a significant role once word of them spread.

  18. About your Final Question, it has been done four times before by the steppe people. First, by the Sakas and second by the Huns. Then Avars inherited the position, followed by the Turks, Uygurs, Kyrygyz and the Mogols. Sakas, Huns, Turks and Moghols were the only ones to "unite all people that can draw a bow" as in a quote from Bahadır (Mao-tun) the Hun (inventor of the decimal system you talked about). Others vassalized all steppe nomads still. Last of the long line of Great Steppe Kahaganates was the Deşt-i Kıpçak. Among these, the Huns made it farther into Europe than all, Moghols made it farther into China than all and Turks made it farther into Africa than all the others.

  19. why do most civilizations have trouble fielding so much cavalry? while the mongols can have 5 horses survive in regions they invade?

  20. It's interesting that the "Yam" word for the system of communications came into the Russian language. Hence the traditional Russian word for a postal coachman – "ямщик" ("yamschik").

  21. Most people don't have an understanding how medieval (or even modern warfare) works. Most of the "fighting" does not take place in pitched battles. Most of medieval warfare consisted of small raids, ambushes, supply foraging, disruption of supply trains, preventing the enemy from effectively foraging, and reconnaissance. If you could prevent an enemy from foraging you could potentially starve them to death. In this type of "small" or harassment warfare horse arches were the best.

    If they did not want to, the mongols did not have to fight an opposing foot bound army head on at all in order to destroy it. (battl of hattin, and the tumu crisis for examples). They did this by finding out where the other army was, and stripping their predicted path of anything useful (scorched earth). constantly harassing their rearguard to slow the whole army's march to a crawl, which exasperated the need for foraging. Destroy detached groups, (much higher strategic mobility allows you to mass your forces at short notice, the mongol army was never in one place at once, but spread over hundreds of square miles, each individual group raiding and harassing as much as possible.)

    Only once the enemy was weak and completely demoralized did they launch an attack on the main force.

  22. From what I have learn, the khan himself loves Chinese culture, to the point of appointing a Tao religion master as his teacher, a lot of his method came from observing song China and Jing tribe who defeated northern song before the raise of Khan. He successfully develop a system that max the advantage of his army with best of Song, Jing systems and technology. Mongol canons that destroyed many cities in the western conquest was an improvement design by a Song engineer exiled by internal political fighting. It took a lot more years for Mongol to defeat the economically and technically superior (not militarily or politically unified wise) Song empire, then the Chinese section of its huge empire was the very first large section to break away and declare independence. Khans success primary was the defeat of the Jing empire whom once conquered northern China. It too was a tribal people like Mongols but settled and be more civilised after their victory.

  23. This is an excellent summary of the arguments and points related to the success of the Mongol Empire. There is one point however, that was not stressed that I think is essential to the success of the Mongols and Chinggis Khan in particular, merit-based leadership and promotion. The Khan established a clear and consistent rule of merit-based promotion within the ranks of the Mongol Army and subsequently the auxiliary forces that the Mongol absorbed. There were many reports of former enemy forces that had joined the ranks of the Mongols that went on to reach high-level positions. In addition, there were also reports of non-Mongol soldiers taking the initiative as members of the Mongol Army, e.g. the first soldiers to breach the walls of Kiev were of Georgian background.

    Regardless, your presentation was excellent. Thank you!

  24. Easily one of your best videos so far. Interesting to see how the factors that create an effective military force are largely the same regardless of the time period.

  25. Some great thoughts on why the Mongols were so successful. Did you also know that they had a form of amylase enzyme that would help to break down milk in their horses, allowing them to live off them more efficiently?

  26. I loved how you broke the Mongols down. I've read a number of books on them and still learned stuff from watching as always your informative and entertaining videos.

  27. If it weren't for the mongols introducing guns,and gunpowder,cannons,Toilet paper to Europe the Europeans would still be killing each other with swords and javelins,Wiping their shit with their hands.It was Chinese invention and technology that made the Europeans conquer the world like they did.Without Using East Asian inventions and technology Europe would still be a shithole continent stuck in the dark ages people shitting in the streets.Instead of demonizing Mongols are Arabs or turks.Europeans Should be grateful for the Asians advancing their culture.

  28. Kan? Khan is said as HHan.
    And no mongolian says gengis. Its Chingis.
    The arabs couldn't pronounce chingis so they said gengis, and the french popularized the word gengis.

  29. To me it all sounds like they didn't conquer shit, just frighten everyone to "join them" and then they run away, saying everything belongs to them.

  30. In the 13th and 14th centuries, there was no fighting in Mongolia. It was clear that Mongolians would win where they went to fight. However, Mongolians were disappointed with their father's home and lost their unity as pure Mongolian milk and struggled to compete for each other's land and interests. Mongol rivals struggled like a giant valley near the Caspian Sea and the beginning of the decline of Mongolians in the battle of the army.

  31. a large majority of the Mongol army was composed of people they have recruited from conquering other lands which obviously included many Turks, and middle easterners. They would not have been able to successfully maintain such militaristic accomplishments without the people from the lands they conquered.

  32. Everyone overlooks that the smaller size of their horses and their nomadic culture meant that they were much better at logistics than any other army in their time. Aside from their horses being easier to feed as long as pastures were around, most other rations were easily portable, and so were their camps.

    Good luck starving out an army that isn't tied to any fixed location.

  33. A lot of people say that around half of the mongol army was turkic nomadic horsemans just like nomadic nomadic horsemans ?

  34. I just really want to know how the mongolians managed their empire, with it being so huge. There couldn't possibly be enough mongols to maintain such a huge empire when most of them are in the army, and their population not being very big anyway.

  35. I would suggest the book ….. The Tartar Khans Englishman it is a great introduction to the mongol intelligence services and the use it was put to in their conquests

  36. Ancient and medieval warfare don't receive enough focus on the strategic and operational aspects. Really nice to see MHV coming to change that.

  37. Much of early Russian society was shaped by service under Mongol rule. The Russian nobility's habit of exploiting not developing their lands and people came from their duties under the Mongols. Mongols wanted two things, the wealth and resources they required, and no resistance to their rule. Post Mongol Russia split is social structure into rulers / exploiters and peasants /serfs. The peasants / serfs were just animals, milked for the needs of their betters. Imperial Russia was a bit more honest about it. Soviet Russia used the Party, Military, and a huge bureaucacy, the nomenkatura. The works at the bottom had little say in their own lives. One obeyed those above you , and squeezed what you could out of those below. The Mongol model continues down to modern " Peoples Democracies, where the People must obey, and not resist their betters.

  38. Thanks. Very interesting subject. I've often wondered on the true size of Mongol armies and the obvious logistics. I would guess that extra horses and possibly support animals would help observers to over- estimate size. But even if the armies true size was smaller.. it probably would be much larger than most of its adversaries.
    I wonder about the control of conquered administrations. Did the Mongols in-bed countrymen or presumed loyal administrators to maintain control and intelligence. ? It would seem so.. but I have never found a source that has truly studied these details… just ones that talk in platitudes. Thanks again.

  39. All I remember is that the Mongols used fear tactics. They’d say “if you let us in, we won’t kill all of you, but if you don’t, we’ll burn your lands”.

  40. The fact is that nomadic peoples like those of Arabia and the Central Asian steps expand outwordes roughtly every 1000 years this is do to population pressure building up in there homeland, as the hunter gaderer lifestyle can support a smaller population than the one of there naibours they conquere there lands and demand tribute.

  41. Great video. It’s possibly the most insightful one on the subject.

    The only thing I’d add was the fact that they went with what worked. Merit was key amongst individuals and policies. Politics and money could go to hell.

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