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  • No Mongol Withdrawal from Europe in 1241AD

    For a good summary of what really happened in 1241AD, when the Mongols invaded Europe (they had taken Russia some years earlier), see http://historymedren.about.com/libra...olinvasion.htm (long) or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Europe (short).

    After smashing the combined German-Polish army at Leignitz (the supporting attack), the Mongols crushed Hungary (the main attack). There was little to stop them after that -- Italy, France, and Germany were not unified and Spain was under the Moors.

    What would have happened next?

    Could the Mongols have swept across the North European plain into France? Where would they have gone? What would the impacts of the invasion have been?
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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  • #2
    Coa #1

    I think there was a good chance that, having crushed the army at Leignitz, the Mongols would have crossed the Oder into the northern German states and swept into the BENELUX and France. I do not see them going into the mountains of Switzerland, Southern Germany, or Italy. However, I see the supporting attack against Vienna to prevent the Austrians from supporting the Germans. It may have brought another German army to it's doom supporting their Austrian brethren, but in any case the Austrians were worth pinning in place.

    A distant second COA is a Mongol sweep through the Wallachians and Bulgars to hit the Byzantines. However, I think that is less likely.

    Please post your alternative options.
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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    • #3
      The Mongols were in present day Austria at the time. Despite the conventional wisdom that they left Europe because of the death of the Khan, I would rather believe that they did not continue on to France and the coast because horse armies do not do well in heavily forested areas like the blocking Black Forest. Probably would have expanded to the southern side of the Med.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
        The Mongols were in present day Austria at the time. Despite the conventional wisdom that they left Europe because of the death of the Khan, I would rather believe that they did not continue on to France and the coast because horse armies do not do well in heavily forested areas like the blocking Black Forest. Probably would have expanded to the southern side of the Med.
        Roger, hence my thought of moving to the north, circumventing all of the hills and forests of southern Germany. The plains of northern Germany were and are well suited to cavalry movement. The Black Forest is a Maginot line, and just as easily bypassed.
        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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        "Never pet a burning dog."

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        • #5
          Well, If the Mongols were to sweep across Europe, I can see some of the ramifications.

          1) Technological development would slow drastically. The Renaissance may have been delayed (if the Mongols never made it into Italy) or even permamently diminished (if they DID go into Italy).

          Also, I see most of the written works of the time being destroyed by the Mongols like when Baghdad was sacked earlier, or when the Library of Alexandria was burned.

          2) Most of the Kings of the time in the invaded areas would be killed / loose lots of power, and I see more areas of europe resembling the Holy Roman Empire, with numerous city states in places like France.

          3) England would become the dominant Western european power, as France would be split into numerous nations and Spain would probably be weakened that it might never conquer Grenada (matters on how far the Mongols go). Europe would be able to take Franch land after the Mongols left, maybe even uniting the French and English crowns.

          So, I see the mongols as weakening the continental European powers, with numerous later events being delayed or completely destroyed (no powerfull Hapsburgs, perhaps).

          So I see England, the northern territories (Sweden, Norway, etc.), and maybe Spain as the dominant powers post-mongol invasion.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by daemonofdecay
            Well, If the Mongols were to sweep across Europe, I can see some of the ramifications.

            1) Technological development would slow drastically. The Renaissance may have been delayed (if the Mongols never made it into Italy) or even permamently diminished (if they DID go into Italy).

            Also, I see most of the written works of the time being destroyed by the Mongols like when Baghdad was sacked earlier, or when the Library of Alexandria was burned.

            2) Most of the Kings of the time in the invaded areas would be killed / loose lots of power, and I see more areas of europe resembling the Holy Roman Empire, with numerous city states in places like France.

            3) England would become the dominant Western european power, as France would be split into numerous nations and Spain would probably be weakened that it might never conquer Grenada (matters on how far the Mongols go). Europe would be able to take Franch land after the Mongols left, maybe even uniting the French and English crowns.

            So, I see the mongols as weakening the continental European powers, with numerous later events being delayed or completely destroyed (no powerfull Hapsburgs, perhaps).

            So I see England, the northern territories (Sweden, Norway, etc.), and maybe Spain as the dominant powers post-mongol invasion.
            All good observations. Thanks.

            When one studies Russia, one always reads of the "Tartar Yoke" referring the subjection of the Russians and the follow-on effects from that. The same could have happened in Europe.

            In Russia, though, it later manifested itself, beginning under Ivan the Terrible, as a growth spurt that lasted centuries as the Russians forced back the weakening horsemen and reclaimed their land, then that of the people around them. Do you think a super-state like that might have arisen?
            Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
            Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


            "Never pet a burning dog."

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            • #7
              Unfortunately, the Mongols were coming on too early for Welsh and English bowmen to save the west. So, I do not see any military force to deter the advance.

              The route through northern Germany would incur multiple rivers and streams as well as forested areas (remember Romans difficulties on foot in the area with a large force). Do not normally subscribe to a geographical determinism, but I think topography may have saved the west.
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                The north European plain may be flat but it was not open steppes as in southern Russia. Europe of the High Middle-Ages was geogrphically similar to the northern edges of the Great Plains of N. America. Large expanses of coniferous forests cut by steep sided streams and areas of marsh existed, much like northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and central Manitoba in Canada even today. In both the Roman age and the middle-ages these forests still existed and would have posed the problem of finding fodder for the horses. Only as the population increased from the 16th century onwards did heavy de-forestation really begin.
                The Purist

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Purist
                  The north European plain may be flat but it was not open steppes as in southern Russia. Europe of the High Middle-Ages was geogrphically similar to the northern edges of the Great Plains of N. America. Large expanses of coniferous forests cut by steep sided streams and areas of marsh existed, much like northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and central Manitoba in Canada even today. In both the Roman age and the middle-ages these forests still existed and would have posed the problem of finding fodder for the horses. Only as the population increased from the 16th century onwards did heavy de-forestation really begin.
                  Thanks for this, and sorry for not replying sooner -- I lost the bubble on this thread and just found it again today. I was under the impression that the de-forestation took place earlier.

                  However, the Magyars invaded Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries (occupied what is now Hungary c 895AD, according to most historians and began raiding shortly thereafter until being shut down at Lechfeld in 955 AD) with an army not too dissimilar from that of the Mongols. They were able to successfully raid what is now southern Germany, SE France, and northern Italy, among other places. While these were raids for loot and protection money, they proved the ability of mounted steppes-type archers to move and fight in this environment. Do you think the Mongols had less ability to do so than the Magyars?
                  Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                  Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                  "Never pet a burning dog."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Janos
                    Thanks for this, and sorry for not replying sooner -- I lost the bubble on this thread and just found it again today. I was under the impression that the de-forestation took place earlier.

                    However, the Magyars invaded Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries (occupied what is now Hungary c 895AD, according to most historians and began raiding shortly thereafter until being shut down at Lechfeld in 955 AD) with an army not too dissimilar from that of the Mongols. They were able to successfully raid what is now southern Germany, SE France, and northern Italy, among other places. While these were raids for loot and protection money, they proved the ability of mounted steppes-type archers to move and fight in this environment. Do you think the Mongols had less ability to do so than the Magyars?
                    I'm not familiar with that period of history. Did they raid only or were there large battles which would require large open areas for horse troops marching around ground troops?

                    FYI, The Purist is probably off the net until April, he's moving.
                    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
                      I'm not familiar with that period of history. Did they raid only or were there large battles which would require large open areas for horse troops marching around ground troops?

                      FYI, The Purist is probably off the net until April, he's moving.
                      I'm sorry to have missed him on this...I feel bad because I feel that I owed him an answer and didn't know until today.

                      Here's a story of the Hungarian entry in Europe. There are other versions.

                      The Magyars (Hungarians) seceded from the Khazar Empire in the 9th century and made an alliance with the Byzantines to whack the Bulgars. As they did so, they occupied what was left of the Avar lands (modern-day Hungary). The Bulgars made a deal with the Pechenegs (modern-day Moldavians, maybe?) to whack the Hungarian rear detachment back on the Russian steppes.

                      The Hungarians (and 3 tribes of Khazari dissidents) absorbed the Avars and some other folks and began a series of raids that lasted about 50 years. Most of these were small, covering the areas I mentioned earlier. There were a few major raids -- including one into Burgundy, and one in Italy that resulted in massive defeat for the Lombards (using the faked retreat -- later a Mongol tactic) at the Lepanto, and in 942 they went all the way to southern Spain and into Flanders in 954. There was a major raid into eastern Germany that resulted in a setback for the Hungarians at Riade. Somewhere in the course of all this, the Germans began paying tribute to leave them alone (as did a lot of other folks). The Bavarians also built the two castles I can see from my house, just in case.

                      In 954, Emperor Otto decided to stop paying tribute so in 955AD, the commander of the Hungarian Army, the Horka, invaded with 100,000 men, including Slav infantry and was crushed -- nearly annihilated at on the Lechfeld (just south of Augburg). The myth is that 7 Hungarians survived the battle and pursuit -- that's clearly false but paints a reasonable picture of the size of the defeat. The three senior Hungarians were dragged to Regensburg and executed after a fair trial

                      After that, the Hungarians focused southward into the Balkans.

                      Although most of these were raids, some of them, as I hope I have presented above, were major actions involving thousands of troops, which would be an army by medieval standards. The raid ending at Lechfeld had 100,000 men which would be comparable to a Mongol Army.

                      Like the Mongols, the Hungarians would not have set 25,000 men on one road. They would have taken several routes, maintaining contact between them, and struck at a point designated by thorough reconnaissance.

                      Steppeland or not, I think the Mongols could have devastated western Europe.
                      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                      "Never pet a burning dog."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Janos
                        I'm sorry to have missed him on this...I feel bad because I feel that I owed him an answer and didn't know until today.

                        Here's a story of the Hungarian entry in Europe. There are other versions.

                        The Magyars (Hungarians) seceded from the Khazar Empire in the 9th century and made an alliance with the Byzantines to whack the Bulgars. As they did so, they occupied what was left of the Avar lands (modern-day Hungary). The Bulgars made a deal with the Pechenegs (modern-day Moldavians, maybe?) to whack the Hungarian rear detachment back on the Russian steppes.

                        The Hungarians (and 3 tribes of Khazari dissidents) absorbed the Avars and some other folks and began a series of raids that lasted about 50 years. Most of these were small, covering the areas I mentioned earlier. There were a few major raids -- including one into Burgundy, and one in Italy that resulted in massive defeat for the Lombards (using the faked retreat -- later a Mongol tactic) at the Lepanto, and in 942 they went all the way to southern Spain and into Flanders in 954. There was a major raid into eastern Germany that resulted in a setback for the Hungarians at Riade. Somewhere in the course of all this, the Germans began paying tribute to leave them alone (as did a lot of other folks). The Bavarians also built the two castles I can see from my house, just in case.

                        In 954, Emperor Otto decided to stop paying tribute so in 955AD, the commander of the Hungarian Army, the Horka, invaded with 100,000 men, including Slav infantry and was crushed -- nearly annihilated at on the Lechfeld (just south of Augburg). The myth is that 7 Hungarians survived the battle and pursuit -- that's clearly false but paints a reasonable picture of the size of the defeat. The three senior Hungarians were dragged to Regensburg and executed after a fair trial

                        After that, the Hungarians focused southward into the Balkans.

                        Although most of these were raids, some of them, as I hope I have presented above, were major actions involving thousands of troops, which would be an army by medieval standards. The raid ending at Lechfeld had 100,000 men which would be comparable to a Mongol Army.

                        Like the Mongols, the Hungarians would not have set 25,000 men on one road. They would have taken several routes, maintaining contact between them, and struck at a point designated by thorough reconnaissance.

                        Steppeland or not, I think the Mongols could have devastated western Europe.
                        So, you believe Europe was saved by the greatest accidents of history--death, death of the Khan?
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
                          So, you believe Europe was saved by the greatest accidents of history--death, death of the Khan?
                          No. It was saved by in-fighting between Chagatai and Mongke Khan. Because the family could not decide between themselves, rival kuriltais were set up. The way to vote among the Mongols was to show up for the kuriltai. Batu et al had to go back to show their support (I don't recall which side he favored). Had he not done so, he would have been dispossessed by the "winner" and war may have resulted.
                          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                          "Never pet a burning dog."

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                          • #14
                            ...europeans would look more like Asians...

                            Mongols would have discovered cities of richness and art beyond what they had discovered by then, with exception of Baghdad and Damascus...

                            forests would have been cut down and much farmland turned into prairie to make room for horse raising...

                            they they would convert to Christianity and to "roman" civilisation as all other invaders did before them...
                            then...
                            sail to England and ravage it as well...
                            finish off muslim lands...
                            ..and rule the world... (with the incas!)
                            "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by piero1971
                              ...europeans would look more like Asians...
                              I read a few years ago that, in Polish heraldry (which is distict from, but as interesting as western European heraldry), only those descended from the Mongols have a feather on their crests, so apparently there was some "hanky panky" between Mongols and Europeans already -- altho' it was further east.
                              Originally posted by piero1971
                              they they would convert to Christianity and to "roman" civilisation as all other invaders did before them...
                              Of course, there were christians in the Mongol Army. Nestorians had been among the Mongols since Genghiz Khan's day.
                              Originally posted by piero1971
                              sail to England and ravage it as well...
                              finish off muslim lands...
                              ..and rule the world... (with the incas!)
                              ... of course, Switzerland is too mountainous for horses, so that would have been the last bastion of civilization.
                              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                              "Never pet a burning dog."

                              RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                              http://www.sca.org
                              http://www.scv.org/
                              http://www.scouting.org/

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