Asked in War and Military HistoryHistory of AsiaHistory of the Mongol Empire
What was the mongol warriors significance to history?
May 23, 2014 3:51PM
The Mongol Hordes are significant to history because of its influences on warfare.
The Mongols introduced a new aspect of warfare in the Middle Ages that was often overlooked: mobile logistics. The Mongols relied primarily on fighting on horseback; the majority of their army was comprised of cavalry. They often carried multiple horses per person to travel long distances without stopping, and relied on compact supplies like dried meat to avoid being slowed down by large supply wagon chains. This allowed them to travel several times faster than any other army at the time, which made it very difficult for generals to predict the movements of the Mongols. The Mongols used their extreme mobility to avoid strong enemy positions, and picked off weak areas by using hit-and-run tactics. This was expediated by the fact that most Mongol children were taught how to use the bow on horseback, which made it even harder for enemy forces to confront Mongol cavalry: the Mongols would simply run away from the enemy while shooting at them, making it nearly impossible to order conventional charges.
This nullified numerical advantages of the opposition, which was unheard of at the time-most battles during the Middle Ages relied heavily on numerical superiority to overhwlem their enemies.
The Mongols are employed extensive psychological warfare and introduced the darker aspects of a total war. They would exterminate all survivors of one battle to encourage others to surrender. The sight of Mongols stacking skulls into giant pyramids encouraged local governors and officials to capitulate rather than fight back.
The nations of the time were unprepared for the unconventional tactics the Mongols used, and much of later warfare was influences by the Mongols.