The legend of these malicious methods caused many shahs to tremble in fear of the Mongol army.
Genghis Khan instilled advanced military disciplines to his army, including such concepts as psychological warfare, communication intelligence, and advanced mobility tactics that encouraged combat on horseback. The Mongols were highly skilled and unrivaled riders, learning to ride horses beginning at the very young age of three.
This ability granted the Mongols a significant advantage over their less-equestrian-knowledgeable adversaries and even presented a deceptive impression of the Mongols having more riders than originally estimated on the battlefield. Genghis Khan organized an extremely efficient army composed of strict discipline, tremendous loyalty, and remarkable adeptness. The Mongol army was thus an intense military force that was the most feared and ruthless power to enter the battlefield. By using their highly developed skills in military techniques of surprise, ambush maneuvers, and extreme mobility, the Mongols were able to defeat enemy armies with swift vengeance and merciless punishment.
While these shocking actions may be regarded as the acts of menial and inferior savages, the Mongols were any- thing but inferior in intellect. As further evidence of his military genius, Genghis Khan used supply routes to create multiple communication stations, known as yams, throughout the Mongol Empire that worked to gather and quickly disseminate communication intelligence. The Yam communication network was an ingenious invention, as this system revolutionized and greatly increased the spread of communication and the ability to relay military intelligence throughout the Mongolian Empire.
The yam network was specifically designed for the Mongolian messengers, who often covered great distances of nearly kilometers over one or two days, and these messengers arrived at relays stations along the route for food, water, and spare horses. If these skilled opponents agreed to live as slaves to the Mongolian Empire, they would be useful for the expertise they provided as it related to war.
As a result of this strategy, the most significant contribution came from the Chinese engineers who taught the Mongols how to strike and defeat walled cities. Of the few enemy soldiers that acknowledged Genghis Khan as the one universal ruler, these soldiers were included as part of the Mongol army.
Not only did this technique expand the army, but it also gave the Mongols the advantage of learning new military techniques to use against other enemy forces. Hence, the Mongolian Empire grew not just in domain but also in intellect as the army continued to pillage and devour other empires while learning their secrets along the way.
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The Mongols were one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse empires in history, composed of mainly nomadic inhabitants from all regions. Keenly aware of the cultural differences of his empire, Genghis Khan was supportive of the various religions in the empire as long as they did not challenge his rule. As a further testament to the strength of the army, he refused to divide his troops into different ethnic sects.
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Since he recognized that this would be a weakness and could segregate his army, Genghis Khan believed in supporting a sense of unity and loyalty among the conquered tribes through the integration of all individuals throughout the army despite their cultural differences. Hence, the Mongolian army would fight as a force of one unified people composed of multiple ethnicities rather than as divided units of smaller clans based on religious, tribal, and ethnic backgrounds.
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Of course, despite the resistance or disagreement, discipline was strictly enforced and included severe punishment for those who tried to oppose his policy. Genghis Khan imposed a revolutionary concept on the Mongol army by basing his military on the Asian decimal system. The army was divided into units, the most basic of which was composed of 10 men known as an arban.
In this regard, each man was assigned to his arban for life, and it was for- bidden under any circumstance, whether religious, cultural, ethnic, or simply dislike of his other members, to leave and join another group. The leader of the arban then reported to the leader of the jagun, the next highest unit composed of soldiers.
The remaining units included the mingghan 1, men and tumen 10, men. After all, if the British had been more subtle, with an eventual plan to leave — with their man left safely behind as king — perhaps they could have escaped the normal Afghan trap of gradually-mounting, incessant resistance. Barfield has at least pointed out that the corrupt system of payments clamped down on by the Tory government was actually a form of social glue holding the society together. One observer from the period, Captain R S Trevor, made a similar observation:. In that light 3 Regiments might annihilate it tomorrow, but as an instrument which enables H.
To start with, they united the various disparate tribes against them. Sometime after they left, Soojah was also murdered and the British returned, sending the comparatively feeble Afghan army on the run, sacking Kabul and laying waste to the surrounding countryside. And so the chess board of Afghanistan remained an obvious arena for another round of the Great Game. Back home in Britain, defeat in the first Anglo-Afghan War had been spun into a heroic stand of lionhearted soldiers against barbarian natives who attacked women and children.
The fact that the Afghans had gone out of their way to spare women and children from massacre by taking them as prisoners, and that some members of the British response force in murdered, raped and plundered Kabul, was left out of this version of the story. In fact, like a movie of its day, Richard Macrory describes how the whole affair was dramatised for mass public consumption:.
The audiences cheered. Only fitting then that the sequel to this Hollywood extravaganza of the era should feature many of same, dare we say, hackneyed plot devices, epic backstory elements and heroic character arcs.
Genghis Khan takes Beijing
As Rory Stewart explains:. A new generation of British hawks decided the only response was again to invade. Again there was a public outcry, again, imperial paranoia triumphed, and once again, a British army, this time 40, strong, was marching into Afghanistan… a new envoy, Louis Cavagnari, another swashbuckling, multilingual officer, was installed in Kabul. He lived inside a fortress, not amongst the locals, swore off the ladies, and, apart from riding in on an elephant, kept a low profile.
But fate had apparently cast Cavagnari in the role of unlucky hero anyway, and, like Burnes, he too became the focus of local ire — because his fortress was the Bala Hissar, a royal palace, and his presence here also caused offence.
He took Kabul, examined the mangled corpses of Cavagnari and his colleagues and promptly hanged locals as punishment. Their landlocked box of deserts and soaring mountains and dark green valleys had for centuries been both a cultural meeting point — between the Middle East, Central Asia and the Far East — and a battlefield.
Though he does point out that even if Russia was unlikely to have invaded British India directly, revolts on the northern frontier stoked by a Russian-friendly Afghan monarch were a theoretical possibility. Stewart says:. Suddenly a jihad had been called against them, and when they looked out on a winter evening from their small camp in Kabul they could see right along the opposite ridgeline 60, watch fires burning, from Afghans bent on their destruction.
Bucking the trend of the first war, Roberts marched south and, in September , won the Battle of Kandahar, bringing the Second Anglo-Afghan War to a close. Appraising the situation afterwards, he said:. He said of the first conflict with regards to the British insistence on installing Shah Soojah on the throne:.
When the British protected it, they saw this as the protection of their oppressors, a grievance that lay behind attacks on the British. But one group at the meeting insisted that the former king of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, be head of state. Karzai, though, was light on security. According to globalsecurity. But the site points out that, in fact, both Unocal and Karzai deny this, whereas what is true is that American ambassador to the Afghan government Zalmay Khalilzad was a former Unocal consultant.
Furthermore, local tribal feuds began to work their way into the mix. As a young Army captain, Mike Martin, told Curtis:. They understood how we saw the conflict — they presented their local group conflict, their civil war between groups that had been going on for 35 years, they presented everything in that dynamic. And we… went off and dealt with them.
GENGHIS KHAN'S CONQUESTS
But actually, we were dealing with their previous enemies, so we were just creating more enemies for ourselves. And the currency of power in Helmand is opium. So what better time to declare Jihad, invade British India and enlarge Afghan territory? Britain though held onto her colony, at least until Indian independence in and the end of the British Empire. That left the relatively new Soviet empire to make its own mistakes in Afghanistan, invading and fighting a war of its own there between and They too were forced out, but not without significant cost to the Afghans.
The subsequent civil war and rise of the oppressive Taliban makes a lot more sense in the light of this observation from Thomas Barfield:. While the Afghans had recovered from many earlier periods of state collapse, the body politic was now afflicted with an autoimmune disorder in which the antibodies of resistance threatened to destroy any state structure, regardless of who controlled it or its ideology.
Captain Viktor wanted to know why I had chosen to be a journalist. But what emerged most strongly was that all these soldiers were fascinated by pop music. Why had McCartney been arrested?
They seemed like any Western soldiers: naive, cheerful in front of strangers, trusting me because I was — and here in the Afghan snows, of course, the fact was accentuated — a fellow European. They seemed genuinely apologetic that they could not allow me to continue my journey but they stopped a bus travelling in the opposite direction. I refused. The people on that bus had seen me talking to the Russians. They would assume I was a Russian. No amount of assurances that I was British would satisfy them. I doubted if I would ever reach Kabul, at least not alive.
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He held out his hand. This was incredible. No Western journalist had been able to talk to the Soviet troops invading Afghanistan, let alone ride on their convoys, and here I was, sitting next to an armed Russian soldier as he drove his truckload of food and ammunition to Kabul, allowed to watch this vast military deployment from a Soviet army vehicle. This was better than Mazar. While he was wrestling the wheel of his lorry on the ice, I was being asked to watch the mountain tops for gunmen.
The orange was my pay for helping him out. Slowly, we began to fall behind the convoy. The soldier now hauled his rifle from the back of the cab and laid it between us on the seat.
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