Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

The nomad empire was the result of many circumstances. However, the main one of them could be the invention of a bow, the effectiveness of which is comparable to a firearm.

After the unification of the nomadic tribes in 1206, Temujin was proclaimed Genghis Khan. By 1215, the Mongols conquered most of the Chinese Jin Empire. In 1221, taken Urgench, Khorezm ceases to exist. In 1234, the rest of the Jin Empire went down in history. From 1237 to 1241, most of the Russian principalities were crushed. In 1241, nomads invaded Eastern Europe, in 1243 conquered Anatolia. Baghdad fell in 1258, and the famous stronghold of the Assassins - the fortress of Alamut - was commissioned in 1256.

All Mongolian commanders could not be as talented as Genghis Khan, their armies were not the most numerous, but the rapid expansion of the nomadic domains did not stop for several decades after the death of Genghis Khan, regardless of who led their armies.Due to what, then, did the Mongols manage to change the course of history?

New battle tactics

Contemporaries often left memories of the great victories of the Mongol warriors. In historical sources, an unusual manner of fighting nomads is noted: horsemen quickly moved around the battlefield, changing the direction of movement, often retreat was their tactic. At the same time, the warriors, who were perfectly riding horses, did not for a minute stop archery at the enemy, even during the retreat. The pursuing enemy lost power and concentration. The Mongols, seeing that the advantage was already on their side, immediately changed their direction of movement and went on to the counterattack.

Other scenarios prepared by the Mongols were: splitting the forces of the enemy into parts and organizing an ambush. The enemy, exhausted and fascinated by the pursuit of the main forces of the nomads, received a side strike from the squad that had taken refuge in ambush.

The effectiveness of the battle of the Mongolian horsemen during the retreat was higher than that of most of the warriors of the time when they fought face to face. Special attention chroniclers drew on the ability of the Mongols to conduct archery. Cases of aimed shooting for hundreds of meters were described.The victims of deadly arrows were not only people, but also horses. The power of this type of weapon made it possible to immediately kill animals, which influenced the battle with the enemy cavalry: because of its size, it was much easier to get into a horse, and if a horse was killed, the rider was disabled. Horde hundreds brilliantly used their trump cards: mobility, ability to keep distance and possession of small arms.

An invention that changed the course of history

Many historians (the well-known Russian specialist, Doctor of Historical Sciences Sergey Nefedov stands out here) indicate that the invention of the new design of the bow played a decisive role in the victories of the nomads. Warriors of the Eurasian steppe for a long time used a bow with a composite (multi-component) design. A wooden arc along the sides in the center of the bow was mastered by bone plates. The revolutionary invention of the Mongols was that they got rid of one plate, and the second positioned frontally: before lining strengthened the structure, now the bow has become much more elastic. Such an advantage was not used by sedentary peoples, since the tensile strength of wood, which they most often took for the manufacture of onions, is several times lower than that of parts made from animal bones.

In addition to increasing power, the innovation made it possible to greatly reduce the size of the weapon and to use it while riding a horse with maximum benefit. With a sufficient number of arrows, riders could conduct intensive shooting on the move, which effect was comparable to the use of automatic firearms. At the same time, the strength of the fired arrow of a new type of weapon was so great that it was not inferior to the power of the first guns.

Conjuncture

The characteristics of the Mongolian onion were also the complexity of production and operation, which also impeded its use by other nations. The manufacture of Mongolian composite bows can be compared to the forging of samurai swords. The layers of wood and bone plates, like the layers of metal in Japanese swords, were interconnected by a special technology. Production of weapons required considerable effort. In addition, it was not everywhere feasible. In a humid climate, for example, it was impossible to achieve the required structural strength: it was impossible to dry the glued parts.

Advantage in the development of a new type of weapons gave a special way of life of the nomads.In order to maximally strongly and often tighten the string (the horsemen could do it hundreds of times during the hours of combat), it is necessary to have special training. Nomads learned to shoot and ride from childhood. As a result of long years of hard training, a reflex skill was developed to conduct horseback shooting. To use the new weapons at the same level, neither the Europeans nor the Arabs could.

Another factor that influenced the success of the use of the Mongolian bow by a certain tribal community, historians consider the inaccessibility for most nomads of heavy weapons. Metal armor and swords are found only in a few hordes of graves: most likely, they were available only to rich warriors. As a result, a special battle tactic was predetermined. The army, for the most part consisting of lightly armed archers, could constantly move away from a frontal collision with the enemy, harass and shoot him, and often on the battlefield the matter did not even reach the use of swords and spears.

A new battle tactic, which appeared along with the Mongolian bow, gave an opportunity to the nomads to make a qualitative leap in military art and create an empire of unprecedented scale before that time.

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Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

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Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

Mongolian bow: why the Mongols had no equal in battle

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