Mongol storm

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After the Battle of Muhi (1241) Mongols dragged enslaved Hungarians away. (In the depiction of 1488, the Mongols are shown as Muslims.)

The invasion of the Mongols (incorrectly also called Tatars , later also known as "Tataro Mongols") into numerous states in Asia and Europe is referred to as the Mongol storm or Tatar storm in occidental as well as Arabic and Persian historiography .

middle Ages

After the proclamation of a supreme ruler with the title of Genghis Khan in 1206, the Mongols ( sometimes referred to as "Tatars" by the Rus ) subjugated large areas in North and Central Asia.

After the first hostile contacts between Mongolians , Russians and Kipchak (Cuman), which in 1223 in the Battle of the Kalka culminated led another campaign, this time led by Batu Khan , son of Jochi , a son Dschings Khan, fifteen years later a Mongolian army to Europe. The Mongols first conquered the Volga Bulgarian Empire and Moscow in 1237 ; from 1238 they attacked the principalities of the Kievan Rus and in 1240 destroyed Kiev, among others . On two consecutive days in the summer of 1241 they first defeated a German-Polish army in the (first) battle of Liegnitz and the contingent of the Hungarian king Béla IV in the battle of Muhi . Their invasion of Lesser Poland and Silesia spread fear and horror throughout Europe. Mongol advance divisions reached parts of Brandenburg , Moravia , Lower Austria , the Croatian Adriatic and Thrace .

The advance was stopped when the Great Khan Ögedei died in December 1241 and Dschötschi and Batu had to return to Mongolia to elect the new Great Khan. Especially Hungarians with Transylvania and Bulgaria did not recover for a long time from the destruction and population losses caused by the attacks. The journeys of Johannes de Plano Carpini and Wilhelm von Rubruk to the Mongols were direct consequences of the appearance of the Mongols, which came as a surprise to the Europeans.

In Asia, the Mongols destroyed the empire of the Khorezm Shahs around 1220 . The attempts of the heir Jalal ad-Din to build a new empire were unsuccessful after battles against the Mongols and Kai Kobad I , the ruler of the Rum Seljuks , so that after Jalal ad-Din's death in 1231 the Mongolian rule over Isfahan and Persia was secured. The Rum Seljuks in Asia Minor were demoted to vassals after the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 , and the Abbasid Caliphate , based in Baghdad , perished after the city was conquered in 1258. A few years later and up to the end of the 13th century, Mongol armies also invaded northern India , where they were defeated several times by Ala ud-Din Khalji , the then Sultan of Delhi , from 1297 onwards.

The Mongols already took into account aspects of “ psychological warfare ”: They reacted to resistance and betrayal in an unusually brutal manner, even for the time; pyramids made of thousands of severed skulls (skull towers) that were poured over with petroleum and burned were also during later Mongolian invasions from the early 15th century handed down under Timur .

It was not until 1260 that the Egyptian Mamluks in the battle of ʿAin Dschālūt and in 1262 the Hungarians under their King Béla IV were able to put a stop to the Mongol associations for the first time, in 1279 the last areas of the southern Song dynasty in today's China were overrun by the armies of Kublai Khan . After 1287, the attacks of the now Islamized Mongols and Tatars in Europe were mostly limited to the successor states of the Kievan Rus, who were subject to the Mongolian successor realm of the Golden Horde . In Asia, however, Kublai Chan's successors attacked Japan , Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as India and Syria by the Ilkhan and Timur.

Modern times

As the successor to the Golden Horde, the Islamized Khanate of the Crimean Tatars continued its attacks on Christian areas, such as Moscow and Russia , the area of ​​today's Ukraine , which was then dominated by Poland-Lithuania , or Moldova . In areas in what is now southern Ukraine that had been taken from the Tatars in the 16th century, the Lithuanians and Russians settled free military farmers , which encouraged the emergence of the Ukrainian and Russian Cossacks .

Conversely, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian Cossacks repeatedly invaded the area of ​​the Crimean Tatars and the Turkish-Ottoman Eyâlet Silistria and along the Black Sea coast (e.g. in Sozopol ). The Tatar incursions ended after the Bakhchysaray Crimean residence was destroyed by a Russian punitive expedition in 1736 .

The invasion of the Duchy of Prussia by Lipka Tatars and Crimean Tatars in 1656/57 is also known as the Tatar storm . It took place after Brandenburg-Prussia under Elector Friedrich Wilhelm had sided with the enemies of Poland in the Second Northern War , which was allied with the Crimean Khanate from 1654. The Tatars are said to have killed up to 23,000 inhabitants of Prussia and deported 34,000 into slavery ; up to 80,000 people are said to have starved or frozen to death in the devastated areas.

The memory of this Tatar storm was still alive 100 years later. King Frederick II of Prussia warned in his Political Testament in 1752 that in the event of a war with Russia, the Tatars (under Russian command) would burn down all places in East Prussia and lead the people into captivity, as they did during the Great Nordic War (1700/21) and the Russo-Swedish War (1741/43) in Finland.

Conceptual criticism

In occidental chronicles Mongols and Tatars were often equated and recently, especially in Russian sources, occasionally summarized as Tataro-Mongols . At least for the attacks in the middle of the 13th century, however, one should speak of Mongolian conquest, the first victims of which were the Tatars who were ethnically and linguistically different from the Mongols. The Austrian historian Johannes Gießauf points out that the Tatar people were almost completely exterminated by the Mongols under Genghis Khan († 1227) and that the minor remains were assimilated by the Mongols.


  • Michael Weiers : History of the Mongols (= Kohlhammer-Urban pocket books 586). Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-017206-9 .
  • András Székely: Illustrated cultural history of Hungary. Urania-Verlag, Leipzig a. a. 1979, p. 26 ff.


  1. However, Islam did not gradually spread into the Golden Horde until 1252.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ JJ Saunders: Matthew Paris and the Mongols. Toronto 1968, p. 124.
  2. Johannes Gießauf: A Program of Terror and Cruelty: Aspects of Mongol Strategy in the Light of Western Sources. In: Chronica - Annual of the Institute of History. Vol. 7-8. University of Szeged, Szeged 2008, pp. 85-96.
  3. ^ Andreas Kossert : East Prussia. History and myth. Unabridged licensed edition by RM Buch und Medien Vertrieb GmbH, Pößneck 2010, p. 87.
  4. ^ Friedrich von Oppeln-Bronikowski: Friedrich the Great - The political testament of 1752. Reclam, Stuttgart 1974, p. 86 f.
  5. Johannes Gießauf: Mongolia - Aspects of its history and culture. Grazer Morgenländische Studien 5, Graz 2001, ISBN 3-901921-12-5 , p. 57.