Empire of Genghis Khan and Khorezm. Invasion

So, in the summer of 1219, the Mongol army went on a campaign against Khorezm.


Warriors of the mongols



According to the agreement from 1218, Genghis Khan demanded warriors and 1000 gunsmiths from the Tangut kingdom of Xi Xia. The gunsmiths were provided to him, as part of his troops went on a Western campaign, but the Tanguts refused to give their soldiers. After the defeat of Khorezm, this will be the occasion for Genghis Khan for a new war and the final destruction of the kingdom of Xi Xia.

In the fall of 1219, the Mongols entered the territory of Khorezm, where their army was divided. The main forces led by Genghis, with whom his best commander Subaedei was with, quickly marched through the Kyzyl-Kum desert to Bukhara, located far to the west. The corps of the sons of Genghis - Chagatai and Ogedei, was sent to Otrar. Jochi along the eastern coast of the Syr Darya headed towards the cities of Sygnak and Jend. The 5 thousandth detachment later detached from its corps, which went to Benakat, and then to Khojend.


Genghis Khan and his three sons. Thumbnail from the Collection of Annals of Rashid al-Din, XIV century


Empire of Genghis Khan and Khorezm. Invasion

Mongol campaigns to the west 1219-1225 gg.


Siege of Otrar


Otrar was defended by Kayyar Khan, who in 1218 captured the Mongol caravan and killed the merchants, appropriating their goods. He did not expect mercy, and therefore, in the hope of a miracle, he stayed for 5 months.


Image of the siege of the city by the Mongols, miniature from the Codex of Rashid al-Din


A miracle did not happen, help did not come, and the Mongols broke into the city. Ata-Melik Juvaini in his work “Genghis Khan. History conqueror of the world ”as described by the last battle of Kayyar Khan:
“The Mongol army entered the fortress, and he took refuge on the roof ... And, since the soldiers were ordered to capture him and not put him to death in battle, then, obeying the order, they could not kill him. Wives and virgins began to give him bricks from the palace walls, and when they ended, he was surrounded by the Mongols. And after he tried many tricks and launched many attacks and put many people down, he fell into captivity and was tightly bound and bound by heavy chains. ”




Kayyar Khan, apparently, was a bad man, but he fought, albeit forcedly, like a hero. He was taken to Genghis Khan, who ordered silver in his eyes and ears.



Genghis Khan. Portrait painted by a Chinese master


The city and the fortress of people who violated the laws of hospitality, according to Mongolian customs, were destroyed. Surviving artisans, interpreters and merchants were taken prisoner. The youngest and strongest of the remaining men were identified in hashar, the rest were killed. Hashar slaves had to go with the Mongols to other cities, serve as porters, laborers, during the assault they drove them to the walls before the Mongols, forcing them to take flying arrows and stones, blows of spears and swords.

Genghis Khan at Bukhara


Genghis Khan went to Bukhara, cutting off the retreating Khorezmshah from the main forces.


Genghis Khan’s heading is on the way. Modern reconstruction, Mongolia



Yurt Genghis Khan


In January 1220, his youngest son Tolui went to the city of Zarnuk, which surrendered without a fight. Its inhabitants were taken to the steppe, where officials carried out an inspection, having selected the strongest men for siege of Bukhara in hashar, the rest were allowed to return to the city. Also, without a fight, Suburday was surrendered to the city of Nur. Genghis Khan, who came later, arranged a solemn meeting for his residents. According to Rashid al-Din, a satisfied conqueror asked:
“How great is the lodge set by the Sultan in Nura?”
He was told: "One thousand five hundred dinars." He ordered: "Give this amount in cash, and besides this (you) will not be harmed." They gave the requested, and got rid of the beating and robbery. "


In February 1220, the army of Genghis approached Bukhara and besieged the city, which was defended by 20 of thousands of soldiers.

An-Nasawi in his work “Biography of the Sultan Jalal ad-Din Mankburna” reports that the Mongols stormed Bukhara continuously - day and night. When the commander of the garrison, Amir Ahur Kushlu, realized that the city was doomed, at the head of an equestrian detachment he threw himself into the last attack, and the Mongols who did not expect such a rush ran in front of them:
“If Muslims escorted one attack by another, throwing them like a kick in the back and getting involved in battle, they would have sent the Tatars to flight. But ... they were content only with their salvation. When the Tatars saw that their goal was (only) deliverance, they rushed after them, began to block their escape routes and pursued them to the shores of Jeyhun. Of these, only Inanj Khan with a small detachment escaped. Death has befallen most of this army. ”


The next day, Bukhara opened the gates to the Mongols, but the fortress of this city still remained.

In Bukhara, the attention of Chinggis was attracted by the cathedral mosque, which he mistook for the palace of the ruler. According to Ibn al-Asir,
“The chests with the lists of the Koran were turned into horse nurseries, the wineskins were dumped with wine in mosques and the city singers were forced to come to sing and dance. The Mongols sang according to the rules of their singing, and noble persons (cities), Seyyids, imams, ulama and sheikhs, stood instead of grooms at horse-drawn horses. ”


He further reports:
“He (Genghis) said to the inhabitants of Bukhara:“ I demand from you those silver bars that I sold to you from Khorezmshah. They belong to me and were taken from my people (I mean the property of a caravan plundered in Otrar). Now you have them. ” Then he ordered (the inhabitants of Bukhara) to leave the city. They left, deprived of their property. None of them had anything left but the clothes that were on him. The infidels entered the city and began to rob and kill anyone they found ... The infidels set fire to the city, madrassas, mosques and tortured people in every way, seeking money. ”



Genghis Khan addresses residents of the city of Bukhara. Illustration for the "Collection of Chronicles" Rashid ad-Din. Indian art school. The era of the Mughals, XVI century.


Juvaini says so about the storming of the Bukhara fortress:
“The male population of Bukhara was driven into military operations against the fortress, mounted catapults on both sides, pulled bows, stones and arrows fell, oil spilled from oil vessels. Whole days thus fought. In the end, the garrison found itself in a hopeless situation: the serf ditch was razed to the ground with stones and (killed) animals. The Mongols, with the help of the people of Bukhara Khashar, set fire to the gates of the citadel. The khans, noble persons of their own time and persons close to the Sultan, who didn’t step on the ground with their feet, turned into captives ... The Mongols from the Kanglyites were left alive only by lot; more than thirty thousand men were killed, and women and children were taken away. When the city was cleansed of the rebellious, and the walls were leveled, the entire population of the city was expelled to the steppe, and the young people to the hashar of Samarkand and Dabusiya ... One man managed to escape from Bukhara after it was captured and reach Khorasan. He was asked about the fate of the city, he replied: "They came, they attacked, they burned, they killed, they robbed and they left."



Mongol in full military vestment, Chinese figure


Jochi Corps Actions


The troops of Chinggis' eldest son, Jochi, first approached the city of Sugnak, located on the banks of the Syr Darya. Here, the townspeople killed the ambassador sent to them, and therefore, taking the city, the Mongols killed all its inhabitants - to the last man. In April 1220, Mr. Jochi approached Jend. This city did not show resistance, and therefore the Mongols limited themselves to robbery: the inhabitants were taken out of the walls for 9 days: so that, on the one hand, they did not stop the invaders from digging in their belongings, and on the other hand, to protect them from spontaneous violence by soldiers.

After that, the detachment of Jebe separated from the body of Jochi, who went to Ferghana, causing great concern to the Khorezmshah and forcing him to spray his forces even more.



It was after this, when he saw the enemy troops in the west (Genghis Khan) and in the east (Jeb), Muhammad II left Samarkand.

Siege of Hodzhend


The emir of the city of Khojend Timur-Melik showed fierce resistance to the Mongols of Alag-noion. He had built a fortress between two arms at the fork in the Syr Darya in advance, where he moved after capturing a city with a thousand of the best soldiers. It was not possible to take this fortress right away and the Mongols drove into the hasn 50 thousands of prisoners from the vicinity of this city and Otrar. The Mongols were originally 5 thousand people, later their number increased to 20 thousand.

Hashar’s slaves carried stones from the mountains, which they tried to block the river, and Timur-Melik on the 12 longboats he built, completely covered with felt covered with clay and vinegar, tried to stop them, and at night he made shore trips, causing quite noticeable losses to the Mongols. When it became completely impossible to hold on, he went to Jend with the remaining people on the 70 ships, constantly fighting the Mongols chasing him along the river bank. Here Timur-Melik was met by the soldiers of Jochi Khan, who built a pontoon bridge and installed throwing guns and self-arrows on it. Timur-melik was forced to land his people on the shore of Barchanligkent and move along the shore. So, all the time attacked by superior forces of the Mongols, he walked for several more days, the Mongols captured the convoy with food and equipment almost immediately, the detachment suffered heavy losses. In the end, Timur-Melik was left alone, he was pursued by three Mongols, of the three arrows that still remained, one did not have a tip. Blinding one of the Mongols with this arrow, Timur invited the others to turn back, saying that he was sorry to spend the last arrows on them. The Mongols did not doubt the accuracy of the famous enemy, and returned to their squad. And Timur-Melik safely reached Khorezm, again fought with the Juchi Mongols, expelling them from Yangikent, and went to Shakhristan to Jalal ad-Din.

The fall of Samarkand


At that time, in the capital of Khorezm, Samarkand, there were about 110 thousand soldiers, as well as 20 "divine" elephants. However, other sources reduce the number of Samarkand warriors to 50 thousands.

Now, the troops of Genghis Khan (from Bukhara), Chagatai (from Otrar) approached the walls of the city from three sides, and Jabe led the advanced units of the army besieging Khojend.



Detachments were later allocated from these troops to search for and pursue Muhammad II and monitor the actions of his heir, Jalal ad-Din, to prevent him from joining the Khorezmshah.

Ibn al-Asir reports that some of the soldiers and volunteer citizens went out of the city walls and fought with the Mongols, who, by a false retreat, ambushed them and killed everyone.

“When the residents and warriors (remaining in the city) saw this, they lost heart and the death became obvious to them. The warriors who were Turks declared: "We are of the same kind, and they will not kill us." They asked for mercy, and the (infidels) agreed to spare them. Then they opened the gates of the city, and the inhabitants could not stop them. ”

(Ibn al-Asir, The Complete Code of History.)

The fate of the traitors was miserable. The Mongols ordered them to surrender weapon and horses, and then “they began to chop them with swords and slaughtered everyone to the last, taking their property, mounts and women” (Ibn al-Asir).

Then the Mongols ordered all the inhabitants of Samarkand to leave the city, announcing that everyone who remained in it would be killed.

“Entering the city, they sacked it and burned the cathedral mosque, and left the rest as it was. They raped the girls and subjected people to all kinds of tortures, demanding money. Those who were not suitable for hijacking in captivity, they killed. All this happened in Muharram six hundred and seventeen. ”

(Ibn al-Asir.)

And here is the testimony of Rashid al-Din:
“When the city and the fortress were equal in destruction, the Mongols killed many emirs and warriors, the next day they counted the remaining. Of this number, thousands of artisans were singled out, and in addition, the same number was identified in hashar. The rest were saved by the fact that for obtaining permission to return to the city they were obliged to pay two hundred thousand dinars. Genghis Khan ... took part of those destined for hashar with him to Khorasan, and part sent with his sons to Khorezm. After that, several times in a row, he demanded a hashar. Of these hashars, few survived, and as a result, that country was completely depopulated. ”



Rashid al-Din, a monument in Hamadan, Iran


The Chinese pilgrim Chang Chun wrote later that earlier the population of Samarkand was about 400 thousand people, after the defeat of the city of Genghis Khan, about 50 thousand remained alive.

Remaining at Samarkand, Genghis Khan sent his son Toluy to Khorasan, giving him an army of 70 thousand people in command. A little later, at the beginning of 1221, his other sons - Juchi, Chagaty and Ogedei, at the head of the 50-thousandth army, were sent to Gurganj (Urgench), the siege of which lasted 7 months.

The death of Khorezmshah Mohammed II


And what did the khorezmshah do at that time? An-Nasawi reports:
“When the sultan received a message about this woeful event, it aroused alarm and saddened him, his heart was completely weak and his hands dropped. He crossed Jeyhun (Amu Darya) in a miserable state, having lost hope of protecting the areas of Maverannahr ... seven thousand people from his nephews left him and ran to the Tatars. The ruler of Kunduz, Al ad-Din, came to the rescue of Genghis Khan, declaring his enmity with the Sultan. The emir Mah Rui, one of the noble people of Balkh, also came to him ... They informed him (Genghis Khan) what fear the Sultan had, and notified him how he had lost heart - he outfitted two leaders: Dzhebe-noyana and Subet -Bahadur (Subedea) with thirty thousand (warriors). "They crossed the river, heading to Khorasan, and scoured the country."



Mongols on horseback cross the river



Mongolian horseman, Chinese drawing


The order given to them by Genghis Khan has survived:
“By the power of the Great God, until you take him (Muhammad) into your hands, do not return. If he ... seeks refuge in strong mountains and gloomy caves or hides from the eyes of people like peri, then you should, like a flying wind, rush through his area. To everyone who comes out with humility, show affection, establish a government and a ruler ... Everyone who obeys may be granted mercy, and everyone who does not submit will perish. ”



Mongol warriors. Drawing from yuan painting


The third tumen was commanded by Tukajar (Genghis's son-in-law). Some authors report that Tukajar was defeated by Timur-Melik and died, others that he was recalled by Genghis Khan, who was angry with him for having plundered the cities that had previously expressed submission to Subedei and Jae. Genghis allegedly sentenced his son-in-law to death, but then replaced it with demotion.

So, the chase was continued by Subaedey and Jebe, who in May 1220 captured Balkh without a fight. In the Ilal fortress (Mazendaran territory), after an 4-month siege, they captured Muhammad's mother (who preferred the Mongol captivity to flight to her unloved grandson Jalal ad-Din) and his harem.


The inscription reads: "Terken Khatyn, mother of Sultan Muhammad, was captured by the Mongols"


Eunuch Badr ad-din Hilal reports on the future life of Terken-Khatyn:
“Her position in captivity became so disastrous that she repeatedly appeared at Genghis Khan's dining table and brought something from there, and she was missing this food for several days.”


“Dogs” of Genghis Khan, not knowing defeat, whirled through Iran, but could not overtake Muhammad. At first he fled to Rey, and from there to Farrazin fortress, where his son Rukn ad-Din Gurshanchi was at the disposal of which there was a whole army of 30 thousands of people. The Tumens of Subaday and Jabe at that time acted separately, and Muhammad had a chance to take turns defeating each of them. Instead, he, at the first news of the approach of the Mongols, retreated to the mountain fortress of Karun. From there, he immediately went to another fortress - Ser-Chahan, and then took refuge on one of the islands of the Caspian Sea, where, passing power to Jalal ad-Din, he died - either in December 1220, or in February 1221.


The death of Khorezmshah Mohammed II, miniature


The campaign of the "iron dogs" of Genghis Khan



Campaign of Subudei and Jabe


And Subaday and Jebe continued their fantastic raid. Having defeated the Georgian army, through the Derbent passage they went through the lands of the Lezghins to the possessions of the Alans and Polovtsy, defeating them one by one.


Derbent, engraving


Chasing the Polovtsy, they looked into the Crimea, where they took Surozh. Next was the battle very famous in our country near the Kalka River, in which Russian squads first met the Mongol Tumens.


P. Ryzhenko. After the Battle of Kalka


Subedey and Dzhebe were defeated by the combined forces of the Polovtsy and Russian princes, but, on the way back, were defeated in the Volga Bulgaria - at the end of 1223 or the beginning of 1224.

The Arab historian Ibn al-Asir claims that the Bulgars succeeded in ambushing the Mongols, encircling them, and inflicting heavy losses. Only about 4 thousands of soldiers returned to Desht-i-Kypchak and joined forces with Jochi.



This was the only defeat of Subadeus, who, however, very soon settled with the Bulgars. In 1229, he defeated their army on the Ural River, in 1232, captured the southern part of their state, and in 1236, he defeated it completely.


Portraits submitted to the contest "Creating the image of Subudei-Maadyr" (Republic of Tuva)


The last Khorezmshah Jalal ad-Din and his war with the Mongols will be discussed in the next article.

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