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Old 01-01-2019, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Competent enough is an understatement for the Mongols. The Mongols were and still are the most skilled and most accomplished horsemen in the world, nobody can match them, nobody else ever will. The Mongolian steppes horses were and still are the toughest horses with the most enduring stamina of all other types of horses in the world. No other horses can match them. It was the steppes horses that made the Mongols who they were/are and they became one with each other, they had an almost symbiotic existence with each other. The Mongols lived in the saddle, their bodies were built for living in the saddle. Their offspring were born with bodies ready to be and live in the saddle. Without the steppes horses the Mongols would not have been able to exist nor to wage war and conquest as they did.


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But how their horses any different from other steppe nomad horses? It must be the same species all over the Eurasian Steppe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Not really. It was a warrior culture, so it fostered warriors, some of whom had leadership genius. The Greeks weren't predominantly a warrior culture, though they did have a warrior tradition.

Here's an interesting bit of biography, on how Subutai got his start in learning military strategy:
How can they be any more warrior than say the Vikings, other steppe nomads, or other settled peoples? As a nomad, you have less specialization. You have other jobs to do to like herding sheep, setting up the yurt. Plus where will you get your metal to make weapons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Not only they were "good warriors", but they have been known by their cruelty as well.

For example the captured prince of Novgorod ( along with other people) was smothered under a board platform, which Mongols put over them and gathered there to toast the victory.


But as far as their military might goes - "Tatar could live for a month, so Marco Polo maintained, on mare's milk or on blood tapped from the horse's veins, and could stay in the saddle two days at a time, not even dismounting to sleep or to let the animals graze. The Tatars took few captives and so suffered no encumbrances while on the march. When attacking a waled city they built around it another wall that cut supply lines and provided cover for themselves. They set battering rams against stone defenses or simply exhausted the defenders by hurling ever fresh troops against them. Once the town fell, the Tatars put all the citizens to the sword and fired the churches while crowded with refugees. Meeting an enemy force in the field, the Tatars surrounded it and overwhelmed it by sheer weight of numbers. The horde marched in squads, companies and brigades, and the men were sternly disciplined not to accept defeat.

There were sound reasons for the success of the Tatars... The Kievan forces succumbed to the vastly superior numbers. Batu led 150,000 horsemen across the Volga in 1237... Furthermore, the Tatars found Russia divided. Some of the princes refused to join in a common defense and held back to fight only for their own principalities. They fell singly, one after another. Whereas every man in the Tatar tribes was a soldier, in Kievan Russia only the boyars and citizens bore arms. The peasants and slaves met the attack passively, accepting the mastery of the invader or fleeing to the woods."


(Melvin G. Wren, "The course of Russian history.")



So this explains a thing or two I guess.

When it comes to riding and using the bows - check out this old video..



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPsUxLLeV1E


If you spend your life in a saddle since your early childhood, you definitely can keep your balance enough to free your hands, particularly when the horse is galloping straight forward.
But how that different from past nomad empires, which have all been beaten?
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
But how their horses any different from other steppe nomad horses? It must be the same species all over the Eurasian Steppe
No NJ, they are all different.
Mongolian horse is... how should I put it - semi feral?

You can read the description here;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_horse

That's a big difference with Turkmen horse (or rather "Akhal-Teke" as they are known now,) and Karabakh horse.


And they are DEFINITELY different from Donchak horses, which traditionally have been used by Ukrainians/Russians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Don

Last edited by erasure; 01-01-2019 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
No NJ, they are all different.
Mongolian horse is... how should I put it - semi feral?

You can read the description here;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_horse

That's a big difference with Turkmen horse (or rather "Akhal-Teke" as they are known now,) and Karabakh horse.


And they are DEFINITELY different from Donchak horses, which traditionally have been used by Ukrainians/Russians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Don
So is that horse only found in a small area of Mongolia? Its is a wide open steppe. That horse must have spread itself out and given access to many other tribes. Plus Mongols not the only people from that region. The Xiong Nu for example are from that area. Did those horses not evolve until the Mongols?
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
So is that horse only found in a small area of Mongolia? Its is a wide open steppe. That horse must have spread itself out and given access to many other tribes.

It looks like it. But there are a lot of them - more than 2 million.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVPXKmv7JYg


These horses look totally unfamiliar to me. I've never seen such small, strangely-looking horses. ( But whatever it is, I feel sorry for them looking how these people break them. It's brutal.)


Quote:
Plus Mongols not the only people from that region. The Xiong Nu for example are from that area. Did those horses not evolve until the Mongols?
I am not sure why you are talking about Xiong Nu ( or Scythians for this matter.)

They belong to the period of ANCIENT history, (as in between the 3rd century BC and the 460s AD,) whereas Tataro-Mongols ( Genghis Khan and all) belong to the post-classical/modern history, i.e. 1200ies.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomadic_empire
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
It looks like it. But there are a lot of them - more than 2 million.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVPXKmv7JYg


These horses look totally unfamiliar to me. I've never seen such small, strangely-looking horses. ( But whatever it is, I feel sorry for them looking how these people break them. It's brutal.)


I am not sure why you are talking about Xiong Nu ( or Scythians for this matter.)

They belong to the period of ANCIENT history, (as in between the 3rd century BC and the 460s AD,) whereas Tataro-Mongols ( Genghis Khan and all) belong to the post-classical/modern history, i.e. 1200ies.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomadic_empire
This whole thread is comparing and contrasting the Mongols to the other steppe nomads contemporary, past, and future. So of course I bring up Xiong Nu. Unless those horse were a product of selective breeding by only the Mongols of that time, then I doubt no one else had access to them and likely used them for warfare.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
This whole thread is comparing and contrasting the Mongols to the other steppe nomads contemporary, past, and future. So of course I bring up Xiong Nu. Unless those horse were a product of selective breeding by only the Mongols of that time, then I doubt no one else had access to them and likely used them for warfare.

Oh I see.
If we look at things from this perspective, then I have to say that I am not a big specialist on the ancient past of the Far East ( was never interested in this particular region,) but since there is really not much knowledge from what I gather on this culture ( that you've mentioned - Xiong Nu) I'll say the following, when it comes to horses ( as one of the factors in Mongols victorious expansion.)


Even if we will guess that these particular horses were already around in earlier times, as little as we know about Xiong Nu, they don't seem to be identified as a culture that is closely tied to those horses.
In Mongols case however - their culture is identified by close ties to these horses; in fact it's their symbol and their trademark up until today. These horses remain extremely important in their livelihood.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:16 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
.......... why couldnt the Mongols under Temujin, and his sons be stopped...................
I believe it was their sheer ruthlessness that enabled the Mongols to prevail. They did not even allow their conquered people to learn Mongolian. And as many on here have said their military discipline was extreme; if one man retreats the whole squad was put to death.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Not really. It was a warrior culture, so it fostered warriors, some of whom had leadership genius. The Greeks weren't predominantly a warrior culture, though they did have a warrior tradition.

Here's an interesting bit of biography, on how Subutai got his start in learning military strategy:
?? Literally tens of thousands of people throughout history were educated in military tactics and strategy from an early age and almost none of them showed the genius of Subutai. Once he took his own independent command he proved to be one of the greatest generals to ever live, in the same club as Napoleon, Jan Zizka, Suvorov, Scipio Africanus, etc.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
How could or why couldnt the Mongols under Temujin, and his sons be stopped?

What makes the Mongols any different than the Khazars, Xiong Nu, Scythians, Sarmatians, Gokturks, Kushans, Hephthalites, Huns, Xianbei, Parthians, Timurids etc, etc?

So they have lots of horses, but Mongol steppe is pretty barren landscape. All they have in abundance is animals. How they make arrows? They need trees. Where did they get the metals to make swords, and spears, and armour?

I dont believe horse archery gives that much of an advantage. First there is no way to deploy a more powerful bow on horse back while riding. It will be much less accurate, and I doubt you can reload that fast. How will you control the horse at same time? I have seen videos in which they try to use their teeth to hold reigns. Yeh right, good luck with that.

Sure the recurve bow can be powerful, but while riding, maintaining balance, I doubt you can draw as fully as a person standing. The nomads not the only people who can make strong strong ranged weapons. There is no way. They lack the resources of settled peoples to experiment.

Plus a bow is only as strong as the person pulling it. I doubt they can make a personal bow with enough leverage for a human to pull while riding on horse back, able to punch through quality shields, that wont cause massive fatigue in the user or give them more range than a ranged weapon deployed from standing.

Even if you are on horse back, you still have to ride into range and then get out. The only way to do this is to make a loop. That should be their weakness. As they are riding in to attack infantry, you can send your cavalry to other end of the loop. You infantry will simply keep marching forward. The horse archer column will be trapped.
All those doubts of yours are mistaken presumptions.

The Mongols horses were bred for endurance. Endurance makes a superior war horse.
The Mongol bow's pull is typically about 100 lbs, but the Mongols didn't pull a bow like the Europeans did; they used them like the Native Americans, with a short hard pull and quick release, like a snap shot.

All the Mongol's military tactics were cavalry-based. They didn't use foot soldiers, and they didn't travel with encumbering wagon trains or heavy equipment. This allowed them tremendous speed and flexibility against armies more accustomed to fighting on foot with each other or laying into long sieges. The Mongols were like water flowing over stones. Win or lose, they never lingered afterward; they kept moving on.

Since the Mongols rode standing in stirrups, their aim was pretty darned good. The Mongols practiced from early childhood to shoot a bow atop a horse, just as spearmen in chariots practiced in chariots. The Mongols were good enough shots that they could live on ground rodents instead of hunting large animals, and they actually preferred rodents, as they were faster to eat.

Europeans didn't use the stirrup at that time. Their saddles were designed to hold them on their horse by the waist. Mongols' saddles were designed to give them a solid prop to lean against while they were shooting their bows, and they carried 2 large quivers on either side of the 'horn', so arrows were fast to nock in the bow.

There were other things that the Mongols did too- they were constantly on the move when at war. And that means constant; when pressed hard, the Mongols only stopped long enough to tap a vein on their horse's leg to drink a cup of their blood as nourishment, and would sleep in their saddle. (Their stirrups kept them from falling off.)
The Mongols could be reported 100 miles away, a 5 -day journey for a European army of the time, and could be at the city gates within less than 24 hours. Their speed was always a huge surprise to their enemies.

And in defeat, the Mongols fled as fast as they came. Once on the run, they moved so fast they got away from their pursuers.

The Mongols also applied psychological warfare first against their foes. When on the march, their scouts were always far ahead of the army, intentionally, as an announcement they were coming. If a city surrendered without a fight, only a couple of nobles- the 'mayor' of the time- were killed.

But if the city boarded up and hunkered down, the Mongols sent out light catapults in front of the army that shot bucket loads of severed heads over the walls, then maggoty pieces of human carcasses, and then fireballs of flaming pitch.

It that didn't to the trick, the Mongols would hit the city, retreat, more on, then come back and hit it again and again in the same fashion.
And then would kill everyone they could find in it, chop up the bodies, and use them in the next town down the line. Once the locals started seeing dead relatives' heads come flying, they tended to give up the fight.

The word soon got out that the Mongols came back, so one repulse was not enough to stop them. The terror was very effective for the Mongols.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
The Mongols were one of many waves of mounted herdsmen to erupt from the Eurasian steppe to conquer their more sedentary neighbors. The surprising thing is that those more "settled" civilizations succumbed to the same strategies and tactics century after century.



Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Turks, and others all used pretty much the same approach and it worked repeatedly until the widespread use of firearms made mounted archers obsolete.
Some of those tribes became related to the Mongols over time. Most of the Slavic tribes ended up with a lot of Mongol blood in them.

it wasn't from hostilities either; since they all were horse tribes, there was a lot of peaceful trade that went from east to west as horses were an equally valuable commodity for them all.
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