Puslapio vaizdai

Shah's attention was fixed to while, the armies of the princes his front, the horrifying news had joined hands with Chépé, reached him that Jenghiz Khan and were converging on Samarwith his mass of maneuvre kand. The doomed last strong. had appeared on his left rear, hold of the Karismian power and was almost at the gates of was caught between the hammer Bokhara.

of the princes and the anvil This army of 40,000 men, of Jenghiz himself, and soon under Jenghiz Khan himself, fell. had followed in the wake of In the brief space of five Juji's and Jagatai's armies, months Jenghiz Khan

had crossed the Syr Daria at Otrar, wiped out an army of 200,000 and then-disappeared into the men, overthrown the mighty blue. Masked by the armies Karismian Empire, and opened of the two princes, its arrival the gateway to the West, toon the scene had passed almost wards Russia and towards unnoticed. Having crossed the Europe. Syr Daria, it vanished into the Every move had been made immense desert of Kizyl-kum. in calculated and orderly seBy this dramatic venture of quence towards the gaining of 40,000 to 50,000 men, and even the ultimate objective, these more horses, across a supposed purposeful moves being finally impassable desert, Jenghiz crowned by the tremendous Khan gained complete secrecy surprise appearance from the until the moment when, at Kizyl-kum Desert in the Shah's the beginning of April, he de- rear. A glance at the distances bouched at the southern end covered reveals the exceptional of the desert, took Nuruta, and mobility of the Mongol armies. was almost on the top of Bok- The sustained and repeated hara-in rear of the Shah's succession of blows was in. armies !

creased by the co-operation At one blow the Shah's whole between the three columns, each line was turned, and his com- thrust reacting to the advantage munications severed with his of the other columns, so that more distant westerly States, the economy of force which whose forces had still to arrive. was manifest in the original Demoralised, the Shah filed and distribution was helped by each left the garrison of Bokhara subsequent link in the chain of to its fate. Rarely, if ever, in events. Thanks partly to the the history of war has the Shah's misguided dispersion of principle of surprise been so his force, but also to Jenghiz dramatically or completely ful- Khan's consummate strategy, filled.

the Mongols were able to conOn the 11th of April, Jenghiz centrate in superior force to Khan arrived and captured the enemy at each steppingBokhara, and then turned east stone in their path to final towards Samarkand. Mean victory. Thus we see Chépé's

feint in the south attracting “packets" along the river. the Karismian attention and When their rear is thus secure, their forces, and we admire the combined armies converge the strategic vision which real- on Samarkand just as Jenghiz ised that a threat at this point Khan advances on it from the would most effectively pave rear, so that the two jaws of the way for an unhindered de- the Mongol Army close with bouchement from the Ak-kum overwhelming superiority of trough. Again, the advance of force on this final enemy posiJuji and Jagatai, and their tion. wheel south when they reach In these brilliantly conceived the Syr Daria, skilfully masks and harmoniously executed the decisive manœuvre of Jen- operations we see everyone ghiz Khan, and fixes the Shah's of the principles of war—the attention to his front along this objective, mobility, offensive river line.

power, security, surprise, conThen Chépé, instead of push- centration, co-operation, and ing on unsupported towards economy of force-woven into Samarkand, wheels north to a Nemesis-like web in which join the princes, to help in are trapped the doomed armies mopping up” the Persian of the Shah.


The enemy armies crushed, this empire was the complete Jeng'iz Khan despatched Su- religious toleration. Among his butai and Chépé westwards in councillors were to be found pursuit of the Shah and to Christians, Pagans, Mahommeopen up the path to further dans, and Buddhists. conquests. Jelaladdin still held Their mission of pursuit acout in the south for a time, complished, and the Shah's and then crossed the Indus. treasure captured, Subutai and Jenghiz followed him up, and Chépé asked permission for an in 1221 sent an expedition to advance towards the Kiptchak Delhi, which took nominal pos- country-i.e., Southern Russia. session of the country that his The suggestion found instant successors

to hold in favour with the Emperor, and reality.

in six months they had adThen Jenghiz devoted his vanced as far as Tiflis, crushing remaining years until his death the kingdom of Georgia. In in consolidating his mighty the spring of 1221 they pressed empire, which stretched from on into South Russia as far as Korea to the Persian Gulf. the basin of the Donetz. EveryThe administration was thor- where they established a stable oughly organised, and perhaps military and civil administrathe most striking feature of tion. Further, they organised an elaborate system of informa- attempt to proclaim a Holy tion to discover the weak points War. But while Subutai knew and rivalries of Europe. In his Europe, and pulled the this they found the Venetians wires on which danced the quite willing to sacrifice the royal puppets of Western civilinterests of Christian Europe isation, the latter remained in in order to gain an advantage stupid oblivion of the plans over their great trading rivals, and methods of their Monthe Genoese. In return for gol invaders. To quote ProMongol help in ousting the fessor Bury: “The Mongols Genoese trade-centres in the embarked upon the enterprise Crimea, the Venetians acted as with full knowledge of the part of the intelligence service political situation of Hungary of the Mongols.

and the condition of PolandIn 1223, however, they were they had taken care to inform recalled by Jenghiz Khan, and themselves by a well-organised returned by the northern end system of spies ; on the other of the Caspian Sea.

hand, the Hungarian and ChrisThe schemes of European tian powers, like childish barconquest were suspended for barians, knew hardly anything a generation owing to the death about their enemies," until in of Jenghiz Khan in 1227. a dramatically swift and over

Disputes over the succession, whelming campaign their armies for which Jenghiz had desig- were broken in pieces and their nated his second surviving son countries overrun. When, ow. Ogdai, retarded further expan- ing to events in distant Asia, sion to the West. Jenghiz the Mongols withdrew and the Khan had called to his aid, in nightmare pall of terror was the administration of the im- lifted from Central Europe, mense newly - gained empire, there was left just an incoherent Yeliu Chutsai, a statesman of sense of a fearful and irresistible the former Kin Empire. The tidal wave of yellow hordes. natural result was to give a It was then that arose the Chinese complexion to the policy fictitious excuse of overwhelmof the Mongol Empire, and to ing numbers, put forward by discourage adventures in Eu- the mediæval historian to save rope. But eventually Subutai's the reputation of European scheme for the invasion of the chivalry. Actually, it is proWest came to the front once bable that the invading force more. The ground had already did not number more than been prepared for it by his 150,000 men, even when it set network of spies and propa- out, and that as a result of gandists. The Pope, hopeful of the losses in the preliminary a triumph of mass conversion, campaigns and the detachments a proportion of the Mongol left to guard the communicaarmies being already Nestorian tions with the East, little more Christians, held aloof from any than 100,000 took part in the


Polish and Hungarian cam- Hungary, for its people are the paigns.

only branch of the TurcoThe troops themselves came Mongol race who still remain mainly from China, as the outside the authority of Jenoccupiers of the former Karis- ghiz Khan's successors. But mian Empire were needed for the neighbouring powers are events there. The horses only likely to resist the invasion, could be provided from South notably Poland, Bohemia, and Russia, which had been or

or- the Holy Roman Empire, to ganised as a vast remount which Hungary

Hungary acts a depot.

bulwark. With the former In 1239 Central Russia is powers will be arrayed the subdued as far as Moscow, and German military orders, whose security is assured to the rear mission it is to be the outand communications of the in- posts of the West against the vaders. The real objective is heathen.



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In January 1241 Subutai pathian barrier, and to march concentrates the Mongol Army on the Hungarian capital, Gran. in the region Lemberg-Przemysl, But whilst he thus made his 80 familiar to students of the main effort against the prinWorld War. His intention was, cipal enemy, it was necessary like the Russians of 1914-1915, to assure security against interto force the passes of the Car- ference from the other powers. An advance into Hungary, with armies of Boleslas and Miecislas the Poles and Germans ready at Szydlow and crushed them, to fall on his right flank, would driving off the débris of the be hazardous. It was necessary two armies in divergent directo crush these threats to his tions. Kaidu swept on

on at flank, and to ward off any hurricane speed, took Cracow, premature intervention from and then Breslau ; on the 8th Austria (the Empire) or Bo- of April he met at Liegnitz the hemia. The tremendous vic- German forces under the Duke tories of Szydlow in Poland Henry of Silesia, together with and Liegnitz in Silesia have the orders of the Templars and caused

some historians to Hospitallers, and the remains imagine that the Mongol pur of the Polish troops. A day's pose was a general conquest march to the south was the of Europe. But Subutai was

But Subutai was army of King Wenceslas of far too wise to advance into Bohemia. The Mongols, who the hilly and wooded regions were inferior in numbers to the of Western Europe, where the troops of Duke Henry, stuck Mongolian horsemen would be on the 9th of April before the at a disadvantage, and their allied armies could effect a system of tactics unsuitable to junction, and inflicted a terthe country. The plain of rible disaster. In less than a Hungary was his goal, and he month the Mongols had corkept to it unswervingly. It is ered some 400 miles, fought an object - lesson for modern two decisive battles, taken four political strategists who frame great cities, and conquered their foreign and imperial poli- Poland and Silesia from the cies without reference to their Vistula to the borders of military means and limita- Saxony. tions.

When Wenceslas of Bohemia He divided his force into had news of the Liegnitz disfour armies, each roughly of aster, he fell back to Glatz three toumans. Three of these to cover his own

cover his own kingdom. he assigned to the main opera- His hope of entrapping the tion, and the fourth he used to Mongols in the defiles of Glatz achieve his secondary or aux- proved vain, for the latter's iliary objective—the removal of reconnaissance warned them of the danger on his right flank. the trap. Instead, under cover This last, under the Prince of a mobile screen, they laid Kaidu, moved first, as had waste Moravia to create acChépé's detachment into Fer- cording to their method a gana. At the beginning of desert which would guard their March 1241 it crossed the Vis flank. Their purpose accomtula at Sandomir, which it took plished, they turned south to by storm. Then on the 18th join Subutai, ready to fall upon of March it fell upon the Polish the flank of the Austrian forces

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