History of War

KALKA RIVER

“GENGHIS BELIEVED HE HAD A DIVINE MISSION TO UNITE ALL OF THE MONGOL PEOPLES, AND THIS MISSION EVENTUALLY EXPANDED TO INCLUDE THE WHOLE OF THE WORLD”

The figure of Genghis Khan of the Mongols looms like a colossus over the whole history of the Middles Ages, in both the east and west. With an army that displayed unsurpassed mobility and tight coordination, he established one of the largest land empires ever, conquering vast territories in a short space of time. His empire also proved durable, being able to survive his death and division among his heirs for some two centuries or more in places.

Genghis’s beginnings hardly boded well for the future world conqueror. Born around 1162 and called Temujin in his youth, at the age of 12 he became the head of his household when his father was slain by rival Tatars. His father’s erstwhile Mongol supporters would not consent to follow a boy, and his family, consisting of his mother and his brothers, experienced hard times. For safety they hid in the mountains, and Temujin sustained them through hunting and fishing. His early life was extremely difficult, but it toughened him. He also gained warrior followers of his own and married a woman named Borte. When his wife was carried off by Merkit raiders, Temujin daringly rescued her from her captors.

Temujin allied himself with Togrul, khan of the Keraits, and with him took revenge on those who had killed his father, ruthlessly crushing his blood enemies, the Tatars. Eventually

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