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Why Mongols were so effective

swing_voter

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
 

lwf

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.

Thoughts?
Gives quite the perspective. "Struggling to make ends meet" isn't quite the same experience in 2020 as it was in 1220.
 

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Do you think The Mongols were better than the Huns with Atilla?
 

swing_voter

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Do you think The Mongols were better than the Huns with Atilla?
That's an interesting question. It might be a matter of a similar environment shaping a people. Huns were nomadic herders too, if I recall correctly.
 

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The Mongols have an advantage with the Himalayas, but what are they going to do against the Beast?
 

Cordelier

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"Officer level combat skills"? *LOL*

That's going to give me the giggles all day.

Aside from that, though, I think you're pretty spot-on.
 

WillyPete

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
They were something else, no question.

Tactically they might as well have been aliens, compared to what they were up against in Europe. At a time when a feudal lord might impress himself levying a few thousand troops of indifferent training, these guys were rolling in the tens of thousands of disciplined troops. There was literally nothing to stop them. Even if the various fiefdoms of Europe coordinated (a political impossibility) and fought smart (they generally lacked the capacity) the Mongols would have gone through them like light through vacuum.

Their technology was also cutting edge for the time. They perfected the feigned retreat, and it was never countered. Apart from advanced horsemanship and archery, they were known to use smoke bombs to conceal movement and lure enemies into ambushes, signals flags that made them highly responsive to new commands in battle. They wore silk under garments that provided for better bandaging when wounded. They coordinated massive multipronged invasions that would have blown any US Civil War general out of the water.

The only thing that ever stopped the Mongols was their own whacky political system that turned them on themselves. If they had been able to handle those transitions smoothly, we'd probably all be Mongols today.
 

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Initially very effective tactics and strategies, but not so much later. They left little of note in their wake and were almost immediately absorbed by the cultures they invaded; they won the wars but it is they who were dispersed, absorbed into their 'conquests', and disappeared, not the 'losers'. They were obviously very weak in other areas culturally, nothing more than bandits, really. Compare their lack of leaving a legacy anywhere to the British colonialism of the 18th and 19th centuries and their affect on their former colonies' cultures, laws, language, and economies after the end of colonialism in WW 2. or the Romans, or Greeks, or Persians, etc.
 
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Fledermaus

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
A great book is "The Devils Horsemen"

It tells about the entire stretch of the Mongol Empire from early days through the fall of the Golden Horde.

Highlights I enjoyed.

1. They often promoted based on merit rather than blood.

2. They had a form of military academy.

3. The great hunt.

4. Pony express style mail system.

5. Advanced siege weapons to include early cannon.

6. Crusaders and Muslims joined forces against Mongol intrusion.

7. Some saw the Mongols as the coming of "Prester John" and salvation.



And much, much more.
 

HK.227

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Thoughts?
They were also very famliar with tactics and strategy, both military and political.
Quite interesting to see various proverbs of Sun-Tzu being superbly implemented by steppe nomads 1500 years later.
 

Luther

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Do you think The Mongols were better than the Huns with Atilla?

The Mongols seemed to reign a lot longer

Attila and his Hun horde got their ass kicked at the Battle of Chalons by a lesser Roman/Goth force
 
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Exquisitor

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Just goes to show you, just because you have the Beast, He or the False Prophet, doesn't mean you'll win.

Hare Krishnas think they'll win because they have Krishna.

Nothing more of a nuisance than people who want to win all the time.
 

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In 2021, the correct question to be asked is, can the Mongols kick the Hells Angel's ass? Would it not?
 

soylentgreen

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
You left out the fact that they effectively used terrorism. Such as:

Because of the great distances in the empire messengers were not allowed to stop for anything but a change of horse. For food they would ride through a village snatch up a child and eat it. This was a legend spread by the mongols.

They were so effective that the italians actually built a city on water to avoid the mongols. That city is called venice.

They destroyed bagdad and killed nearly every last man, woman and child. for no other reason than as a warning to others

https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/the-mongol-sack-of-baghdad-in-1258/
Mongols Execute Baghdad Notables

With the Nestorians secure, Hulagu allowed his army an unfettered week of rape, pillage, and murder to celebrate their victory. About 3,000 of Baghdad’s notables—including officials, members of the Abbasid family, and the caliph himself—pleaded for clemency. But all 3,000 were put to death without compunction; all, that is, except for the caliph. He was held prisoner for a little while longer, perhaps in part so that he could see the full extent of what befell his capital.

Estimates of the death toll range from 90,000 at the lowest end to one million at the other. Apart from being a conveniently round number, the population of Baghdad was around a million, and the historical record tells us not everyone was killed. Whatever the actual number, it included the army that had dared resist Hulagu’s advance, and the civilians, who had no choice either way. Men, women, and children down to babes in arms were put to the sword or clubbed to death. Little mercy was shown unless it was of a quick rather than a lingering death.
 

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Putting cities to the sword was a common practice re cities who refused to surrender for most armies throughout history, not just Mongols. Don't know if Baghdad surrendered or not, just pointing out a little history.
 

HK.227

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They were so effective that the italians actually built a city on water to avoid the mongols. That city is called venice.
That was the Huns.
Slavic tribes have had problems with horse nomands for a looong time...
 

Closer

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
And these Supermen disappeared and were assimilated by their 'inferiors' in relatively short order.
 

HK.227

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And these Supermen disappeared and were assimilated by their 'inferiors' in relatively short order.
An extremely common fate for societies built around a warrior class.
The Chinese kept track of the hostile tribes on their Northern borders. The numbers would change almost annually, as tribes would destroy, reform, and assimilate each other. Of course they were all assimilated by the Chinese in the end. The barbarians that carved out the Roman empire between them became French, Burgundian, Italians, and Spanish in short order. The Normans and Muslims conquerors of Sicily mixed in with the local Greeks and Italians, and became Sicilians (and may have laid the foundations of the later Mafia in the process...).
 

swing_voter

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There's a quote from a Mongol general who said something like, "I'd take one wild Mongol over a hundred of the city bred Mongols we have now."

The Mongols who grew up as herdsmen were something to be feared. After their victories and many Mongols took their new wealth and moved to the cities, hired servants, etc, the Mongols born there were a lot softer than their wilder kin.

Civilization killed the Mongols.
 

Mr Person

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You might also want to compare the provisions the Mongols consumed vs. what Han Chinese armies typically consumed.

(And yes, I am well aware the Mongols went after far more than the Chinese empire)
 

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Putting cities to the sword was a common practice re cities who refused to surrender for most armies throughout history, not just Mongols. Don't know if Baghdad surrendered or not, just pointing out a little history.
The Caliph actually refused to acquiesce to terms dictated by the Mongols before they even marched on Baghdad.

Then, with the city under siege, he refused to surrender.

That Venice wasn't founded due to any Mongol invasion has already been pointed out.
 

LadyMoonlight

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Read an article about why the Mongols were so effective.

1. Logistics is 90% of war. Armies need food, water and shelter. Mongols were nomadic herdsmen. Every year they moved the herds from the mountains down to the plains and then back again. A 14 year old Mongol boy could tell you exactly how to move a 10,000 man army a 1,000 miles, something seasoned generals have trouble with.

2. That same 14 year old boy slept with his armor and weapons at his side. Raiders attacked all the times and the men of the village had to scramble to gear up and drive them off. Raiders would steal your herd or your women. Both Genghis Khan's wife and mom were kidnapped by raiders on separate occasions. He did get them back though.

3. Children as young as 3 were trained how to ride horses and use weapons by their moms. Tactics were drilled into them by their fathers.

4. The more effectively you could organize, the higher your odds at winning. Mongols were raised in a tight organizational hierarchy.


So they lived the lives of soldiers in combat from birth to death. Moreover, they had officer level combat skills.


Thoughts?
Also add that officers were selected on merit, always resulting in efficiency and success. They also used psychological warfare....attacking places and peoples and, after butchering almost all, allowing a handful to live and spread the word that the Mongols were coming...very effective.
 
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