Tatar invasions

Tatar invasions

The Mongol invasion of Europe from the east took place over the course of three centuries, from the Middle Ages to the early modern period.

The terms "Tatars" or "Tartars" are applied to nomadic Turkic peoples who, themselves, were conquered by Mongols and incorporated to their horde. They mainly composed of Kipchaks.

Mongol-Tatar Golden Horde forces led by Batu Khan, (a grandson of Gengis Khan), began attacking Europe in 1223, starting with Cumans, Volga Bulgaria and Kievan Rus'. They destroyed many Russian cities including Kiev, [ [ The Destruction of Kiev] ] Vladimir and Moscow on the process, sparing Novgorod and Pskov however. They would continue to their march towards the "Great Sea" (Atlantic Ocean) where further conquest is not possible. They defeat German, Polish, and Hungarian armies before turning back to go home; upon learning the death of Ögedei Khan (third son of Gengis Khan, uncle of Batu Khan), in 1241 which saved the rest of Europe from a promising catastrophe.

* 1223: Battle of Kalka River was fought. Mongol attack to Volga Bulgaria has failed

* 1236: Volga Bulgaria and Cumans were conquered, making Russians next target

* 1237: Ryazan was devastated

* 1238: Vladimir and Moscow were devastated, Battle of the Sit River is fought shortly after

* 1238-1239: Rostov, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Kashin, Ksnyatin, Gorodets, Galich, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Yuriev-Polsky, Dmitrov, Volokolamsk, Tver and Torzhok were devastated. In the west, Chernigov and Pereyaslav were sacked.

* 1240: Destruction of Kiev

* 1241: Battle of Legnica and Battle of Mohi were fought, respectively. Devastation of Poland and Hungary following Mongol victories. Death of Ögedei Khan; Retreating of Mongol-Tatar army. Devastation of Bulgaria in the return.

* 1259: First Mongol raid against Lithuania and second raid against Poland.

* 1265: Raid against Thrace.

* 1271, 1274, 1282 and 1285: Raids against Bulgaria.

* 1275: Second raid against Lithuania.

* 1285: Second raid against Hungary.

* 1287: Third raid against Poland.

The Tatars succeeded in establishing control over Rus' principalities. It included both pillages and bloody massacres in Russian cities.

* 1252: Horde of Nevruy devastated Pereyaslavl-Zalesskiy and Suzdal.

* 1273: Tatar twice attacked Novgorod territory, devastated Vologda and Bezhiza.

* 1274: Tatars devastated Smolensk

* 1275: Tatar invasion of south-eastern Russia, pillage of Kursk.

* 1278: Tatars pillaged Ryazan principality.

* 1281: The horde of Kovdygay and Alchiday destroyed Murom and Pereslavl, ruined vicinities of Suzdal, Rostov, Vladimir, Yuriev-Polskiy, Tver, Torzhok.

* 1282: Tatars attacked on Vladimir and Pereslavl.

* 1283: Tatars ruined Vorgolsk, Rylsk and Lipetsk principality, occupied Kursk and Vorgol.

* 1285: The Tatar commander Eltoray, the son of Temir, pillaged Ryazan and Murom.

* 1293: The Tatar commander Dyuden came to Russia and devastated 14 towns, including Murom, Moscow, Kolomna, Vladimir, Suzdal, Yuriev, Pereslavl, Mozhaisk, Volok, Dmitrov, Uglitch. In the same summer "Tatar tsarevitch" Takhtamir looted Tver' principality and captived slaves in Vladimir principality.

In 1347, the Genoese possession of Caffa, a great trade emporium on the Crimean peninsula, came under siege by an army of Mongol warriors under the command of Janibeg. Epidemic of bubonic plague had been ravaging Central Asia prior to the conflict in Kaffa. Brought across the Silk Road, the Mongols used disease infected corpses as a biological weapon. The corpses were catapulted over the city walls, infecting the inhabitants. [Svat Soucek. "A History of Inner Asia". Cambridge University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-521-65704-0. P. 116.] The Genoese traders fled, transferring the plague via their ships into the south of Europe, whence it rapidly spread. It is estimated that between one-quarter and two-thirds of the of Europe's population died from the outbreak of the Black Death between 1348 and 1350.

In 1380 Tatars were defeated in the Battle of Kulikovo by the Grand Prince of Muscovy, Dmitri Donskoi. In 1382 the Golden Horde under Khan Tokhtamysh sacked Moscow, burning the city and carrying off thousands of inhabitants as slaves. Muscovy remained a vassal of the Golden Horde until the Great standing on the Ugra river in 1480.
Poland was invaded by Tatars from the Crimean Khanate in 1506 with an army of 10,000 men, who were summarily destroyed. Tatar forces invaded again in 1589, invading Lwów and Tarnopol, but were beaten back by Cossack forces.

From 1569 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth suffered a series of Tatar invasions, the goal of which was to loot, pillage and capture slaves into jasyr. The borderland area to the south-east was in a state of semi-permanent warfare until the 18th century. Some researchers estimate that altogether more than 3 million people, predominantly Ukrainians but also Circassians, Russians, Belarusians and Poles, were captured and enslaved during the time of the Crimean Khanate. A constant threat from Crimean Tatars supported the appearance of Cossackdom. [ [ Soldier Khan] ] [ [ The living legacy of jihad slavery] ]

For years the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan routinely made raids on Russian principalities forslaves and to plunder towns. Russian chronicles record about 40 raids of Kazan Khans on the Russian territories in the first half of the 16th century. [The Full Collection of the Russian Annals, vol.13, SPb, 1904] The Muscovy was also being invaded by Nogai Horde and Crimean Khanate which were successors of the Golden Horde. In 1521, the combined forces of Crimean Khan Mehmed Giray and his Kazan allies attacked Moscow and captured thousands of slaves. [ [ The Tatar Khanate of Crimea] ]

In the beginning of 16th century the wild steppe began near old Ryazan on the Oka River and Elets on the Sosna, inflow of Don. Crimean Tatars owning tactics of attacks in perfection, choosed a way on watersheds. The main way to Moscow was "Muravski shliach", gone from crimean Perekop up to Tula between the rivers of two basins, Dnieper and Northern Donets. Having gone deep in the populated area on 100-200 kilometers, Tatars turned back and, having unwrapped wide wings, looted and captured slaves. For a long time, until the early 18th century, the khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire. Captives were on sale to Turkey and the Middle East. In Crimea, about 75% of the population consisted of slaves. [ [ Historical survey > Slave societies] ] The Crimean city of Kafa was the main slave market.

Annually Moscow mobilized in the spring up to sixty-five thousand soldiers for boundary service. The defensive lines were applied, consisting of a circuit of fortresses and cities. Cossacks and young noblemen were in structure of sentry and patrol services that observed Crimean Tatars and nomads of Nogai Horde in steppe. About 30 major Tatar raids were recorded into Muscovite territories between 1558-1596. [ [ Supply of Slaves] ]

To protect of invasions of Nogai Horde wandering between the Volga and Irtysh rivers, the Volga cities of Samara in 1586, Tsaritsyn in 1589, Saratov in 1590 have been found.

In 1571 the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray with hordes in 120 thousand horsemen devastated Moscow. The Crimean Khanate was undoubtedly one of the strongest powers in Eastern Europe until the 18th century.

The Russian population of the borderland suffered annual Tatar invasions and tens of thousands of soldiers were required to protect the southern boundaries. This was heavy burden for the state and slowed its social and economic development.

Since Crimean Tatars did not permit settlement of Russians to southern regions where soil is better and the season is long enough, Muscovy had to depend on poorer regions and labour intensive agriculture.

Historians estimate that up to half of Hungary's two million population at that time were victims of the Mongol invasion of Europe. [ [ The Mongol invasion: the last Arpad kings] ] About half of the Russian population may have died during the Mongol invasion of Rus'. [ [ History of Russia, Early Slavs history, Kievan Rus, Mongol invasion] ] Colin McEvedy ("Atlas of World Population History, 1978") estimates the population of Russia-in-Europe dropped by 500,000 people, from 7.5 to 7 million in 1300. [ [ Mongol Conquests] ]

ee also

* Mongol Empire
* Timeline of Mongol conquests
* Genghis Khan
* Mongol invasion of Russia
* Golden Horde
* Rogerius of Apulia
* Grand Duchy of Moscow
* Kazan Tatars
* Russo-Kazan Wars
* Lipka Tatars
* Russo-Crimean Wars
* Kalmyk people
* Nomadic people
* Crimean Tatars
* Ottoman wars in Europe
* Ottoman-Habsburg wars
* List of wars in the Muslim world
* Islam in Europe
* List of Tatar and Mongol raids against Russian states
* Destruction under the Mongol Empire


*Vasily Klyuchevsky, "The Course of Russian History", Vol. 2.
* [ List of Wars of the Crimean Tatars]


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