Going to the Horde: The Effect of the Mongol Invasion on Russia

December 29, 2017

Tags: Mongol Invasion, Batu Khan, Kievan Rus, Church of the Virgin, Mongols and Russia, Subudei, Alexander Nevsky

In the thirteenth century, the Mongol Khans invaded Russia and occupied the lower Volga setting up a vast nomad camp. The Golden Horde remained in control of Russia for two hundred and fifty years.

The invasion army was commanded by Batu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan. The Mongol Army was the greatest fighting force of the medieval world. In my new book, I examine the strategy and tactics that would have come into play if the Mongols had decided to conquer Europe.

The first invasion force was small, only twenty thousand. It was an experiment, an expeditionary force. The great general had spies, Venetian spies, who informed him of conditions in Russia. (They also provided intelligence on conditions in Europe that caused Subudei to plan the invasion of Europe with Batu in command of one wing of the army.)

Europe was divided and the Europeans were in blissful ignorance about the Mongols and their potential danger. Even when warned by King Bela of Hungary about the approaching menace, the Europeans ignored the warnings. The Pope and the Holy Roman Empire were at war. They were preoccupied, too busy killing each other to face an external threat. It is a very good story.
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