The Instigator
PatCam
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mikeee
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

The Mongol horde.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,256 times Debate No: 18718
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

PatCam

Pro

As the great gengis had taken over most of the northern chinese Jin dynasty the genius leader known as Subodai was moving into a great campaign to the east. With him he had about 150,000 soldiers. 70,000 of them were mongol warriors. He rushed into russia fighting at winter and moving in summer. As they approached Hungary and Poland they fought two great battles and won both. Slaughtering over 40,000 Knights and infantry. Even the famous knights templar. Could the Mongols reach france? Could they conquer europe and create an empire stretching from sea to sea? After the battle in Hungary were they defeated King Bela IV's army the Great Khan Ogedai died and they had to return for ceremonial funeral and a new Khan.
Mikeee

Con

First round I for acceptance only so I will make a argument in the next rounds
Debate Round No. 1
PatCam

Pro

The Mongol war machine of the year 1240 was a system of 10 to 10 000. This army used ambushes, tactical warfare and had a superior range and accuracy to any European bow at the time. The medieval knights who dominated the battlefields of Europe had no chance to defeat an Mongol light horseman. If the knight rushed into him he could simply ride away with the skill of one born in the saddle and quickly turn around to kill the knight. From the front a knight was undefeated but if his horse was shot in the back and fell he do no more than a tortoise.
Mikeee

Con

Rebuttal:

"The Mongol war machine of the year 1240 was a system of 10 to 10 000. This army used ambushes, tactical warfare and had a superior range and accuracy to any European bow at the time."

Alexander of Macedon (Alexander the Great) was a great military leader. Alexander was often outnumbered by his enemies [2] and it was not uncommon for his army to be outnumbered 1:20. Even though he almost always had the disadvantage by numbers, Alexander never lost a single battle. Alexander's army was well disciplined, trained, and was lead not only by Alexander, but also consisted of well trained and skilled generals.

The Macedonian army was organized in a way that gave them both tactical advantage and could maneuver well during battle. The Macedonian army first started to become a war machine while under the reign of Philip II of Macedon. Under the rule of Philip, the Macedonian army was reformed. Instead of using traditional Greek hoplite phalanx, Philip implemented the sarissa, a long spear that the troops used to plow through enemy lines [8]. Philip implemented new technologies and made a war machine that Alexander, his son, later used to create the largest empire the world had ever seen (at that point).

The Mongols where nomadic people who had a large calvary and used bows to destroy and pillage their enemies. During conquest, the Mongol hoard would rush into the city, and then quickly run back. Thinking they were retreating, the people would try to fight them. Once they got the people to follow them, they turned around on their horses and pick them off with their bows [6]. Mongol warfare tactics only where able to work because of the size of their army and the advantage of large bulky horses. For the most part, the Mongols where a loose nomadic clan that came together to take over their neighbors and rape and pillage their wealthy cities. Simple problems delayed invasions from the Mongols. The Great Wall of China kept the nomadic invaders out for hundreds of years [4] [9].

While the Mongols where struggling to get into China, Alexander the Great was able to overcome obstacles such as walls and fortifications. The battle of Tyre is an example of how Alexander was able to overcome fortifications. Tyre was a Persian naval base build on an island right off the coast. With no navy, Alexander had no war of reaching the city. To overcome his challenge, a bridge was build, allowing the army to reach the city. Once there, the walls still stopped the army from coming into the city. Siege towers where designed to allow men to reach over the wall, and fight the guards on the tower, while still being protected in the tower [10]. Once his army was able to get into the city, they easily took it, and destroyed everyone who resisted.

The Macedonian empire created weapons far superior to Mongolian bows. Philip II and his army created catapults that could shoot projectiles, which could penetrate heavy armor from away [11]. Early Macedonian catapults where basically large bows and arrows. A projectile would be loaded onto the catapult and ropes would be tightened to have more tension (potential energy). Once realized, the projectile carried a powerful impact. Other weapons used in the Macedon army where cross bows. Cross bows harnessed energy from the user's entire body, and made the impact stronger than just the power of the arm. Technological and militaristic advancements turned the Macedonian army into a dominate war machine. Because Philip predates the Mongol hoard, Mongol artillery was less advanced then that of the Greek state of Macedon, making con's assertion that Mongol bows and arrows where superior, false.

"… no chance to defeat an Mongol light horseman"

The Mongols where not an undefeatable army [5, 6]. Without the element of surprise, the Mongols had no chance of winning battle agents well organized armies, such as the Spartans, Macedonian, Egyptians, and Romans. Adequate defenses, such as bodies of waters and fortified cities, also halted Mongolian expansion.
Maintaining Conquered People

The Mongols did not really "create" an empire. The only organization they had where clan leaders [5, 6, 7]. Once conquered, the Mongol army would take the goods and food, rape the women, and leave. After the destruction of a city, the Mongols no longer had control over them if they were to revolt. The Mongol empire had not centralized government or center of administration. There was no standardization of anything. The Mongol empire was just a group of places that they nomadic people had destroyed; there was no benefit, like there was being part of the Roman Empire, to being in their empire.

Shortly after the death of the hordes leaders, the Mongolian empire quickly fell apart. With no way to oversee and manage, the conquered people eventually just rebuilt and regained their independence. There was nothing to unite the Empire, so it fell apart, and never really was an untied "empire", according to definition; a group of nations or peoples ruled over by a form of government.

Conclusion

The Mongolian Hoard was not a superior force, and often was less superior in weaponry and tactics, then pre-dating armies. Without a form of rule, the people conquered by the Mongols where never really an "empire". Without any maintenance, the Mongolian empire quickly dissolved, shortly after its development.

Sources

[1]Philip of Macedon: http://www.historyofmacedonia.org...
[2]Alexander the Great: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]Sparta: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4]Han Dynasty: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]Mongol Empire (wiki): http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] Mongol Empire: http://www.allempires.com...
[7] Genghis Khan: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...
[8] Ancient Warfare: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
PatCam

Pro

Alexander of Macedon was a brilliant leader and a great tactician. His enemies were numerous and but not skilled. These armies of Persia consisted of farmers forced into the army as a majority. Only some thousands were warriors for a profession. These Persians almost didn't have any heavy cavalry that could beat Alexander's Companion cavalry. And the sarissa was mainly used as a anti-infantry weapon, It could kill riders but not many commanders saw it as a good idea to rush horses into a pike wall. Genghis khan united the many tribes of Mongolia and turned them in the direction of China Using hit and run tactics the Mongols could harass an army for days without taking heavy losses. The tactic lay in the superior bow of the Mongols. All Mongolians were trained as a child to ride and shoot. to pull the string of Mongolian bow was the same force used as pulling yourself up hanging in three fingers. As for Alexander his army was about 30,000 warriors and 10,000 cavalry at the beginning. The Mongols had about 60,000 men and invaded china. They did not pass the great wall because they simply walked around it when invading Xi xia. As the Mongols invaded Jin they assaulted 93 cities within one year using catapults and ballista At first Gengis was set out to destroy the world and secure peace for the mongol people. His general Subodai was considered as the best military commander in the Mongol empire. He is the only general in history who led a successful winter invasion of Russia. The Mongolian empire horde was actually an empire under Ogedai khan. Gathering scripts and writing from all corners of Eurasia and held it in his white city of Karakorum. Which was greatly influenced from the Chinese culture. Kublai khan actually reformed the Mongols into a civilized nation. So they were not simple barbarians. They were that at first though. The Mongol empire lasted for 200 years more before being torn apart like the empire of Alexander. And if the Mongols were not superior and often outnumbered how could they conquer the most advanced nations on earth at the time?
Mikeee

Con

Rebuttal

"[Alexander's] enemies were numerous and but not skilled. These armies of Persia consisted of farmers forced into the army as a majority. Only some thousands were warriors for a profession. These Persians almost didn't have any heavy cavalry that could beat Alexander's Companion cavalry….. [The Mongols] did not pass the great wall because they
simply walked around it when invading Xi Xia."

The Persian had a skilled army, which gave trouble to earlier powerful civilizations such as the Greek States [2]. Had the Greeks not united, the Persians may have been able to destroy the Greeks. The Persians had one of the world's earliest great empires, with a strong centralized government and one of the first empires to have roads throughout their empire; they made efficient use of the military [1]. Statistically, Persia did have more farmers than warriors because they absorbed the conquered people into their empire. Persia was a powerful enemy and one of Alexander's priorities as to avenge the Greeks from what happened during the Persian wars. Alexander and Rome's empire had strong enemies, the Mongols where the ones who had to easy time due to declining empires in the classical era, which I will talk more about later.

"…the sarissa was mainly used as an anti-infantry weapon, it could kill riders but not many commanders saw it as a good idea to rush horses into a pike wall."

Philip of Macedon knew how to make affective use of this weapon, which is why he arranged, is army to use it strategically [4]. Con make point agents himself by pointing out that this would be an affective defense against cavalry, which was the bulk of the Mongol force.

"Genghis khan united the many tribes of Mongolia and turned them in the direction of China Using hit and run tactics the
Mongols could harass an army for days without taking heavy losses."

Philip of Macedon united Macedon, because king, took over the Greek States, and then united them to create one state, which previously was in constant civil war. Philip was able to create a military machine, which was later used by Alexander to conquer and create an Empire stretching all the way to India, and possibly China, if his troops had been more willing [4]. Genghis just united a rag-tag group of nomadic people to conquer the wealthy, China [3]. Genghis' accomplishment in uniting the tribes of Mongolia was not as hard or impressive as conquering then uniting one of the world's greatest civilizations.

"All Mongolians were trained as a child to ride and shoot, to pull the string of Mongolian bow was the same force used as pulling yourself up hanging in three fingers."

I have addressed this last round; there were more powerful and efficient weapons then the Mongolian bow.

"[Alexander's] army was about 30,000 warriors and 10,000 cavalry… Mongols had about 60,000 men and invaded china."

I do not see Con's point here. Alexander made more efficient use of his army to conquers a larger amount of territory, while the Mongols where less efficient in conquering a smaller and weekend empire.

"The Mongols invaded Jin they assaulted 93 cities within one year using catapults and ballista. Genghis was set out to destroy the world and secure peace for the Mongol people.

The cities, and empire as a whole was already week, it didn't take much to destroy an already declining empire (I will expand on this point later). Genghis had the same problem as Rome; every time they expanded, they had new neighboring threats, which led them to overstretch themselves, and was a main reason for way the government was week (in-ability to have a centralized government, could not manage a decentralized government efficiently enough to keep it from collapsing).

"The Mongolian horde was actually an empire under Ogedai khan. Gathering scripts and writing from all corners of Eurasia and held it in his white city of Karakorum.... Kublai khan actually reformed the Mongols into a civilized nation…."
After the death of Genghis Khan, the Mongols returned to their homeland [3]. They built a capital, but had no way of administering or managing their conquered people. Other than the people within Mongolia, no one adopted Mongolian traditions, which shows that their presence was not meaningful and they had no true domination and control over their empire. In the Roman Empire, you see civilizations as far as parts of India adopt Roman tradition [5]; however there is none of this under the reign of the Mongolian Empire.

"The Mongol empire lasted for 200 years more before being torn apart like the empire of Alexander."
Chinese dynasties such as the Zhou and Han lasted for over 400 years. Empires such as Persia, Greece, Rome, and Byzantium lasted for much longer; 200 years is not a long time, even the United States has long surpassed the length of the Mongolian "Empire". Alexander the Great deliberately did not name an heir, so it was almost meant that after his death for his empire to dissolve. Alexander did not want anyone to inherit or build an empire as great as his.

"If the Mongols were not superior and often outnumbered, how could they conquer the most advanced nations on earth at the time?"

During the classical era, empires had relative stability and security, which lead to time such as the Pax Ramona, Roman Golden Age, and times of prosperity, which other interest could pressure. However, during this time there was inequality and problems between upper and lower classes, which lead to internal conflicts, which eventually contributed to the fall of great empires such as western Rome and China. Regardless, during this time the Silk Road, long distance trading between China (in the west) along to Constantinople (in the East). The stability of classical empires built roads and bridges, which facilitated trade along this route.

The Silk Road contributed to cultural diffusion and the spread of many things, including goods, faiths, and technologies, but most importantly (bad), pathogens and dieses [6]. One of these pathogens, which turned into a large epidemic, was the Bubonic (black) plague. The Black plague killed many people, which lead to lots of death (obviously) and shortage of labor [7, 8]. Shortage of labor and the internal conflict of class differences seriously weakened these classical empires; rulers of these empires where barley managing to sustain control. The breaking point for the fall of these empires where the nomadic invasions of the Mongols (Huns). In China, the Mongols where a direct threat, and in the East, other nomadic tribes where pushed further East by the Mongols (Huns). Because these once great empires where now so week, they were unable to resist any invasion, which made it easy for the Mongols to take control.

Conclusion:

The Mongols where not the best in; military strategy, weaponry, empire maintenances, or abilities to conquer other empires, due to the fact that they did not have a challenging time or nearly any resistance from the people the conquered.
Sources:

[1]Achaemenid (Persian) Empire: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] Persian Wars: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]Mongols: http://depts.washington.edu...
[4]Philip of Macedon: http://www.historyofmacedonia.org...
[5]Indo-Roman Culture: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6]Silk Road Timeline: http://depts.washington.edu...
[7]Bubonic Plague Timeline: http://www.twoop.com...
[8]Bubonic Plague: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
PatCam

Pro

PatCam forfeited this round.
Mikeee

Con

Conclusion:

The Mongols where inferior to many pre and post-dating ancient armies and empires; they were not superior in, warfare, weaponry, tactics, administration, and ability to maintain an empire. Because the Mongols where not superior in many fields, they were not the best army or empire, thus proving Pro's original assertion false.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mikeee 5 years ago
Mikeee
Rest of the sources for round 2

[9]Great Wall of China: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[10]Tyre/Siege Tower: http://www.livius.org...
[11]Catapult: http://www.livius.org...
Posted by Mikeee 5 years ago
Mikeee
just realized some of my sources got cut off and I did not save the document I was preparing in, I will try to re-find them, most of them where Wikipedia anyway...
Posted by PatCam 5 years ago
PatCam
This is a debate wich in the con (being me) will argue for that the mongols could have svept away the knights of france, england, germany and italy. Eventually killing the pope himself. perhaps
Posted by PatCam 5 years ago
PatCam
yes please
Posted by Mikeee 5 years ago
Mikeee
Should I post an argument for round one, or is it just for acceptance?
Posted by Mikeee 5 years ago
Mikeee
Should I post an argument for round one, or is it just for acceptance?
Posted by PatCam 5 years ago
PatCam
ok, if you want to debate dont do it in the comments please
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
They were very successful, to an extent, but over-stretched themselves and lost out in Europe, Japan and, eventually, in Han China.

They are still now a medieval, nomadic people whose famous capital, Karakorum, leaves little to commemorate their military might as it was built from yurts (gers) and many Mongols live in these felt tents to this day.

Compare that to the legacy the medieval Chinese, Japanese and Europeans left.
Posted by PatCam 5 years ago
PatCam
as in highly successful
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
"Good" as in morally good, or "good" as in highly successful?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
PatCamMikeeeTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Not sure what this debate was about. Con had more convincing arguments even though he centered a little to much on Alexander the great to make a point. He also used sources and he won conduct since Pro forfeited the last round
Vote Placed by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
PatCamMikeeeTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The resolution here was unclear. Con made convincing arguments backed by sources. Pro did not really bring sources to bear, a necessity (I think) for a historical debate of this kind.