Timur's successes in his aggressive activities were directly related to the excellent organization of the army. In his military construction, he was certainly guided by the military experience of the Mongol-Mongols and the rules of Genghis Khan. His empire rested solely on the military power and abilities of Tamerlane himself.
The military organization of the troops was built like the Mughal and the Rus according to the decimal system: tens, hundreds, thousands, tumens (10 thousand). The personal guard of the Emir was composed exclusively of the Barlas tribe. Iron Chromets paid special attention to the selection of commanders. “The chief,” he said, “whose power is weaker than the stick and stick, is unworthy of the title.” “Military democracy” remained at the lowest level - foremen were selected in their top ten. Centurions, thousanders and commanders were appointed. The difference from the army of Genghis Khan was that all the soldiers received a certain salary. The foreman received his ten salary, that is, he was interested in raising the rates of his warriors, the centurion received the salary of six foremen, etc. The disciplinary penalty was to retain a tenth of the salary. The incentive measures were widely used - salary increase, gifts, ranks, titles (in particular, the brave hero), banners for the units. Veterans could receive pensions. That is, even then there appeared the same measures that exist at the present time. In addition, units appeared in an undetermined number, in 50-1000 soldiers, called koshuns, as well as larger units — Kuls, whose numbers were also non-permanent.
The army of Tamerlane was divided into cavalry and infantry. Standardized weapons. A simple equestrian warrior should have had a horse, bow, 20 arrows, ax, saw, awl, needle, lasso, and waterskin. On 19 warriors relied kibitka. It was easy cavalry. In heavy cavalry, a warrior had two horses, a helmet, armor (chain mail, lamellar armor), a sword or saber, and a bow and arrows, and there were five people in the tent. The light infantry of Tamerlane followed the campaign on horseback, and dismounted for combat to increase the accuracy of shooting. The infantryman was armed with a sword, a bow and up to 30 arrows. The infantry was able to build earthworks in front of which they installed massive shields. The infantry was mostly lightly armed and mainly consisted of archers, but there were also heavily armed strike troops in the army. Warriors of heavy infantry fought with sabers, axes and maces and were protected by armor, helmets and shields. In the cities militia units were formed, they defended cities during sieges and could participate in external campaigns. There was a special mountain infantry in the army, which was used on rugged terrain and when taking mountain fortresses. Were allocated sapper troops. At the service consisted of throwers "Greek fire", siege machinery and pontoon. Thus, all the newest military equipment of that time was used in the Khromts army.
Parts of the troops moved well in the ranks and differed in the color of equipment and the colors of horses. Chromets strictly observed the law of Genghis Khan on parades before the march. He prepared thoroughly for the campaigns, studied the enemy, trying to envisage everything and provide the army with everything necessary. At the beginning of the movement, the troops marched in a wide avalanche, capturing a vast strip of territory. The main food troops were barley and koumiss. Also organized mass raids, hunted. In the campaigns, Tamerlane did not feel a shortage of food for the troops: he was supplied from the vast fertile fields of Fergana and Persia, which he took care of irrigation as soon as he had subdued these territories.
Near the enemy, each tumen-darkness moved in a column of one hundred rows of one hundred warriors in each, at such intervals that the rider, without crowding his neighbors, could freely turn in place in any direction. This system was extremely convenient for instant turns and rebuilds in any direction. Each chief, starting from the thousandth, was obliged to carry with him his own flag, according to which subordinate soldiers and couriers, carrying instructions, could identify him from afar. For the battle, they tried to choose, as a rule, a large and level field in order to take advantage of powerful cavalry. The order of battle was dispersed throughout the front, and especially in depth. By weakening the center, the flanks were strengthened. Created strong reserves. This created the possibility of reaching and surrounding the enemy. Light troops tied up the battle by throwing arrows and darts, then successively attacked the lines of the main battle formation. When the enemy was weakened, Tamerlane threw a fresh reserve into battle, which decided the outcome of the battle. The battle usually ended with vigorous pursuit of a running enemy. Such tactics ensured Tamerlan's continued success in the struggle with his opponents.
For example, the classic can be considered in the Battle of Angora - the battle with the Ottoman army of Sultan Bayazid, which occurred 20 (28) in July 1402 of the year near Angora (now Ankara). Timur's strong flanks broke the resistance of the enemy. Having defeated the flanks, Timur threw a reserve into the attack and surrounded the main forces of the Turks. The Ottoman army was destroyed, Bayazid himself was captured.
Tamerlane and his warriors. Miniature
In his empire, Tamerlane formed a special system of land plots, in many respects similar to the existing system of Timar in the Ottoman Empire. Timur gave conditional possession of land with the peasants who worked on them, called suyurgals. The owner of suyurgala was the sovereign of his lands, but at first he could not pass on the estate by inheritance. In exchange for land ownership, the owners were obliged to perform military service, arriving at war with a detachment of a certain number of soldiers.
The great commander set forth his military theory in his own handwritten “Military Regulations”. The book is divided into three chapters: "How to fight for troops in 12 thousand people," "... in forty thousand horses," "... in a hundred or more thousand horsemen." It contains a very detailed plan for the organization of the army and the conduct of hostilities. So, in the first chapter, Timur wrote: “The first step is the division of forces into 14 divisions. Divisions are built in the center, left and right wings. The right wing consists of the front and rear guard. The front consists of 3 divisions, as well as the rearguard. They (divisions) are called advanced, first and second. The left wing is built similarly. What is the center? Two selective squad; This is the avant-garde center. Here the best spearmen are put, then select warriors, and behind them archers and swordtails. The central avant-garde must first attack the enemy, emitting loud cries: Allah Akbar! ”
Iron Chromets made long hikes in different directions in different years, in order to anticipate the emergence of a strong enemy and capture the loot necessary to maintain a large army. In the conquered territories, Timur acted decisively and cruelly. The defeated were massively slaughtered, buried alive in the ground, given into slavery (the population of entire cities was sold into slavery). So one of the famous images of the empire of Timur is the huge pyramids of the skulls of the dead. His fierce troops destroyed the city of Ani, the one hundred thousandth capital of Ancient Armenia, where the walls of the buildings were laid with the bodies of the living. Under the throne of Tamerlane allegedly was a "small pyramid", composed of skulls of fallen rulers. One of the most frightening pyramids, built by Timur after the fall of Isfahan, consisted of seventy thousand skulls. And after the destruction of Baghdad, more than a hundred of such "structures" were piled. Apparently, destroying the population, Timur undermined the combat potential of the conquered lands. The devastated land for a long time could not gather a large army.
During his campaigns, Timur used the banner with the image of three rings. Rui de Clavijo, Ambassador of the King of Castile and Leon to Timur’s court in 1403, and Arabian historian Ibn Arabshah reported on a sign displaced on Timur’s seal — three equal circles in the form of an equilateral triangle. Clavijo gave this explanation to the symbol: each circle means part of the world, and the owner of the symbol is their sovereign. Before the era of the Great Geographic Discoveries, it was believed that the world consists of Europe, Asia and Africa, washed by the Outer Ocean. And who asserted the rule over these parts of the world, can be considered the ruler of the world. During the time of the Russian Empire, Tamerlanov entered the emblem of Samarkand: “There is a silver, wavy pillar in the azure shield, accompanied on the sides by two golden branches of the mulberry tree. In the silver damask head of the shield is the sign of the tamgha (seal) of Tamerlane three black rings. The shield is crowned with the ancient Tsar's crown and is surrounded by golden oak leaves, connected with the Alexander Ribbon. ”
In the opinion of Svyatoslav Roerich, who studied the symbolism of Eurasia, the seal of Tamerlane meant the triad-triunity sign. It is distributed from ancient India and China to Western Europe and is one of the oldest symbols of humanity. Different nations and traditions explained this sign in different ways, associating it with the threefoldness of the Universe; the triunity of God: in India, the Trimurti, a triad uniting the three main deities of the Hindu pantheon (Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Guardian and Shiva the Destroyer) into a single whole; in Christianity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the Three Treasures of the East (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha); continuity of past, present and future; truth, beauty, justice, etc.
Timur's War with the Horde
A special place in the life of Timur took the fight with the Horde. Rather, not with the whole Horde, but with its individual parts. While he asserted his power in Maverannakhr, in the eastern part of the Ulus Juchi, the White Horde, Urus Khan strengthened his position. In 1372, he reached the lower reaches of the Volga, took both Sheds and declared himself Khan of the Golden Horde. Urus Khan tried to unite the once powerful Juchi ulus. This ruler (by the way, apparently, his mother was a Russian princess, that's why his name is Urus) was so strong then that Timur did not dare to speak out against him openly for a long time. In addition, at that time Timur was just beginning to create his own empire.
However, Timur was afraid of such a dangerous neighbor and, not daring to act openly, led a "hybrid war." He bribed and lured to his side the princes, military leaders and dignitaries of Urus Khan. At the court of Tamerlane, he sought the patronage of a descendant of the son of Genghis Khan Juchi, who claimed authority over the entire Horde, Tokhtamysh. Timur made a major bet on him. Chromets surrounded Tokhtamysh with unprecedented honors, even ordered to put a tent higher than his own in Samarkand (Tokhtamysh was Chingisid). Tokhtamysh received money weapon, horses, and even a whole army - a few riders of riders. Tamerlane’s protege was to take the capital of the Blue Horde, Sygnak (South Kazakhstan). Therefore, it is worth noting that the subsequent performance of Tokhtamysh against Timur was a real rebellion of the feudal lord against his lord.
In 1376, Timur threw his vassal into battle. Against him came the army under the command of the son of Urus-Khan Kutlug-Buk, who was considered the heir to the throne and during the absence of his father served as ruler of the Blue Horde. Tokhtamysh lost the battle, but Kutlug-Buk died in it. In Samarkand, Timur replenished the army of his vassal and again sent to war with the powerful Khan of the White Horde. Tokhtamysh again invaded the Golden Horde. However, he was again defeated by Toktakia, the son of Urus-Khan, and took refuge with Timur. Urus Khan demanded that the Emir, under the threat of war, extradite Tokhtamysh to him, but Timur refused. Then Tamerlane himself went to war with Urus-Khan, but neither one nor the other won a decisive victory.
Fate itself has made adjustments to the further fate of the rulers. In 1377, Urus Khan died (or was killed during one of the clashes). After the short reign of Toktakia, Timur-Malik entered the throne of Golden Horde. A new Khan fought off the first attack of Tokhtamysh. But he was unpopular among the nobility, representatives of the tops of the Blue Horde began to run to Toktamysh. Therefore, another attempt of Tokhtamysh was crowned with success. The army of Timur-Melik almost in full force went over to the side of Tokhtamysh. Timur-Malik, accompanied by a few faithful warriors, tried to escape, but was captured and executed by order of Tokhtamysh.
Tokhtamysh spring 1378, invaded the western part of the Horde, controlled by Mamaia. By April 1380, Tokhtamysh was able to capture most of the Golden Horde right up to Azov, including the capital, Sarai-Berke. Soon the new Khan managed to unite the Juchi ulus (Golden and White Horde) together. In 1381, on the Kalka River, he defeated the army of Temnik Mamai, who had lost the main forces in the Kulikovo battle a year before. Mamai fled headlong to Cafu and was killed there by his recent allies, the Genoese. Tokhtamysh quickly restored the power of the Horde in Russia. In 1382, he took and burned Moscow, walked with fire and sword and the Ryazan principality. Again, the Russian princes reached out to the Horde for the labels.
Being proud of his success, Tokhtamysh decided to throw off his dependence on the Central Asian ruler. Timur and Tokhtamysh had a conflict over disputed regions. The two main regions that contested the Golden Horde and Timur's empire were Khorezm and Azerbaijan. Both were relatively autonomous and ruled by local dynasties: Khorezm - Sufiz, Azerbaijan - Jalayrid. Khorezm was actually dependent on Timur since the end of the 1370s. In 1385, the emir made a trip to Azerbaijan, defeated the troops of Jalayrid in Sultania, but did not complete the conquest of the region and returned to Persian affairs. Tokhtamysh responds with his military expedition - Tabriz, the capital of Azerbaijan, is captured, but also does not strengthen here, but retreats to the initial positions. In response, Timur conquered Transcaucasia and incorporated it into his empire.
Thus, Tamerlane understood that his "fancy dog" had started a war against him. In the winter of 1386-1387. in Dagestan, the troops of Khromts entered the battle with the army of Tokhtamysh. Khan had to retreat. The relationship of the two rulers was hopelessly flawed.
The next step makes Tokhtamysh. Having entered into an alliance with the Semirechensk Mongols, he already breaks through into the territory directly subordinate to Timur. 1388, Tokhtamysh suddenly struck in the heart of his possessions: the Golden Horde troops passed Sygnak and entered Maverannahr and laid siege to Bukhara. Then Khan even besieged Samarkand. The defense of the city was headed by the son of Tamerlane Omar. By the end of the year, Iron Khromets himself came up with the troops, and Tokhtamysh chose not to join the battle and return to the Horde.
Timur decided to punish the insolent and organize a major campaign. However, for the beginning it was necessary to restore order in the rear. Thus, Khorezm was punished for an alliance with the enemy. Timur dealt with his capital and its inhabitants with his characteristic ferocity. Urgench was almost completely destroyed, and the soldiers sowed barley throughout its territory. However, after the campaign 1391 of the year, the emir who was probably in a good mood allowed him to rebuild the city. In 1389, the troops of Iron Hromtz made a devastating campaign deep into the Mongolian possessions to the north of the Irtysh and to the Great Yulduz to the east.
In 1391, Tamerlan was ready for a big hike. Feeling his strength, he offered peace to Tokhtamysh, but he did not agree. In February, 1391, Timur concentrated an army of many thousands (200 thousand) on the Syr Darya and gathered here a kurultai, on which he gave his military leaders the last instructions. In April, the army reached the Sary-Su river in Kazakhstan, where it stopped to rest. From here Khromets led the army to the north, to the region of Upper Tobol, where, according to intelligence data, part of the Tokhtamysh army was based. The Horde Khan, in turn, trying to avoid a battle, led his forces to the west, to Yaiku (now the Ural River). While Timur's army was moving towards Yaik, the enemy moved further away. Only on the middle Volga, in the area of today's Samara, 18, June, a bloody battle took place on the Kondurche River. It is believed that about 500 thousand warriors came together in a fierce battle. At the beginning of the battle, the more numerous, but less organized, Horde troops attempted to reach the enemy from the flanks, but all the attacks of the Horde warriors were repulsed. Then the army of Tamerlane launched a counter-offensive and overturned the Horde with a powerful flank attack and throughout the 200, the versts pursued them to the banks of the Volga. Tokhtamysh's army suffered a terrible defeat. Tokhtamysh himself barely carried off his legs. 26 days Timur celebrated victory, spending time in endless feasts.
Hike 1391 of the Year
Timur did not chase the enemy and returned to Samarkand. However, Chromets underestimated the potential of an ambitious opponent. In the battle, only the army was defeated, but not the Horde, which retained a huge military potential. Soon Tokhtamysh regained his power over her and gathered another huge army. In 1394, Timur learned that Tokhtamysh had reassembled the army and formed an alliance against him with the Sultan of Egypt Barkuk (Timur was planning an invasion of Egypt). Tokhtamysh also concluded an alliance with the Grand Duke of Lithuania and Poland, King Jagiello. Horde again invaded the Caucasus and began to ravage the borders of the empire of Timur. An army was sent against them, but the Horde retreated to the north.
Timur decided that Tokhtamysh should be destroyed once and for all, and also to ruin the Horde in order to undermine the power of the enemy. In the spring of 1395, Timur gathered a huge army near the Caspian Sea. Then he moved his troops to the north, going from the Caucasus to Dagestan along the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Timur's troops defeated Kaytag Utsmiystvo, which acted as an ally of Tokhtamysh. In April, his army camped in the valley of the Terek, from where the main forces of the khan were visible. Here 15 April 1395 was a battle on the Terek, which largely predetermined the fate of the Golden Horde. More than 1 million warriors participated in the battle. The battle was similar to the battle on the river Kondurche. First, the flanks of the Horde army pushed the enemy, but Timur brought in fresh forces and reserves, correcting the situation. Horde, unable to withstand the onslaught of the enemy, flinch and began to retreat. Developing success, the troops of Iron Khromtz overturned the left flank of Tokhtamysh’s army. Soon the army of Tokhtamysh, completely disorganized, turned to stampede. The fierceness and perseverance of the battle is indicated by losses - up to half the composition of both armies.
Hike 1395 of the Year
Timur did not repeat the previous mistake and, not giving the enemy time to recover, moved in pursuit of Tokhtamysh. Khromets invaded the western uluses of the Golden Horde, who betrayed the devastation and robbery. Part of the troops of Tamerlane, who were no longer needed, sent back to Shiraz and Samarkand. On the Volga, he lost track of the fugitive, but the expedition continued. Tamerlane suppressed the speeches of emirs of Tokhtamysh on the lower Don.
After that, Timur's army went to Russia, the troops of which were more than once included in the composition of Tokhtamysh's troops, many Russian princes were in close relations with the khan. The army of Tamerlane followed to the north along the Don river in two columns: one — by steppes east of the river, the other — along the western bank. In July, both columns reached the southern regions of the Ryazan principality. The western part of the army, under the personal guidance of Tamerlane, took Elec by storm. The inhabitants of the city were killed or sold into slavery. As a result, Iron Chromets, who terrified Asia, was now not far from Moscow. Apparently, the Moscow princedom was on the verge of a pogrom. Russian troops quickly gathered in Kolomna under the leadership of Grand Duke Vasily Dmitrievich (son of Dmitry Donskoy), they had to keep the defense along the Oka. In Moscow, whose defense was to be led by the hero of the Kulikovo battle, Prince Vladimir Serpukhov, the icon of the Vladimir Mother of God, the most revered Russian Mother of God, was transferred. What happened next is called a mystery by historians, and the clergy and chroniclers unanimously consider it a great miracle. Timur suddenly decided not to go further and turned south. The Russian legend describes that “to the malicious and pregordom” Tsar of Tatar on the night before 26 of August there was a vision that frightened him greatly. The "Lord of the Faithful" woke up, trembling, and for a long time could not explain to his entourage what had happened to him. He saw a formidable wife in fiery robes and innumerable troops blocking the road to Moscow. The wise men and mullahs summoned by Tamerlane explained to him that the Mother of the “Russian God” threatens him with a terrible punishment if he dares to go further into the Russian lands. ” So Vladimir Mother of God saved Russia.
True, modern secular researchers have their own explanations for this event. So, Tamerlan’s turn to the south is associated with uprisings in the rear — Circassians in the Caucasus and some Persian cities. Other authors believe that he was frightened by the difficulties of the winter campaign and was aware of the "great forces of the Russians" and their willingness to face death. They also write that Tamerlane simply did not consider northern Russia as a necessary part of his state, did not see much interest in it from the point of view of profit. In addition, it is believed that only a separate corps of Timur’s army invaded Russia, which itself remained in the steppe at that time. The commanders of this part of the army decided that they did not have enough strength to further invade unknown lands and turned back. However, at home, Iron Khromets widely advertised his actions in the Ryazan principality as a complete subjugation of Russia.
On the way home, Timur's troops defeated the trading cities of Azov and Cafu, and they burned Sarai-Batu and Astrakhan (Hadji-Tarkhan). The Horde cities of the Volga region never recovered from the pogrom of Timur until the final collapse of the Golden Horde. Many colonies of Italian merchants in the Crimea and in the lower Don were also defeated. The northern branch of the Great Silk Road practically ceased to exist. The caravans moved along the southern route through the territory of Timur, and the wealth that previously came to Tokhtamysh, now settled in Timur's treasury. However, the lasting conquest of the Horde was not the goal of Tamerlane, and therefore the Caucasus Mountains remained the northern boundary of the possessions of Timur’s empire.
Tokhtamysh himself managed to escape. However, after the withdrawal of Timur's troops, he lost his former influence and was forced to wage a constant struggle with the khans set by Timur. Tokhtamysh tried to return the Horde throne with the help of the Grand Duke of Lithuanian and Russian Vitovt. But his hopes were defeated by Edigey, who 12 August 1399, in the Battle of Worxla, defeated the combined forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia with its Polish, German and Horde allies. Tohamysh again contacted Tamerlane in 1405. He, now again "nizheyshe", asked the former overlord to help raise a rebellion against the powerful Edigey. Tokhtamysh could not forget about his former greatness. However, Tamerlan, apparently, had already forgotten the old grievances and did not seek revenge on Tokhtamysh. Tamerlane became interested in the proposal, but then he was overtaken by death. And Tokhtamysh soon fell at the hands of Edigey.
It should be noted that the pogrom of the Horde Timur finally undermined the forces of the Horde Empire. The horde as a single strong state ceased to exist, breaking up into separate state formations. Gradually there will be a transition of the conceptual center of the empire to Moscow. Under Ivan the Terrible, Russia will restore a significant part of the Horde Empire, but with the center in Moscow.
Timur's struggle with Tokhtamysh. Miniature of the Facial Chronicle
To be continued ...