Mongols military tactics

The Mongols as we all know we once a military powerhouse, considered far more superior than other country. Just the mere mention of the Mongols would instill fear among soldiers and kingdoms alike. There were so feared that they were given the name “Tatars”, which meant people from Tatarus, the Roman’s mythical variation of hell. In short, they were known as people from hell. There were many factors which contributed to the success of the Mongolian army, to which I attribute to three big components: speed, mobility, and tactic superiority.  

The Mongols were known for their mobility and were able to cover huge distances in a single day, during the invasion of Hungary they were able to travel 160km per day, which was nothing short of impossible in those days.  It was said that each Mongols soldier had 3 to 4 horses, and was able to switch horses whenever one was worn out, thus allowing soldiers to cover a great distance. Mobility was important to the Mongols as much of their battle plan depends on mobility and speed. Mobility allows them to move across terrain at a faster pace, gather intelligence, scout the enemy position, and allows shock attack on the enemy army.

 

One of the battle tactics frequent by the Mongols was to feign a panic retreat. This tactic was used to entice the enemy into chasing the Mongols.  This tactic was useful as it separated the weak soldiers from the strong ones. When the enemy is drawn out of formation, the Mongols would turn around and start attacking them again. This creates panic and fear among the enemy, and as the weak soldiers start running the Mongols would allow them to run and turn their attention the strong soldiers, killing them all before using their horseback archers to pick of the stragglers. As this tactic starts becoming well known to their enemies the Mongols would start feigning retreat for a longer period of time, only to charge back to attack once the enemy grows weary, or when their guard is down.

 

Another tactic which showcase all the three big components of the Mongol army was encirclement. It was used to flank either side with more soldiers in a move to cut off retreat and to overwhelm the enemy. Soldiers used their mobility and speed to overwhelm either flanks and take control of that flank, which allows the other soldiers to cut off escape routes and separate the soldiers from their main column. These commands are usually done according to what the group leaders sees fit, so long as it completes the objective of routing the enemy and gaining the objectives that were set up. The Mongols were also innovative and readily accepted technology and battle strategies of other armies that would help their cause. Borrowing tactics and technology from the Arabs, the Mongols sieged cities using siege weapons such as catapult, and were also one of the few to first use gun powder.

 

Thus, these were some of the few tactics used by the Mongols to expand their land.

 

References:

http://www.yvonnewang.org/mongol-military-tactics.html

http://factsanddetails.com/asian/cat65/sub423/item2696.html

http://www.ehow.com/list_6800593_list-mongolian-martial-arts.html

http://www.viahistoria.com/SilverHorde/research/tactics.html