Battle of Mohi Heath, 1241
Subedei versus King Bela IV: A Mongol army under Subedei is confident of victory against a larger Hungarian army under Bela. Will Subedei’s smoke and mirrors prove to be too much for Bela’s numbers? Also known as the Battle of the Sajo River. Click on images below to view; first image opens video presentation and second image opens PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
This battle should scare Western historians; a Mongol invading army annihilates a Hungarian army while another annihilates a Polish army at Leignitz, opening Eastern Europe to destruction. This could have been a preview for the rest of Europe had the Mongols not just suddenly withdrew. Would the Mongols have made short work of Western Europe? The debate continues.
The crucial failure of Bela in this battle is reconnaissance; by assuming the river had only one crossing, he allowed a large Mongol force to envelop his own. Subedei meanwhile proved his flexibility; after failing to lure Bela across the bridge as intended, he quickly devised another equally devastating plan. This battle is a stereotypical Mongol victory and features a wide range of their tactics.
This is the most complicated battle I will ever animate. Take a look at what my screen looked like when I was finishing the animation, here. Even so, Mongol battles are excellent examples of how to not only defeat, but to annihilate, the enemy.
- Jonathan Webb
Dupuy, Trevor N. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present, Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Edwards, Sean J.A. “Swarming and the Future of Warfare.” Pardee Rand Graduate School. http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/2005/RAND_RGSD189.pdf (Apr. 6, 2008).
Gabriel, Richard A. Genghis Khan’s Greatest General: Subotai the Valiant. Norman: Oklahoma University Press, 2004.
Goodenough, Simon. Tactical Genius in Battle. Oxford: Phodian Press, 1979.
Hildinger, Erik. “Mongol Invasions: Battle of Liegnitz.” History Net. http://www.historynet.com/mongol-invasions-battle-of-liegnitz.htm/2 (Apr. 6, 2008).
Kennedy, Hugh. Mongols, Huns & Vikings. London: Cassell, 2002.
“The Battle of Mohi.” All Empires Online History Community. http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=battle_mohi (Apr. 6, 2008).
Hungarian infantry: http://www.sierratoysoldier.com/ourstore/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=158&idproduct=2817
Hungarian heavy cavalry: http://www.miniatures.de/int/dba-army-151-teutonic-order.html
King Bela IV: http://www.krizevci.net/hr/html/belabula.html
Mongol mixed cavalry: http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/russia/ru01.html
Tags: 1200s, catapult, cavalry, Eastern Europe, envelopment of both flanks, feigned retreat, horse-archer, Hungarians, infantry, King Bela IV, land, Medieval Era, modern day Hungary, Mongol Invasion of Europe, Mongols, Season 1, Subedei
Weider History Group