Ruthless. and the sons of Genghis’s 4th son. And

Ruthless. Formidable. Conquerors. For
centuries, these are the words that have been used to describe the fierce group
of warriors, known as the Mongols. But before they became the revered Mongol
army we know them as today, the Mongols used to be a group of meagre nomadic
tribes. They did not have much and, as such, would often assist some of the
Turkish tribes on their raids in exchange for a small share of the plunder. In
1206, however, their prospects began to change when Genghis Khan – born as
Temujin and known also as Chinggis Khan – united these tribes to form an army. Under
his initial leadership they grew and began to conquer territories building a
substantial empire existing during the 13th and 14th
centuries, ending in 1368.

 

These are the main leaders of the Mongols. They
are all members of the Borijigin family which was the Royal Family of the Mongol
Empire. Genghis
Khan was the first leader, beginning his reign in 1206. He had 4 sons and of
those four, one of them – Ögedei Khan – became a main leader. Güyük was the son
of Ögedei and Möngke, Kublai and the High general (Hulagu), were brothers and
the sons of Genghis’s 4th son. And the last leader of the Mongol
empire – Temür Khan – was Genghis Khan’s great grandson.

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It was under Hulagu Khan – Genghis Khan’s
grandson – that the Mongols bared down on Egypt bringing with them their fierce
desire to conquer. In all their battles, the Mongols had been undefeated, their
brutal yet effective methods making them unstoppable. Before and outright
attack, however, the Mongols would send an emissary ahead to the ruler of the
country, asking their surrender. Some countries did take this route. In Egypt
they did the same, demanding that the ruler of Egypt – Sultan al-Muzaffar Sayf
al-Din Qutuz – surrender Cairo to the Mongols.

 

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But – much to the surprise and anger of the
Mongols – Sultan Qutuz said no and refused to surrender. He would not bow down
to barbarians and would not allow his people to suffer under his rule. At the
time that Hülegü Khan was going to attack, he received word that Möngke Khan –
his brother and the great Mongol Khan back in Mongolia – had died. Hülegü would
have to leave in order to go and sort things out and he did so with most of his
army. This led Sultan Qutuz to believe that it was his opportunity to strike –
now that majority of the Mongol army was leaving. Qutuz was able to find an
ally in the crusader forces lying between them and the Mongols. Though they
were not friendly allies, they gave Qutuz and his army safe passage and
supplies to take on the Mongols in Palestine.

 

The battle took place in September 1260, at Ain
Jalut. The Sultan and his army approached from the South while the Mongols came
from the North. Qutuz had planned an ambush that would lead the Mongols to
attack with all they had whilst another one of Qutuz’s armies came in as a
second wave. Though the Mongol army was larger, Qutuz managed to defeat them
with this cunning strategy. The Mongols had been undefeated for 43 years and
this victory for Qutuz broke their streak and crushed the idea of Mongol
invincibility.

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