Steppe Yubermensh on the tireless Mongolian horse (Mongolia, 1911 year)
Historiography of the invasion of the Mongol-Tatars (or the Tatar-Mongols, or the Tatars and the Mongols, and so on, as you like) in Russia has more than 300 years. This invasion became a generally accepted fact from the end of the 17th century, when one of the founders of Russian Orthodoxy, the German Innocent Gizel wrote the first textbook on stories Russia - "Synopsis". According to this book, the native history of the Russian hollowed all subsequent 150 years. However, so far none of the historians have taken the liberty to make a “road map” of the campaign of Khan Baty in the winter of 1237-1238 to North-Eastern Russia.
That is, take and calculate how many tireless Mongolian horses and warriors passed, what they ate and so on. The Interpreter's blog, due to its limited resources, tried to correct this flaw.
A bit of prehistory
At the end of the XII century, a new leader appeared among the Mongolian tribes - Temuchin, who managed to unite most of them around him. In 1206, he was proclaimed on a kurultai (analogous to the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR) by the common Mongol khan under the nickname Genghis Khan, who created the notorious “nomadic state”. Without losing a minute later, the Mongols set about conquering the surrounding territories. By the 1223 year, when the Mongol detachment of commanders Jabe and Subudai collided with the Russian-Polovtsian army on the Kalka river, zealous nomads managed to conquer territories from Manchuria in the east to Iran, the southern Caucasus and modern western Kazakhstan, defeating the state of Khorezmshah and capturing part of northern China.
In 1227, Genghis Khan died, but his heirs continued their conquests. By 1232, the Mongols reached the middle Volga, where they fought with the nomadic Polovtsy and their allies - the Volga Bulgars (the ancestors of the modern Volga Tatars). In the 1235 year (according to other data, in the 1236 year), a decision was made on a kurultai on a global campaign against the Kipchaks, Bulgarians and Russians, and further to the West. This campaign was led by the grandson of Genghis Khan - Khan Batu (Batu). Here we must make a retreat. In the 1236-1237 years, the Mongols, who had led fighting at that time in vast areas from modern Ossetia (against the Alans) to the modern Volga republics, seized Tatarstan (Volga Bulgaria) and began concentrating against the Russian principalities in the fall of 1237.
Empire Planetary Scale
In general, why the nomads from the shores of Kerulen and Onon needed the conquest of Ryazan or Hungary is not really known. All attempts by historians to substantiate such agility of the Mongols, look rather pale. Regarding the Western campaign of the Mongols (1235-1243 years), they came up with a bike that the attack on the Russian principalities was a measure to secure their flank and destroy the potential allies of their main Polovtsi enemies (partially the Polovtsi left for Hungary, but the majority of them became the ancestors of modern Kazakhs). True, neither the Ryazan principality, nor Vladimir-Suzdal, nor the so-called. The Novgorod Republic were never allies of either the Polovtsy or the Volga Bulgars.
Also, almost all historiography about the Mongols does not really say anything about the principles of the formation of their armies, the principles of controlling them, and so on. At the same time, it was believed that the Mongols formed their tumens (field operative units), including from the conquered peoples, nothing was paid for the service to the soldier, they were threatened with the death penalty for any offense.
The scientists tried to explain the successes of the nomads this way and that, but each time it turned out pretty funny. Although, ultimately, the level of organization of the Mongolian army, from intelligence to communications, could be envied by the armies of the most developed countries of the 20th century (although after the end of the era of wonderful campaigns, the Mongols — after 30 years after the death of Genghis Khan — instantly lost all their skills). For example, it is believed that the head of the Mongolian intelligence commander Subudai, maintained relations with the Pope of Rome, the German-Roman emperor, Venice, and so on.
Moreover, the Mongols, of course, during their military campaigns acted without any radio communications, railways, road transport, and so on. In Soviet times, historians interlaced the traditional fantasy by that time about the steppe Jubermensch who did not know fatigue, hunger, fear, etc., with a classic ritual on the field of the class-formation approach:
With a total recruitment to the army, every dozen kibitok had to put from one to three soldiers, depending on need, and provide them with food. Weapon in peacetime was stored in special warehouses. It was the property of the state and was issued to the soldiers when they marched. Upon returning from a hike, each soldier was obliged to surrender their weapons. The soldiers did not receive their salaries, but they themselves paid taxes with horses or other cattle (one head each with a hundred heads). During the war, each soldier had an equal right to use loot, a certain part of which was obliged to surrender to the khan. In the periods between campaigns, the army was sent for community service. One day a week was assigned for the service of khan.
The organization of the troops was based on the decimal system. The army was divided into tens, hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands (tumans or darkness), headed by foremen, centurions and tysyatskie. The leaders had separate tents and a reserve of horses and weapons.
The main branch of the army was cavalry, which was divided into heavy and light. Heavy cavalry led the battle with the main forces of the enemy. Light cavalry carried guard service and led reconnaissance. She tied the battle, disrupting the enemy ranks with the help of arrows. The Mongols were excellent bow shooters. Light cavalry pursued the enemy. The cavalry had a large number of clockwork (spare) horses, which allowed the Mongols to move very quickly over long distances. A special feature of the Mongolian army was the complete absence of a wheeled wagon train. Only the tents of the Khan and especially notable persons were transported in carts ...
Each soldier had a file for sharpening arrows, an awl, a needle, threads and a sieve for sifting flour or filtering turbid water. The rider had a small tent, two tursuk (leather bags): one for water, the other for cool (dried sour cheese). If the food supply dried up, the Mongols bleed the horses and drank it. In this way, they could be content with 10 days.
In general, the term "Mongol-Tatars" (or Tatar-Mongols) is very bad. It sounds like Croatian-Indians or Finno-Negroes, if we talk about its meaning. The fact is that the Russians and the Poles, who had come across nomads in the 15th-17th centuries, called them the same - the Tatars. Later, the Russians often transferred this to other peoples who had nothing to do with the nomadic Turks in the Black Sea steppes. The Europeans, who for a long time considered Russia (then Muscovy) Tataria (more precisely, Tartary), made their contribution to this mess, which led to very fancy designs.
View of the French on Russia in the middle of the XVIII century
Anyway, that the Tatars who attacked Russia and Europe were also Mongols, society learned only at the beginning of the 19th century, when Christian Kruse published “Atlas and tables for viewing the history of all European lands and states from their first population to of our times. " Then the idiotic term joyfully picked up already and Russian historians.
Particular attention should also be paid to the number of conquerors. Naturally, no documentary data on the size of the Mongolian army reached us, and the most ancient and unquestionably trusted historians source is the historical work of the authors' team led by the Iranian state official Hulaguid Rashid-ad-Din “List of Chronicles“. It is believed that it was written in the beginning of the XIV century in Persian, though it only surfaced at the beginning of the XIX century, the first partial edition in French was published in 1836 year. Up until the middle of the 20th century, this source was not completely translated and published.
According to Rashid ad-Din, by 1227 (the year of the death of Genghis Khan), the total number of the army of the Mongolian Empire was 129 thousand people. If Plano Carpini is to be believed, then 10 years later the army of phenomenal nomads made 150 thousands of Mongols proper and 450 thousands more people recruited in a “voluntary-compulsory” order from subject nations. Pre-revolutionary Russian historians estimated the size of the Batu army concentrated in the autumn of 1237 at the borders of the Ryazan principality, from 300 to 600 thousand people. At the same time, it seemed self-evident that every nomad had 2-3 horses.
By the standards of the Middle Ages, such armies look absolutely monstrous and implausible, it is necessary to recognize. However, blaming learned men for fantasy is too cruel for them. Hardly anyone of them could even imagine a couple of tens of thousands of cavalry warriors with 50-60 thousands of horses, not to mention the obvious problems with managing such a mass of people and providing them with food. Since history is an inaccurate science, and indeed not a science at all, everyone here can appreciate the run of fantasy researchers. We will use the already classic estimate of the number of Batu's army in 130-140 thousand people, which was proposed by the Soviet scientist V.V. Kargolov. His assessment (like everyone else, completely sucked from the finger, if to speak extremely seriously) in historiography, however, is prevalent. In particular, it is shared by the largest contemporary Russian researcher in the history of the Mongolian empire, R.P. Khrapachevsky.
From Ryazan to Vladimir
In the autumn of 1237, the Mongol detachments, who had fought throughout the spring and summer in vast areas from the North Caucasus, the Lower Don, and to the middle Volga region, were attached to the general gathering place, the Onuz River. It is believed that this is the Tsna River in the modern Tambov region. Probably, some Mongol detachments also gathered in the upper reaches of the Voronezh and Don rivers. There is no exact date for the start of the Mongols ’speech against the Ryazan principality, but it can be assumed that it took place no later than December 1 of 1237 in any case. That is, steppe nomads with an almost half-million herd of horses decided to go hiking in fact in the winter. This is important for renovation.
In the valleys of the Lesnoy and Polny Voronezh rivers, as well as the tributaries of the Pronya river, the Mongolian army, moving in one or more columns, passes through the wooded watershed of the Oka and Don rivers. The embassy of the Ryazan prince Fyodor Yuryevich arrives to them, which turned out to be unsuccessful (they kill the prince), and somewhere in the same region the Mongols meet the Ryazan army in the field. In a fierce battle, they destroy it, and then they move upstream of Prone, robbing and destroying small Ryazan cities - Izeslavets, Belgorod, Pronsk, and burning Mordovian and Russian villages.
Here we need to make a small clarification: we do not have accurate data on the number of people in what was then North-Eastern Russia, but if we follow the reconstruction of modern scientists and archaeologists (V.P. Darkevich, M.N. Tikhomirov, A.V. Kuza), then it was not large and, moreover, it was characterized by a low population density. For example, the largest city of the Ryazan land, Ryazan, was estimated by V.P. Darkevich, a maximum of 6-8 thousand people, about 10-14 thousand people could live in the agricultural district of the city (within a radius of 20-30 kilometers). The remaining cities had a few hundred people, at best, like Moore, up to a couple of thousand. Based on this, it is unlikely that the total population of the Ryazan principality could exceed 200-250 thousand people.
Of course, to conquer such a “proto-state” 120-140, thousands of warriors were more than an excess number, but we will stick to the classic version.
16 December Mongols after marching to 350-400 kilometers (that is, the average daily transition rate is here to 18-20 kilometers) go to Ryazan and begin its siege - they build a wooden fence around the city, build stone-throwing machines with which they lead shelling of the city. In general, historians admit that the Mongols achieved incredible - by the standards of the time - success in the siege case. For example, historian R.P. Khrapachevsky seriously believes that the Mongols were able to literally, in a day or two, bury any stone-throwing machines on the spot from the forest at hand:
There was everything necessary for assembling kamnemetov - there were enough specialists from China and Tangut in the combined army of the Mongols ..., and Russian forests supplied the Mongols with timber for the assembly of siege weapons in abundance.
Finally, December 21 Ryazan fell after a fierce assault.
We also have no clear evidence of what the climatic conditions were in December 1239, but since the Mongols chose ice on the way to travel (there was no other way to go through the woodland, the first permanent roads in North-Eastern Russia are documented only in XIV century), we can assume that it was already a normal winter with frost, perhaps snow.
Also important is the question of what the Mongolian horses ate during this campaign. From the works of historians and modern studies of steppe horses, it is clear that it was a question of very unpretentious, small ones - growth at the withers to 110-120 centimeters, horsemen. Their main food is hay and grass. In natural habitats, they are unpretentious and hardy enough, and in the winter during tebenevki they are able to break the snow in the steppes and eat last year's grass.
On the basis of this, historians unanimously believe that thanks to these properties, the question of feeding horses during the campaign of 1237-1238 in the winter in Russia was not. Meanwhile, it is not difficult to notice that the conditions in this region (the thickness of the snow cover, the area of grass stands, as well as the general quality of the phytocenoses) differ from, say, Halhi or Turkestan. In addition, the winter snowstorm of the steppe horses consists of the following: a herd of horses slowly, walking a few hundred meters a day, moves across the steppe, looking for rotten grass under the snow. Animals thus save their energy costs. However, in the campaign against Russia, these horses had to pass 10-20-30 and even more kilometers (see below) in the cold in the cold, carrying luggage or a warrior. Did the horses manage to replenish their energy costs in such conditions?
After the capture of Ryazan, the Mongols began to move towards the fortress of Kolomna, which is a kind of "gate" to the Vladimir-Suzdal land. Having traveled 130 kilometers from Ryazan to Kolomna, according to Rashid ad-Din and R.P. Khrapachevsky, the Mongols at this fortress "stuck" to 5 or even 10 in January 1238 of the year. On the other hand, a strong Vladimir army is moving to Kolomna, which, probably, the Grand Duke Yury Vsevolodovich equipped immediately after receiving the news about the fall of Ryazan (he and the Chernigov Prince refused to assist Ryazan). The Mongols send an embassy to him with a proposal to become their tributary, but the negotiations also fail (according to the Laurentian Chronicle - the prince agrees to pay tribute, but still sends troops near Kolomna).
According to V.V. Kargalov and R.P. Khrapachevsky, the battle of Kolomna began no later than 9 in January and lasted as long as 5 days (according to Rashid ad-Din). Here a natural question immediately arises - historians are confident that the military forces of the Russian principalities were generally modest and corresponded to the reconstructions of the era when the army at 1-2 was thousands of people standard, and 4-5 and more than thousands of people represented a huge army. It is unlikely that Prince Vladimir of Vladimir Yevgeny Vsevolodovich could collect more (if you make a retreat: the total population of Vladimir land, according to various estimates, varied within 400-800 thousand people, but all of them were scattered over a vast territory, and the population of the capital city of land - Vladimir, even for the most daring reconstructions, did not exceed 15-25 thousand people). Nevertheless, under Kolomna the Mongols were stuck for several days, and the intensity of the battle shows the fact of the death of Chingizid Kulkan - the son of Genghis Khan.
After the victory at Kolomna, either in a three- or a five-day battle, the Mongols boldly move on the ice of the Moscow River towards the future Russian capital. The distance in 100 kilometers they literally pass over 3-4 of the day (the average daily march rate is 25-30 kilometers): in the opinion of R.P. Khrapachev siege of Moscow nomads began on January 15 (according to NM Karamzin - January 20). The quick Mongols caught the Muscovites off guard - they didn’t even know about the results of the battle of Kolomna, and after a five-day siege, Moscow shared the fate of Ryazan: the city was burned down, all of its inhabitants were exterminated or hijacked.
It is worth noting here that all historians recognize the fact of the movement of Mongol-Tatars without a wagon train. Say, unpretentious nomads he was not needed. Then it is not entirely clear what fact and how the Mongols moved their stone-throwing machines, projectiles to them, forges (for repairing weapons, making up for losing arrowheads, etc.), how were the prisoners hijacked. Since for all the time the archaeological excavations in the territory of North-Eastern Russia were not found a single burial of the "Mongol-Tatars", some historians even agreed to the version that the nomads took their dead people back to the steppes (V.P. Darkevich, V. .V. Kargalov). Of course, it is not even worthwhile to raise the question of the fate of the wounded or sick in this light (otherwise our historians will come to the conclusion that they were eaten, a joke) ...
Nevertheless, having spent about a week in the environs of Moscow and plundering its agricultural kontado, the Mongols moved along the ice of the Klyazma River (crossing the forest divide between this river and the Moscow River) to Vladimir. Having passed 7 days over 140 kilometers (average daily march speed is about 20 kilometers), nomads of February 2 1238 of the year begin the siege of the capital of Vladimir land. By the way, it is on this transition that the Mongolian army in 120-140 thousand people are “caught” by the tiny detachment of the Ryazan boyar Yevpaty Kolovrat either in 700, or in 1700 a man against whom the Mongols — from impotence — are forced to use stone-throwing machines to overcome it ( It is worth considering that the legend of Kolovrat was written down, as historians believe, only in the 15th century, so ... it is difficult to consider it fully documentary).
Let us ask an academic question: what is a general army in 120-140 thousand people with almost 400 thousand horses (and it’s not clear if there is a wagon?) Moving on the ice of some river Oka or Moscow? The simplest calculations show that even moving in front of the 2 kilometer (in reality, the width of these rivers is significantly smaller), such an army in the most ideal conditions (all go with the same speed, observing the minimum distance) stretches at least 30-40 kilometers. Interestingly, none of the Russian scientists over the past 200 years even asked such a question, believing that giant cavalry armies are literally flying through the air.
In general, at the first stage of the invasion of Batu Khan to North-Eastern Russia - from 1 December 1237 to 2 in February 1238, the conditional Mongolian horse passed about 750 kilometers, which gives the average daily movement in 12 kilometers. But if you throw out from the calculations, at least 15 days of standing in the Oka floodplain (after taking Ryazan on December 21 and the battle of Kolomna), as well as a week of rest and looting near Moscow, the Mongolian cavalry’s average daily march will improve significantly to 17 kilometers per day.
This is not to say that these are some record march paces (the Russian army during the war with Napoleon, for example, made 30-40 kilometer daily transitions), the interest here is that all this happened in deep winter, and such rates were maintained quite a long time.
From Vladimir to Kozelsk
On the fronts of the Great Patriotic War of the XIII century
Vladimir Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich, learning about the Mongols coming, left Vladimir, leaving with a small retinue in the Trans-Volga region - there, in the middle of windbreaks on the Sit River, he set up camp and waited for the reinforcements from his brothers - Yaroslav (father of Alexander Nevsky) and Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. There are very few warriors left in the city headed by the sons of Yuri - Vsevolod and Mstislav. Despite this, the Mongols were carrying 5 days with the city, bombarding it with stone-throwers, taking it only after the February assault on 7. But before that, a small detachment of nomads headed by Subudai managed to burn Suzdal.
After the capture of Vladimir, the Mongolian army is divided into three parts. The first and largest part under the command of Batu goes from Vladimir to the north-west through the impassable forests of the Klyazma and Volga watershed. The first march is from Vladimir to Yuryev-Polsky (about 60-65 kilometers). Then the army is divided - part goes exactly to the north-west to Pereyaslavl (about 60 kilometers), after a five-day siege this city fell, then the Mongols go to Ksnyatin (another about 100 kilometers), to Kashin (30 kilometers), then turn to the west and on the ice the Volga move to Tver (from Ksnyatin in a straight line a little more than 110 kilometers, but go along the Volga, all 250-300 kilometers are obtained there).
The second part goes through deaf forests of the Volga, Oka and Klyazma watershed from Yuryev-Polsky to Dmitrov (in a straight line about 170 kilometers), then after taking it - to Volok-Lamsky (130-140 kilometers), from there to Tver (about 120 kilometers) , after taking Tver - to Torzhok (together with the units of the first part) - in a straight line it is about 60 kilometers, but, apparently, they walked along the river, so there will be at least 100 kilometers. The Mongols came to Torzhok already 21 February - 14 days after leaving Vladimir.
Thus, the first part of the Batu detachment in 15 days passes, at least, 500-550 kilometers through deep forests and along the Volga. True, from here it is necessary to throw out a few days of the siege of cities and it turns out about 10 days of the march. For each of which, nomads pass through forests for 50-55 kilometers per day! The second part of his squad takes an aggregate of less than 600 kilometers, which gives the average daily speed of the march to 40 kilometers. Taking into account a couple of days on the siege of cities - up to 50 kilometers per day.
Under Torzkom - a rather modest city by the standards of that time, the Mongols got stuck for at least 12 days and took it only on March 5 (V.V. Kargalov). After the capture of Torzhok, one of the Mongol detachments advanced towards Novgorod another 150 kilometers, but then turned back.
The second detachment of the Mongolian army under the command of Kadan and Buri left Vladimir to the east, moving on the ice of the Klyazma river. After passing 120 kilometers to Starodub, the Mongols burned this city, and then "cut off" the wooded watershed between the lower Oka and the middle Volga, reaching Gorodets (it is still about 170-180 kilometers, if in a straight line). Further, the Mongol detachments on the ice of the Volga reached Kostoromy (it is still about 350-400 kilometers), individual detachments even reached Galich Mershky. From Kostroma, the Mongols of Buri and Kadan went to join up with the third detachment under the command of Burundi to the west - to Uglich. Most likely, the nomads traveled across the ice of the rivers (at least, we recall once more, as is customary in Russian historiography), which gives about 300-330 kilometers of the way.
In the first days of March, Kadan and Buri were already at Uglich, having traveled three or more weeks from 1000-1100 kilometers. The average daily pace of the march was of the order of 45-50 kilometers among the nomads, which is close to that of the Batu detachment.
The third detachment of Mongols under the command of Burundai was the “slowest” - after taking Vladimir, he set out for Rostov (170 kilometers in a straight line), then overcame more than 100 kilometers to Uglich. Part of the forces of Burundi made a forced march to Yaroslavl (about 70 kilometers) from Uglich. In early March, Burundai unmistakably found the camp of Yuri Vsevolodovich in the Trans-Volga forests, which he defeated in a battle on the Sit River 4 in March. The transition from Uglich to the City and back is about 130 kilometers. In the aggregate, Burundi's units traveled about 470 kilometers in 25 days - this gives us only 19 kilometers of the average daily march.
In general, the conditional averaged Mongolian horse clocked "on the speedometer" from 1 December 1237 of the year to 4 of March 1238 of the year (94 of the day) from 1200 (the minimum estimate, suitable only for a small part of the Mongolian army) to 1800 kilometers. The conditional daily transition ranges from 12-13 to 20 kilometers. In reality, if we throw out standing in the floodplain of the Oka River (about 15 days), 5 days of assault on Moscow and 7 days of rest after its capture, a five-day siege of Vladimir, as well as 6-7 days on the siege of Russian cities in the second half of February, it turns out that the Mongolian horses for each of the 55 of their days of movement passed on average up to 25-30 kilometers. These are excellent results for horses given the fact that all this happened in the cold, in the middle of forests and snowdrifts, with an obvious shortage of feed (the Mongols could hardly requisition many feed for their horses from the peasants, especially since the steppe horses did not eat almost grain) and hard work.
After the capture of Torzhok, the main part of the Mongolian army concentrated on the upper Volga in the Tver region. Then they moved in the first half of March 1238, on a broad front, to the south in the steppe. The left wing, commanded by Kadan and Storm, passed through the forests of the Klyazma and Volga watershed, then went to the headwaters of the Moskva River and descended to Oka. In a straight line, this is about 400 kilometers, taking into account the average speed of movement of fast-moving nomads - this is about 15-20 days of travel for them. So, apparently, in the first half of April, this part of the Mongolian army went into the steppe. We don’t have information about how melting snow and ice on the rivers affected the movement of this detachment (the Ipatiev Chronicle only reports that the steppe people moved very quickly). What this squad was doing next month after leaving the steppes is also no information, we only know that in May, Kadan and Storm came to the rescue of Batu, who was stuck by that time near Kozelsk.
Small Mongol detachments are probably believed to be V.V. Kargalov and R.P. Khrapachevsky, remained on the middle Volga, robbing and burning Russian settlements. How they came out in the spring in the steppe 1238 is not known.
The greater part of the Mongolian troops under the command of Batu and Burundi, instead of the shortest path to the steppe, which the troops of Kadan and Storm passed, chose a very intricate route:
More is known about the Batuya route - from Torzhok he moved along the Volga and Vazuz (a tributary of the Volga) to the Dnieper interfluve, and from there through Smolensk lands to the Chernihiv city of Vshchizh, lying on the bank of the Desna, Khrapachevsky writes. Making a detour along the upper reaches of the Volga to the west and north-west, the Mongols turned south, and crossing the watersheds, they went to the steppe. Probably, some detachments marched in the center, through Volok-Lamsky (through forests). Approximately, the left edge of Batu was during this time about 700-800 kilometers, the other units a little less. By April 1, the Mongols reached Serenska, and Kozelsk (the chronicle Kozelesk, to be exact) - April 3-4 (according to other information - March 25). On average, this gives us another 35-40 kilometers of daily march.
Under Kozelsk, where ice could already start on Zhizdra and melting snow in its floodplain, Batu stuck almost a month on 2 (more precisely, on 7 weeks - 49 days - until 23-25 in May, maybe later, if you count from April 3, by Rashid ad-Din - on 8 weeks). It’s not quite clear why the Mongols needed to besiege an insignificant, even by medieval Russian standards, town. For example, the neighboring towns of Krom, Sleep, Mtsensk, Domagosch, Devyagorsk, Dedoslavl, Kursk, the nomads did not even touch.
On this subject, historians have argued so far, no imputed argument is provided. The most ridiculous version was proposed by the folk-historian of the “Eurasian sense” L.N. Gumilyov, who suggested that the Mongols took revenge on the grandson of Chernigov Prince Mstislav, who ruled in Kozelsk, for killing ambassadors on the Kalka river in 1223 year. It is amusing that Smolensk Prince Mstislav the Old was also involved in the murder of ambassadors. But Smolensk, the Mongols did not touch ...
Logically, Batu had to quickly leave the steppe, because the spring thaw and lack of food threatened him with a complete loss of at least “transport” - that is, horses.
The question of what the Mongols themselves fed on the horses, besieging Kozelsk for almost two months (using standard stone-throwing machines), none of the historians was bothering. Finally, it is trite to believe that a town with a population of several hundred people is still a huge army of Mongols, counted in tens of thousands of warriors, could not take 7 weeks ...
As a result, the Mongols lost a man to 4000 near Kozelsk and only the arrival of the Tempest and Kadan detachments in May 1238 saved the situation from the steppes - the town was taken and destroyed. For humor's sake, it is worth saying that the former President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, in honor of the merits of the population of Kozelsk before Russia, gave the settlement the title of “City of Military Glory”. The trouble was that archaeologists for almost 15 years of searching, could not find unequivocal evidence of the existence of the destroyed Batu Kozelsk. You can read about what passions on this issue were in full swing in the scientific and bureaucratic community of Kozelsk.
If we sum up the estimated data in the first and very rough approximation, it turns out that from December 1 1237 to April 3 1238 (the beginning of the siege of Kozelsk), the conditional Mongolian horse passed on average from 1700 to 2800 kilometers. In terms of 120 days, this gives an average daily transition in the range from 15 to 23 with a small kilometers. Since there are known periods of time when the Mongols did not move (sieges, etc., and this is about 45 days in total), then the scope of their average daily real march spreads from 23 to 38 kilometers per day.
Simply put, this means more than intense loads on horses. The question of how many of them survived after such transitions in fairly harsh climatic conditions and an obvious shortage of feed is not even discussed by Russian historians. As well as the question of the actual Mongol losses.
For example, R.P. Khrapachevsky generally believes that for the entire time of the Western campaign of the Mongols in 1235-1242, their losses amounted to only about 15% of their original number, whereas historian VB Koshcheev counted up to 50 thousands of sanitary losses during the march to North-Eastern Russia. However, all these losses, both in people and horses, were promptly compensated by the brilliant Mongols ... by the conquered peoples themselves. Therefore, in the summer of 1238, the Batu army continued the war in the steppes against the Kipchaks, and in Europe in 1241, what army did invade, so Thomas Splitsky reports that there were a lot of ... Russians, Kipchaks, Bulgarians, etc. peoples. How many among them were the "Mongols" themselves, really is not clear.
Mongolian steppe horse has not changed for centuries (Mongolia, 1911 year)