The Instigator
MouthWash
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

The Mongols would have conquered Europe

Do you like this debate?NoYes+6
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MouthWash
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 14,311 times Debate No: 23470
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (28)
Votes (2)

 

MouthWash

Pro

Full resolution: The Mongols would have conquered all or most of mainland Europe if Ogedei Khan had not died.

Definitions:

Mainland Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Most of:" About 80-90 percent.

Mongols: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Their invasion of
Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Ogedei: http://en.wikipedia.org...

We all know about the Mongols- they connected Eurasian trade, spread religious freedom, and brutally murdered over 40,000,000 people. Their major accomplishments include destroying Baghdad and ending the Islamic Golden Age, being the first ones to conquer China, spreading the Black Death in Europe, and making the largest contiguous empire in history.

So could they have changed history and conquered Europe? We will find out.

Rules:

(1) No semantics or trolling.

(2) Debate rounds must be readable and coherent.

Rounds:

(1) Opponent's opening argument.

(2) My opening argument + clash.

(3) Clash.

(4) No new arguments may be introduced, although rebuttals and statements upon previous rounds are allowed.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for the oppertunity to negate this interesting motion. I'm going to be arguing that it is highly unlikely the Mongols would have conquered most of mainland Europe.

What actually happened

The princes of the Rus had been fighting each other for about a century, which left the country fragmented and broken. As the old maxim goes, "divided we fall" - and so the Russians did. Almost half a million Russians were slaughtered by the Mongol invaders when they attacked in 1237-1240 (http://en.wikipedia.org...). The Mongols also had the additional advantage of gunpowder, which took many Russians by surprise. The fighting culminated in the great siege of Kiev, reknown for it's massive walls, except for a single gate partially constructed of wood. The governor of Kiev at the time (who survived the attack) was a man named Dmytro, and he later wrote about his hopes the Mongols would never find the city's Achilles heel. The Mongols bombarded for days and days, before eventually discovering the city's secret. The gate was burned down and the Mongols completely subjugated Russia. This is an important battle - it proves the Mongols did not have the power to break walls as thick as Kiev's with their siege technology.

However, the Mongols did not expect their attack on Kiev to last so long. An important Mongol battle tactic was to let people run away so they could focus on the remaining fighters, and then chase after their foes later with their superior speed. Since the "remaining fighters" in this instance had withstood a Mongol siege for a record length of time, the people who ran away (a tribe called the Cumans) made it all the way to Hungary, where they were given protection. Meanwhile, two important things happened. First, a group of Venetian merchants and explorers made contact with the Mongols and came to a trade agreement with them. Venice also claimed they were happy to pay taxes to the Mongols, but Batu Khan explained that wouldn't even be necessary if the Venetians handed over all their maps of Europe (which they were preparing to do as the Mongols retreated). The point is that it is unlikely any Mongol raid into Europe would have gone through Venetian territory. Secondly, all the other nations of Europe, which at that time were predominantly Catholic, equated the Mongols with Tartars (what some Chinese called them), which sounded like they came from Tartarus, the latin for "hell". As a result, they felt a religious conviction to fight the Mongols.

The Mongol invasion of Poland and Hungary is the most interesting. Poland was defended primarily in a battle outside Liegnitz (http://en.wikipedia.org...). They had the support of the Pope, who had come to hate the Mongols. The Mongols had little interest in winning, as the primary reason for the invasion was to prevent support from reaching their main invasion into Hungary. Each tried their usual battle tactics. Long story short, the Mongol strategy proved an effective counter-strategy to the European one. In Hungary it gets still more interesting. The Mongol strategy essentially involved crossing a major river (http://en.wikipedia.org...) but the king of Hungary stopped them with his technologically superior crossbows, and routed the Mongols. Later, the Mongols won the battle by building a secret bridge while distracting the Hungarian king. Gunpowder was almost certainly deployed in this battle also.

The next Mongol target was the Danube and Croatia. The Mongols had not made it far into these places before their retreat. What these early battles demonstrate is two things. First, Mongol gunpowder and weapons were fairly ineffective. Second, Mongol strategy was far superior.

What I think would have happened next

Unlike Russia, in Western Europe the Mongols faced a united front (except for tiny Venice, who were squabbling with the Pope over land anyway), joined by religious conviction more than fear. The cities of Europe were amongst the most fortified in the world, many major castles having walls matching those at Kiev but without the weaknesses. Furthermore, in Western Europe it was impossible to maintain a Mongol-style supply line because of the lack of wild horses, most of which had been long put to use in agriculture. With the religious fervor of the age, farmers would likely have killed their horses before the Mongols got to them. The Cumans had long told the Europeans how a Mongol supply chain works. Furthermore, any supply line could have been easily flanked. Finally, horses couldn't fight so well in North-Western Europe. The Hundred Years War provides numerous examples demonstrating this. Mongol bows also could not function properly in wet weather.

Europeans knew that they had fortifications and superior missile weapons.

Here's my scenario. The Mongols would likely have taken Croatia (despite suffering many more major losses along the way, like they did trying to assault Klis Fortress) and hired Venetian ships to attack Sicily. Meanwhile, a second detachment attacks the Holy Roman Empire, aiming for the South to make ambushes easier for them, relying on a decent system of military intelligence, with the hope of cutting off the more densely-populated north.

Sicily would have had the support of most of the Italian states, as well as France. Italian armies of the era were mostly composed of spearmen, composite crossbowmen, and a few heavy cavalry. I imagine the heavy cavalry would have dismounted. Here they would have met fortifications like this:

http://www.artist-embedded.org...

Such a location is incredibly hard for horsemen to assault from a ship. They would need to make landfall, with their horses. Since each Mongol soldier had five horses, this would mean carrying the equivalent of about 7 people for every Mongol soldier. With ships the size they were back then, this would have taken at least a month. During this time, each time one group is sent over, the combined forces of southern Europe would have destroyed the units one by one. If the Mongols took only a single horse each, they would lose their advantage of manuverability. The rocky terrain would have made it easy for sniper-crossbows to take down the horses.

In Southern Germany, the Mongols are likely to have faced a sea of castles and walls, with the Europeans wishing to avoid a field battle until they knew for a certainty where their enemy was, and the Mongols knowing that they were no match for European walling. Bohemia, meanwhile, would be free to destroy the Mongol supply chain with the 20,000 men that didn't quite make it in time to defend Poland. Cut off in a desolate wasteland, the Mongols would be forced to retreat and suffer heavy losses along the way. Even if the Bohemian army was somehow routed, the sheer number of states that could fulfil the role of cutting off the Mongol supply line (half the states of the holy roman empire, denmark, sweden etc) makes it quite likely somebody would have done so.

My opponent is free to imagine any alternative history and I will entertain it, but from my study of Mongol tactics I think a two-pronged assault seems most likely if they wished to avoid Venice. It also would fail, regardless of whether Ogedai had died or not.

I look forward to reading my opponent's opening case.
Debate Round No. 1
MouthWash

Pro

I thank my opponent for his opening argument, and I look forward to debating this controversial subject in history.

Rebuttal

"The Mongols bombarded for days and days, before eventually discovering the city's secret. The gate was burned down and the Mongols completely subjugated Russia. This is an important battle - it proves the Mongols did not have the power to break walls as thick as Kiev's with their siege technology."

I cannot find any sources claiming that Kiev had a weakness. Until my opponent provides these sources, his claim should be dismissed. Without the alleged wooden gate, his entire point falls apart. Baghdad had massive walls (covered with glacis [1. http://en.wikipedia.org...], the same substance used in the European walls [2. http://en.wikipedia.org...] that Con claims the Mongols could not penetrate) and the Mongols broke through without exploiting a weak point.

"An important Mongol battle tactic was to let people run away so they could focus on the remaining fighters, and then chase after their foes later with their superior speed. Since the "remaining fighters" in this instance had withstood a Mongol siege for a record length of time, the people who ran away (a tribe called the Cumans) made it all the way to Hungary, where they were given protection."

Catching up to deserters and killing them was not that critical for victory unless they would inform future targets of the Mongols threat. This does not apply here as the Hungarians, despite their earlier refuge, executed the Cumans as spies
[3. http://en.wikipedia.org...] upon the Mongol invasion. Also to be noted is that the siege of Baghdad lasted twelve days [4. http://en.wikipedia.org...(1258)] compared to Kiev's eight [5. http://en.wikipedia.org...(1240)].

"First, a group of Venetian merchants and explorers made contact with the Mongols and came to a trade agreement with them. Venice also claimed they were happy to pay taxes to the Mongols, but Batu Khan explained that wouldn't even be necessary if the Venetians handed over all their maps of Europe (which they were preparing to do as the Mongols retreated). The point is that it is unlikely any Mongol raid into Europe would have gone through Venetian territory."

Why is this? Did having peace mean the Mongols could not have moved though Venetian territory to invade? Please elaborate on this.

"Secondly, all the other nations of Europe, which at that time were predominantly Catholic, equated the Mongols with Tartars (what some Chinese called them), which sounded like they came from Tartarus, the latin for "hell". As a result, they felt a religious conviction to fight the Mongols."

The Mongols were experts at psychological warfare. In their invasion of Persia, they did not attack immediately but simply, rode into the country, spreading the word that the Sultan was the only target [6. http://www.uwgb.edu...] They would, however, slaughter all who resisted. This took away any incentive that the population would have to fight. Any sort of religious inclination to fight could have been dealt with.

"The Mongol strategy essentially involved crossing a major river (http://en.wikipedia.org......) but the king of Hungary stopped them with his technologically superior crossbows, and routed the Mongols. Later, the Mongols won the battle by building a secret bridge while distracting the Hungarian king."

Interestingly, your own source demonstrates that the Mongols were masters at improvisation, psychological warfare, and were not at all helpless on unsuited terrain. Building the bridge was not the sole reason for victory- they actually forced the crossbowmen to retreat.

"Unlike Russia, in Western Europe the Mongols faced a united front (except for tiny Venice, who were squabbling with the Pope over land anyway), joined by religious conviction more than fear. The cities of Europe were amongst the most fortified in the world, many major castles having walls matching those at Kiev but without the weaknesses."

Actually, the Europeans did not have much contact with each other. "In those areas of Germany affected by the Mongols, and in Poland and Hungary, the idea took hold that the battles of Liegnitz and Mohi had in fact been Pyrrhic victories for the barbarian hordes." [7. http://www.allempires.com...] Addressing his second point, the Mongols would often ignore large fortified cities and destroy the less protected ones, denying them reinforcements or supplies [8. http://en.wikipedia.org...-(invasion of Hungary)] A fort on its own can't last forever.

"Furthermore, in Western Europe it was impossible to maintain a Mongol-style supply line because of the lack of wild horses, most of which had been long put to use in agriculture. With the religious fervor of the age, farmers would likely have killed their horses before the Mongols got to them."

The Mongols were nomads, and could have gotten many of their supplies from where they were by pillaging. They even assembled their own siege engines on the site of sieges [9. http://sean-abreu.suite101.com...]. Furthermore, the Mongols took with each soldier about four or five horses, as Con admits himself.

"The Mongols would likely have taken Croatia (despite suffering many more major losses along the way, like they did trying to assault Klis Fortress) and hired Venetian ships to attack Sicily. Meanwhile, a second detachment attacks the Holy Roman Empire, aiming for the South to make ambushes easier for them, relying on a decent system of military intelligence, with the hope of cutting off the more densely-populated north."

The point about the Mongols still being able to attack through Venice still stands. The Holy Roman Empire was weak from war with the Pope [10. http://abe-onhistory.blogspot.com...]

"In Southern Germany, the Mongols are likely to have faced a sea of castles and walls, with the Europeans wishing to avoid a field battle until they knew for a certainty where their enemy was, and the Mongols knowing that they were no match for European walling. Bohemia, meanwhile, would be free to destroy the Mongol supply chain with the 20,000 men that didn't quite make it in time to defend Poland. Cut off in a desolate wasteland, the Mongols would be forced to retreat and suffer heavy losses along the way. Even if the Bohemian army was somehow routed, the sheer number of states that could fulfil the role of cutting off the Mongol supply line (half the states of the holy roman empire, denmark, sweden etc) makes it quite likely somebody would have done so."

My points about the fortified cities, supply chains, and the state of the HRE still stand.

"From my study of Mongol tactics I think a two-pronged assault seems most likely if they wished to avoid Venice."

My previous point still stands. My opponent's case is based on his assumption the Venetians would have refused the Mongols entry. Even if they did, the Mongols had no qualms about betraying their allies and would have swiftly conquered them.

I do not feel there is any need for a formal opening as this rebuttal has taken care of most of my points. It was done in a hurry due to lack of time, but the my future arguments will be done more throughly.

Your turn.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for his critical analysis.

Some quick rebuttals

"I cannot find any sources claiming that Kiev had a weakness"
It's a pity that Dmytro's account has never made it to the internet. I have it in a small anthology of early European writings about the Mongols. Several other sources, however, drawing on Dmytro's account, do make reference to the fact that the walls, while smoking and battered, were still standing after the siege (if only implicitly) - see http://www.archive.org... for one example. The walls did not fall - only the gate did.

"Baghdad had massive walls ... and the Mongols broke through without exploiting a weak point"
While Baghdad's walls were comparable, the siege was over a decade later (http://en.wikipedia.org...(1258)). In that time the Mongols took many more Chinese prisoners to work their catapults. The Mongol army at Baghdad was also much larger than the one assaulting Kiev (how much is not certain, but some historians think it may have been ten times larger), suggesting more siege weapons were also available, and most importantly, it was a different army. Möngke Khan and Batu Khan used different companies of siege engineers, and by 1258 were in legally seperate nations with no military-sharing. Thus while some commanders from Mongolia may have been able to break through walls a decade after the siege of Kiev, Batu certainly could not, nor could he sit in Europe and wait for a decade, nor would his army have been capable if he did.

"the Hungarians, despite their earlier refuge, executed the Cumans as spies"
This happened after the Mongols invaded. Before, the Mongols used it as their motivation for going to war. After, it was the dead emmissaries that were sent to the Mongol camp.

Did having peace mean the Mongols could not have moved though Venetian territory to invade?
Yes if the Mongols wanted access to their maps of Europe. The Venetians controlled the trade of two important commodities - wool and wine - and thus knew more about Europe than any Mongol spy network could ever hope to accomplish. The Mongols knew this. They were certainly not showing any of the characteristic Mongol pre-invasion signs, such as sending out emmissaries with ridiclious demands.

The Mongols were experts at psychological warfare... Any sort of religious inclination to fight could have been dealt with.
The closest psychological parraell would be Japan - the Japanese emporer, practically treated as a God in Shinto, asked for the Mongols to be defeated. And they were. In Europe, the parraell would be the Pope. I will agree that the Mongols made both the Japanese and Europeans fear them, I disagree that they made them not want to fight. Persia is different - you couldn't simply say "All I am after is the Pope" because immediately every Christian nation on Earth would fight the Mongols. Religious loyalty is much harder to stop than Persian-style political loyalty.

"the Mongols were masters at improvisation, psychological warfare, and were not at all helpless on unsuited terrain"
I agree with the first two, but not the third. The terrain at Mohi is steppe - exactly the terrain that the Mongols are most suited to fighting in! And since the weather was Summerish, it was nowhere near as wet as what they would have encountered had they pressed further.

"they actually forced the crossbowmen to retreat"
Wrong - they forced the bridge-guards to retreat as the Hungarian king forgot to tell his main army to prepare for battle. The main body of crossbowmen did not retreat after they were actually called to battle until after Subudai arrived.

"Actually, the Europeans did not have much contact with each other"
As disproven by the Crusades, which stemmed from almost every Catholic nation.

"the idea took hold that the battles of Liegnitz and Mohi had in fact been Pyrrhic victories for the barbarian hordes"
This was after their retreat. Before their retreat, they were preparing their battle strategies.

"the Mongols would often ignore large fortified cities and destroy the less protected ones, denying them reinforcements or supplies"
Castles were designed to last for months in case of a siege, which were very common back then. It is likely a castle would have lasted longer without supplies than the Mongol army, cut off in the forests of Southern Germany by an even larger army (the Mongols only had ~25,000 men at Mohi).

"and could have gotten many of their supplies from where they were by pillaging"
You can't pillage horses if there are no horses.

"They even assembled their own siege engines"
I agree they could have done this, but that does not give them horses.

"the Mongols took with each soldier about four or five horses"
And they used ALL OF THEM. Mongol strategies did not usually work without this sort of manuverability.

"The Holy Roman Empire was weak from war with the Pope"
Your own source labels them one of two "powerhouses of Europe."

Alternative invasion route

This map shows my strategy, in blue, against my opponent's strategy, in red. Previous mongol attacks are green.



I will grant that my opponent's strategy has the major advantage of avoiding a sea crossing (though it involves many major river crossings), and being fought on more Mongol-friendly terrain since it avoids northern Europe. The disadvantages are manifold. First, it would be even easier to cut off the Mongol supply line between the Alpes and the sea. The Holy Roman Empire, which controlled significant tracts of land in the Po river valley still, along with France, who were at the time strongly allied with Milan, the Bohemian army, still marching around looking for the Mongols, the Italian states of Genoa, Pisa, Milan and Florence, as well as the Papal States themselves, are all likely to have wanted to fight the Mongols in this valley, meaning the Mongols would be practically under attack from all sides. While these nations are unlikely to have co-operated much, the Mongols would undoubtably grow weary of being a passive army in the valley. The moment they attack anybody, however, whichever army is on their rear would see that as an oppertunity to strike.

The Po river valley would thus present a sort of massive colleseum for the Mongols, with them in the middle and all the nations of Europe surrounding them. If I was a Mongol strategist, I would certainly retreat, regroup and rethink my battle plan.

Furthermore, Mongols usually liked to overwhealm enemies with feignt attacks and attacks on a single location from multiple angles. This would be impossible if they were trapped inside a single valley. Attacking Venice would objectively be a strategic error.

Conclusion

My opponent has failed to present a compelling case that the Mongols could have invaded Europe. His battle plan for a Mongol invasion is even worse than mine, and even mine was bad! The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
MouthWash

Pro

My opponent has presented his case, which, while intriguing, contains serious flaws. I will go into detail later.

Rebuttal


"Several other sources, however, drawing on Dmytro's account, do make reference to the fact that the walls, while smoking and battered, were still standing after the siege (if only implicitly) - see http://www.archive.org... one example. The walls did not fall - only the gate did."

As interesting as Con's book seems, I do not have the time to search through it. I did start on it, and it deals with the Mongol invasion of Europe, but I could not find the mention of the siege of Kiev. Could point it out to me?


"While Baghdad's walls were comparable, the siege was over a decade later (http://en.wikipedia.org......(1258)). In that time the Mongols took many more Chinese prisoners to work their catapults. The Mongol army at Baghdad was also much larger than the one assaulting Kiev (how much is not certain, but some historians think it may have been ten times larger), suggesting more siege weapons were also available, and most importantly, it was a different army."

I concede this point, although it does not have much bearing on the actual invasion of Europe, which came eighteen years after the first attack. The average city was not anywhere near as fortified as Kiev [1. http://en.wikipedia.org...], and as I pointed out, those that were would have been isolated and starved out.

"This [execution of the Cumans] happened after the Mongols invaded."

My point still stands. It was not only the Cumans that alerted Hungary to the Mongols, but also fleeing Russian nobles [2. http://novaonline.nvcc.edu...]. Surrounding the heavily fortified cities would still allow the Mongols to hunt down stragglers at their leisure.


"The Venetians controlled the trade of two important commodities - wool and wine - and thus knew more about Europe than any Mongol spy network could ever hope to accomplish. The Mongols knew this. They were certainly not showing any of the characteristic Mongol pre-invasion signs, such as sending out emmissaries with ridiclious demands."

I meant willingly. Mongolia pretty much dominated world trade at that point due to their monopoly of the Silk Road [3. http://en.wikipedia.org...], and other nations (like Byzantium) realized how much they stood to gain from an alliance with the Mongols. Even Venice itself was dependent on the Silk Road.


"I will agree that the Mongols made both the Japanese and Europeans fear them, I disagree that they made them not want to fight. Persia is different - you couldn't simply say "All I am after is the Pope" because immediately every Christian nation on Earth would fight the Mongols. Religious loyalty is much harder to stop than Persian-style political loyalty."

Strawman. I was trying to show how the Mongols excelled at psychological warfare. Nowhere did I suggest using the same tactic against the Pope. My opponent's claims fall flat because the Crusades were of a different era, and the vast spy network the Mongols had would have kept them informed and ready.

Japan would be a bad example because the Mongols' invasion fleets were simply devastated by typhoons.


"Your own source labels them [the Holy Roman Empire] one of two "powerhouses of Europe."

Had my opponent read my source [4. http://abe-onhistory.blogspot.com...] carefully, he would have realized that they called it the "powerhouse of Europe" to emphasize how far it had fallen, due to the power-struggle between the kings and the Pope.

The Holy Roman Empire did not respond militarily or otherwise to the Mongol invasion of Hungary or Poland, even though according to Con it should have had some sort of effect on the Europeans. The Mongols, on the other hand, were very effectively organized, communicated quickly and without difficulty, and had vastly superior troops.


"The terrain at Mohi is steppe - exactly the terrain that the Mongols are most suited to fighting in!"

I concede this point as I misread the source. What he does not mention, however, is that it is only because of an escaped slave did the Hungarians know about the attack, and that they caught the Mongols by surprise when they were crossing the river. I believe Con would agree with me that that is not ideal terrain for horses.


"Before their retreat, they were preparing their battle strategies."

So Con can provide me with examples of planned organized European resistance? Please do.


"Castles were designed to last for months in case of a siege, which were very common back then. It is likely a castle would have lasted longer without supplies than the Mongol army."

The Mongols pillaged food and supplies. Even in the wilderness they could have easily survived. We are talking about nomads, men who drank their horses' blood when water ran low [5. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. Traditional supply lines were not critical to the troops' survival.


"You can't pillage horses if there are no horses."

This stems from my opponent's assumption that the Europeans would have killed their own horses before allowing the Mongols to get to them out of some sort of religious obligation. This is a massive stretch and Con has not provided any evidence that they would have actually done so.


"I will grant that my opponent's strategy has the major advantage of avoiding a sea crossing (though it involves many major river crossings), and being fought on more Mongol-friendly terrain since it avoids northern Europe. The disadvantages are manifold. First, it would be even easier to cut off the Mongol supply line between the Alpes and the sea. The Holy Roman Empire, which controlled significant tracts of land in the Po river valley still, along with France, who were at the time strongly allied with Milan, the Bohemian army, still marching around looking for the Mongols, the Italian states of Genoa, Pisa, Milan and Florence, as well as the Papal States themselves, are all likely to have wanted to fight the Mongols in this valley, meaning the Mongols would be practically under attack from all sides. While these nations are unlikely to have co-operated much, the Mongols would undoubtably grow weary of being a passive army in the valley. The moment they attack anybody, however, whichever army is on their rear would see that as an oppertunity to strike."

First of all, the northern invasion of the Holy Roman Empire would be proceeding as planned, due to the combination of factors: the Mongols' spy network, expertise at warfare, maneuverability, communication, nomadic survival skills, and siege tactics. This advantage would be further accentuated when one take into account the terrain of the area (rolling hills) of which anyone who knew the area would agree is cavalry country.


Second of all, deciding the outcome of a hypothetical battle is not something that can be done with detail. This is where Con's main argument begins to fall apart. The Mongols were absolute masters at improvisation. An excellent example of this would be the battle of Liegnitz [6. http://militaryhistory.about.com...], where the Mongols used smoke, the feigned retreat, and even had a man scream "Run!" in Polish to put the enemy soldiers out of position.

They were outnumbered at every turn in Europe, often winning through faster reactions and from swarming their enemies. Despite my opponent's claims of them being trapped, there are no sharp valleys in the area [7.http://en.wikipedia.org...]. My opponent's concession that the Italian states would not work together is telling (also the fact that he does not provide any reason of why they would want to attack). The Mongols would have gone after them one-by-one in typical fashion. Con is attempting to make the Mongols into just another European army, when in reality they are something extremely different.


I await my opponent's counterarguments.

larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for his analysis.

"I could not find the mention of the siege of Kiev. Could point it out to me?"
...smoking walls were all that remained of the splendour that once was Kiev
[the smoke came from] bright domes [which] became a prey to the flames

The average city was not anywhere near as fortified as Kiev
My opponent's source makes no mention of an "average" city, nor does it talk about Kiev specifically, but there are lots of examples of really great fortifications. Kiev just had a thick double-wall.

those that were would have been isolated and starved out
As I said, castles were well-stocked and could survive longer without supplies than field armies could. If the Bohemians cut off the supply chain and the farmers burnt their crops (remember that the Pope had ordered all Christians to support the warriors at Liegnitz), the Mongols would have been unable to besiege anybody.

Surrounding the heavily fortified cities would still allow the Mongols to hunt down stragglers at their leisure.
If we agree the Mongols would have taken Croatia, we also agree there would be no more stragglers to hunt.

[On Venice] I meant willingly.
If my opponent thinks Venice would just let the Mongol horde pass through, he is mistaken. Venice knew the size of the Mongol army, and knew that they would conquer Venice given the opportunity. They would do everything in their power to convince the Mongols to invade Italy from the South (which had the added bonus of crippling the Pope if successful), or alternatively call off their accord. The people would then flee, probably to Venetian Crete, and the Mongols would have forever squandered their chance of getting the best-quality intelligence in Europe.

Mongolia pretty much dominated world trade at that point
Venice could still trade on this route using Byzantium as a conduit. In fact, that's actually exactly what they ended up doing later.

Nowhere did I suggest using the same tactic [as in Persia] against the Pope.
Well, you used it as an example of Mongol psychological warfare, and I showed why that sort of thing wouldn't have worked in Europe. I invite my opponent to explain what kind of psychological warfare WOULD have worked, rather than bring up all these irrelevant examples.

the Crusades were of a different era
No they aren't - they include military campaigns between circa 1095 and 1291 (http://en.wikipedia.org...). For comparison, Kiev was taken in 1240. Crusades were still happening.

the vast spy network the Mongols had would have kept them informed and ready
The Mongols had no vast spy network in Europe. They chose to rely on the Venetians.

Japan would be a bad example because the Mongols' invasion fleets were simply devastated by typhoons.
Oh right, so wet weather in Japan can stop the Mongols, but wet weather in Western Europe cannot? To be clear - in Japan, the Mongols did actually get their forces on to land, in both attempts, but the Samurai held them off for days each time before the storms came (such as at the legendary http://en.wikipedia.org...). There can be no doubt that were it not for the cunning and innovative Japanese tactics to stop Mongols claiming much of the beach-head, Japan would have fallen. As it happened, Japan united.

Had my opponent read my source carefully, he would have realized that they called it the "powerhouse of Europe" to emphasize how far it had fallen
The full quote is "Although some nations did band together, as in the case of Hungary and Poland, the powerhouses of Europe, such as France and the Holy Roman Empire, did not throw their lot behind the lesser powers who were succumbing to the Mongols." Note that it says nothing about them falling - they were the powerhouses of Europe at the time of the Mongol invasions.

The Holy Roman Empire did not respond militarily or otherwise to the Mongol invasion
Wrong - they did respond. A large German contingent was present at the Battle of Legnica, the Germans fought the Mongols in a field battle near Breslau, and the Bohemians were at the time vassals of the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Mongols ... had vastly superior troops
I'm going to have to dispute that point. It wasn't just better crossbows that the Europeans had - it was also vastly better armor. If it wasn't for the genius Mongol strategies, they probably wouldn't have won any of the battles they won in Europe. It wasn't the Mongol troops that won it.

crossing the river ... is not ideal terrain for horses
This is true - and might I add that there were also many more rivers in western Europe to cross. The point is that if the Mongols thought the terrain in Hungary was bad, they hadn't seen anything yet!

Con can provide me with examples of planned organized European resistance?
The battle of Liegnitz. It was planned, several nations and the church jointly organised it, the soldiers were Europeans, and they resisted the Mongol advance.

Even in the wilderness they could have easily survived. We are talking about nomads, men who drank their horses' blood when water ran low.
It's a question of who would have lasted longer. The Mongols, who were drinking their only means of escape because all the local crops had been burnt and animals killed (the Germans could afford to do this as their empire was large enough), or the Germans, who had been stashing away food in their castles for years on the off-chance that some foe might force them to stay in their castles for a while?

the Europeans would have killed their own horses before allowing the Mongols to get to them ... Con has not provided any evidence
My evidence is the desperate religious conviction that gripped Europe at the time. Seriously - if the Church could convince the children of the children's crusade that they could take Jerusalem, then they could convince people to kill horses.

the northern invasion of the Holy Roman Empire would be proceeding as planned
Invading the north of the Holy Roman Empire would see there being even more castles to siege, meaning the invasion would be much slower. Mongols would have preferred the deceptively-open terrain of the southern Holy Roman Empire anyway. The terrain of northern Germany is also flat, not rolling hills.

The Mongols were absolute masters at improvisation
This does not prove victory. My opponent is simply trying to say "Oh, they would have found a way we can't fathom". Mongols were not superheroes and the only reason they won is because they knew when to fight and when not to. My opponent needs to prove that there is a way his strategy could work, not appeal to the supposed authority of a mythical superheroic Mongol army who win every battle.

They were outnumbered at every turn in Europe
Wrong - historians are now quite sure the Mongols had marginally more troops at Mohi.

there are no sharp valleys in the area [of the Po river valley]
The whole area is a massive valley. Barring a crossing of the Alps, the only ways out are past Venice (where Bohemia would be), into France (where they would face Milan, Genoa and France), or into Italy (where they would face the Pope, Pisa and Florence). No matter who they attacked, the others would attack them from the rear.

My opponent's concession that the Italian states would not work together is telling
They wouldn't have to. They'd all independently come to the conclusion that the time was right to attack the Mongols.

he does not provide any reason of why they would want to attack
Most of them had already pledged to. Christendom was in danger, their lands were in danger, their lives were in danger, none of the other Italians liked Venice, and so on. Basically all of the same reasons why, say, Hungary wanted to attack.

The Mongols would have gone after them one-by-one in typical fashion
... and as they tried to do this, they would have been defeated because all of the other nations would attack the Mongols at the same time.

That's all I have space for - good luck for the final round!
Debate Round No. 3
MouthWash

Pro

I thank my opponent.

Rebuttal

"...smoking walls were all that remained of the splendour that once was Kiev

[the smoke came from] bright domes [which] became a prey to the flames"

That does not prove anything. For all we know, the walls could have been on the verge of collapse when the gate fell, and most likely were already damaged, seeing as they were on fire.


"Kiev just had a thick double-wall."

My opponent concedes this point, then.


"As I said, castles were well-stocked and could survive longer without supplies than field armies could. If the Bohemians cut off the supply chain and the farmers burnt their crops (remember that the Pope had ordered all Christians to support the warriors at Liegnitz), the Mongols would have been unable to besiege anybody."

And what would have happened to the peasants? They couldn't have gone into the castles- they wouldn't have anywhere near enough food! Taking their animals with them doesn't work either, because what would the animals eat? Only the major castles grew their own crops [1. http://www.medieval-castles.net...], the rest brought in food from outside and could not support anything more than the garrison.


Even if many of them had been able to hold off the Mongols, they didn't need to conquer every single castle. It would be like island-hopping in WWII. Not to mention that the Mongol came from the the semi-desert steppes, and knew how to live off of the land.

"Venice knew the size of the Mongol army, and knew that they would conquer Venice given the opportunity."

That is incredibly unlikely. There have been many, many examples of cities paying tribute to the Mongols and being left alone [2. http://www.enotes.com...]. My opponent's case rests on his assumption that they would have had to conquer Venice, which I earlier suggested but did not assume to be likely.


"Venice could still trade on this route using Byzantium as a conduit. In fact, that's actually exactly what they ended up doing later."

I don't know when this was, but I do know that Byzantium later (1263-1328) became an ally of Mongolia [3.http://en.wikipedia.org...]. I also know that Venice and Byzantium were having disputes at the time, helped along by the Fourth Crusade [4. http://www.britannica.com...], and that Venice and Mongolia had signed a trade agreement [5.http://en.wikipedia.org...;-(High Middle Ages)].

"I invite my opponent to explain what kind of psychological warfare WOULD have worked, rather than bring up all these irrelevant examples."

Terror tactics. Murdering all those who resisted but sparing those who accepted Mongol rule. It operates on the same principle of simply giving the enemy a chance to live, provided they did not join the enemy. This would have been made all the more effective by the very nature of feudalism. In fact, "Frederick's rule was a major turning point towards the disintegration of a central rule in the Empire." [6. http://en.wikipedia.org...;-(Hohenstaufen dynasty)].


Would the peasants have fought against the Mongols while their lieges sat in castles? Moreover, would the soldiers (who were loyal to their liege, not to the Pope) want to be trapped by the "horsemen from hell," without supply routes, contact with the outside world, or hope of reinforcements to wait for some undetermined time in the future when the enemy would retreat? Having a few castles under siege is one thing, having entire regions be trapped is another. And since the lieges were in control of their castles, not the Pope or the King at that point, what would be stopping them from surrendering to or joining the Mongols after a few months when they saw they couldn't win?

"The Mongols had no vast spy network in Europe. They chose to rely on the Venetians."

This is blatantly false. While they did strike a deal with the Venetians, they certainly did not rely on them [7.http://members.tripod.com...]. One of their methods was to have merchants enter the foreign lands to provide military intelligence [8. http://www.etudeshistoriques.org...].


Furthermore, Con's entire claim is reliant on the supposed hostility of Venice towards the Mongols, which I have already proven to be unfounded.

"Note that it says nothing about them falling - they were the powerhouses of Europe at the time of the Mongol invasions."

Con took that completely out of context. I urge all voters to read the source themselves and ignore any more claims of my opponent in regards to it. [9. http://abe-onhistory.blogspot.com...]


"Wrong - they did respond. A large German contingent was present at the Battle of Legnica, the Germans fought the Mongols in a field battle near Breslau, and the Bohemians were at the time vassals of the Holy Roman Emperor."

The battle of Legnica was where the Mongols tricked the Poles by having a man say "Run!" causing them to become disorganized [10. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. This is a perfect example of the ineffectiveness of European alliances.


"It wasn't just better crossbows that the Europeans had - it was also vastly better armor."

That is incorrect. Running out of space for full reply: [11 .http://members.tripod.com...]


"This is true - and might I add that there were also many more rivers in western Europe to cross."

I assume this is more west than the HRE. They could easily invade in the winter and cross the rivers when they were frozen. It would not be unfamilar to them.


"The battle of Liegnitz. It was planned, several nations and the church jointly organised it, the soldiers were Europeans, and they resisted the Mongol advance."

And it was another excellent example of Europeans not being able to work together [12. http://en.wikipedia.org...].


"If the Church could convince the children of the children's crusade that they could take Jerusalem, then they could convince people to kill horses."

Turning the whole of Catholic Europe into a suicide cult is not a very good method of fighting off invaders. Your theory is flimsy at best and a utterly insane at worst. Would the peasants want to surrender to the Mongols, or kill their own animals and burn their own crops only to be murdered by them in the end?


"My opponent is simply trying to say "Oh, they would have found a way we can't fathom."

No. What I described is how typical Mongol battles in Europe went.


"The whole area is a massive valley."

Thank you for clarifying.


"The only ways out are past Venice (where Bohemia would be), into France (where they would face Milan, Genoa and France), or into Italy (where they would face the Pope, Pisa and Florence). No matter who they attacked, the others would attack them from the rear."

I had assumed it would be small battle based on what my opponent said about being trapped. Now that I know he meant the whole Po valley, the situation becomes much easier. They would only have to wait until the northern Europeans were distracted by the Mongol advance before attacking Italy. The Po river valley is good cavalry terrain [13.http://en.wikipedia.org...] and the Mongols could fight effectively on the hilly terrain in Italy [14.http://en.wikipedia.org...]. <-(like China)


Conclusion

Con has argued with unsubstantiated, vague, and exaggerated facts. I have provided sources for all of my claims while he has only given two in the entire Round Three. He has not been able to prove anything, and has often helped my case unwittingly. Contrary to my opponent's claims, the Mongols DID have the time and ability to do long sieges. They DID have the capability to fight and live in terrain unsuitable for cavalry/grazing. Most importantly of all, they DID conquer the most advanced civilizations of the world (China and Muslims).

Vote Pro

;)
larztheloser

Con

Thanks to my opponent for a fun debate.

Sources
While my opponent may have used more sources in this debate, I have done more with fewer sources. Indeed, all my material already had the backing of a source by last round, with two exceptions (although admittadly I did make use of my opponent's sources). My opponent, by contrast, has misused his sources and used lots of sources from dubious blog sites (mostly relying on a blogspot page that contradicts itself about the Germans). He has even lied about my sources, for instance claiming that my source said Kiev's walls were on fire, re-cited sources he'd already cited, and cited some of my sources to make it look like he had more sources.

Nothing I said about my opponent's sources was out of context. I even gave you the full context last round, wasting a significant amount of characters.

I do agree, however, that my source for Kiev's walls proves little. You really need Dmytro's account. Again, I'd love to source it but I can't provide a link as it's not online. What my source does do is corroborate that the walls were not breached by the Mongols, and that the walls were not on fire (but rather the domes were).

Con's Plan
To win, pro must prove not only that it was possible for the Mongols to conquer Europe. He must also prove that they would have followed his strategy. I've presented my strategy, which I believe the Mongols would have followed, and my opponent has presented his. Unlike me, my opponent has given you no evidence that his plan would have been followed over mine, except to argue that the Mongols were ruthless and wouldn't have minded betraying Venice. Even if I grant this (which I don't) it still does not prove pro's plan would have been favored, only that it would have been one option. Of course, as well as being ruthless, the Mongols were smart tacticians, and would have known it would be a mistake to get...

Stuck in the Po River valley
My opponent finally indicates in round four the route of the Mongol advance from Po river, into Italy. Imagine it. The Mongol army would probably move against Pisa or Florence first, and the Pope would undoubtably meet them there. From the rear come the 20,000 elites from Bohemia, from the flank come the pikemen of Milan, the crossbowmen from Genoa, and the heavy cavalry of France. In the middle is the Mongol army - depending on how many were sent to Germany, one might expect there to be similar numbers as at Mohi, minus their losses there, perhaps totalling 20,000 soldiers. The Mongols would be trapped, outnumbered and outmanuvered by 50,000+ Europeans. How could they win?

My opponent fails to articulate any clear battle strategy, rather appealing to "terror tactics" and Mongol ingenuity. Terror tactics may have worked on peasents, but we know it didn't stop the army. Mongols tried to frighten the soldiers at Legnica and all over Russia, but it rarely worked. Ingenuity can only go so far. If my opponent, with many centuries of hindsight to guide him, cannot even articulate one clear way in which this battle could be won by the Mongols, the Mongols invading Italy would have been defeated.

Could Mongols Take Castles?
My opponent says, last round, that I conceed the point. No. Kiev had minimal defences compared to many European castles, and the Mongols still could not breach the walls. If anybody conceeds this is is my opponent, who has no refocused on a siege and starve policy - but of course, the besiegers would last less long if they didn't have supplies but the people in the castle had been storing them up for years.

My opponent states that the peasents would join the Mongols. If so, then the peasents would be incredibly stupid - if the Mongols couldn't even feed themselves, what makes them think they'll have food to spare for peasents? More likely they'd head to the North of Germany where there were fields aplenty and a chain of castles to defend them, as well as a constant supply route by sea. It's not a suicide cult, people migrated and burnt their old homes frequently in those days. Livestock and horses would be taken with them or butchered. Suicide would be staying there and waiting for the Mongols to starve them to death.

He claims the soldiers would not like being trapped. Like I said, the soldiers were used to it. This was a sort of default response. Just because it's lonely doesn't mean every siege ended in a surrender. The Mongols would have been equally cut off and thus have the same incentives.

The crux of the matter is that the Mongols would not have been able to take any castles, and thus could not execute pro's "island-hopping" strategy.

Venice
The point is that the Mongols and Venice would have been much stronger working together. However, the whole reason why Venice wanted a Mongol alliance was to gain land - losing land to the Mongols would undoubtably lead to the alliance, and thus Venice's intelligence to the Mongols, to crumble. My opponent cited a blog that said the Mongols used intelligence, but it did not talk specifically about the pre-invasion intelligence of Europe - perhaps because that was 100% Venice-provided.

My opponent tries to claim Venice needed the Mongols to maintain their trade power. I said that they could trade via the Eastern Roman Empire. Here's a map of the silk road, showing them doing just that:



Were the Mongols Superior Soldiers?
My opponent's conception of the Mongols is as an army never defeated in battle. He dreams of them being like zombies, advancing without food and supplies on the land. This is far from the truth. Mongols may have been faster and they did have gunpowder, but the advantages pretty much end there.

When it comes to the Europeans, he claims they were disorganised. Beyond the Italian States, this is a myth. Every single nearby nation worked together at the battle of Legnica. My opponent says the European disarray at Legnica was because of European disorganisation - this is false, it was because they'd never seen or fought gunpowder (here used to make a smokescreen) before - see his own source! He used to say the Crusades were of a different era, but dropped it after I proved him wrong.

He claims European heavy armor was a bad thing (and cites a blog that makes it sound like all Europeans were wearing heavy plate). Europeans long had silk armor as well, they had traded it with the East for centuries. The Europeans simply had more advanced armor technology. Also, the Europeans had superior weaponary, as exemplified by the crossbows at Mohi. Europeans were, on average, far better equipped.

Conclusion
There can be no doubt that the Mongol army was very good, but it was not invincible. Mongols had won two battles against continental Europeans, and from this my opponent deduces they would have conquered most of Europe. Hannibal won many battles and was a brilliant commander also, but he did not conquer Europe. There are literally thousands of commanders who won more than one battle in Europe but did not conquer it. The Mongols, particulary when faced with a united front in Europe, would have been no exception. My opponent's plan would not work.

Please vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
Finally it's back up!

http://www.heavengames.com...

Look for posts by the user called 'Lord of Hosts'. I find that his grazing argument is the most compelling and plausible in the Mongol vs. Europe debate.
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
Ah, ok. My apologies for the misunderstanding.

However I still have to point out that you 2 seem to have concentrated on all the wrong things. I see more energy in the debate on possible routes of a Mongol advance and arguments on how effective the Venetians were (which is completely ridiculous, seeing as how they agreed to a trade agreement and not an alliance to conquer Europe), rather than the culture of medieval Europe at the time, the demographics and the prowess of Mongolian warriors. It is true that, in a pitched battle, the Mongols will destroy anything the Europeans put into the field. But that is not, and never will be, the nature of European warfare in the middle ages. Feudal Europe is incredibly decentralized; cutting the head off a head of state will not make his vassals bend the knee, nor bring contentment to the peasants for the invader. Decisive victories have minimal impact on wars except to bring favourable truces. Remember that the French army was annihilated in the space of 10 years between Crecy and Poitiers, yet the French came out on top in the 100 Year's War: they simply played Fabian and locked themselves up in their numerous fortresses and walled cities until the English starved themselves out.

Yes, it is true that taking cities and castles is no problem for the Mongols, but remember in China and the Khwarezmian empires the cities are massive strategic foundations (especially in the deserts of central asia where cities also occupy the only livable land in a huge area) whereas in Europe the loss of Paris would not affect, say, the Duke of Burgundy's capability to wage war at all. Such was the nature of decentralization that each dukedom was essentially a series of fortified fortresses with the intention that an enemy would not be able to subjugate the entire area in one decisive battle, but must occupy all the hundreds of fortresses surrounding the land to call the area his.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
I don't actually subscribe to my resolution... I just made this debate because I was curious about it. And I learned quite a bit.

Also, Con was saying that the walls were too thick for the Mongols to penetrate. He never said that they were "inept" at siege warfare. I don't think anybody could claim that.
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
Also, do you honestly think that a 200,000 man army can subjugate a continent with 40 million people on it, 10,000 miles away from their home? Or are you implying that somehow they would magically transport 1 million Chinese soldiers across central asia, keep them fed all the time and with the memory of the rough sacking of a score of their cities fresh in their heads?
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
Con side brought it up many times.

The website I'm talking about is a webforum. Of course I was not talking about the website itself, rather about a certain series of posts made by a very persuasive poster. It's just down right now.
Posted by MouthWash 4 years ago
MouthWash
Nobody contested that the Mongols could lay siege effectively. I don't know how you got that idea. But where is this "incredible website?" What is it called?
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
The Mongolian strategy is quite similar to what the Russians employed during Operation Bagration: seek a decisive battle, rout the enemy army then chase and run down the rear areas to complete the destruction. This is simply not possible when you have a castle every so often for the refugees to run into or to impede your chasing cavalry. Indeed, the key strategy for the Hungarians' victory over the golden horde during the mid-1200's was to build more castles.

As such, the fortified castles of Europe will greatly hamper Mongolian mobility. Both parties also forget to mention that Germany at the time was incredibly poor cavalry country, unless the Mongols somehow developed the ability to gallop a horse through the dense forestry of the German heartland.

Lastly, the pro argument that the Golden Horde and the Ilkhanate were not Mongols is completely ridiculous. What then constitutes a 'Mongol'? They employ the same strategies, the same equipment and the same horses and were ruled by the descendants of Jochi and Chagatai respectively. Their retainers were the same horse archers who grew up in the tough Mongolian heartland. They are, for all intents and purposes, Mongolian.

I have more interesting facts from an incredible poster but the website seems down at the moment, will post when it comes back up.
Posted by sadhukar 4 years ago
sadhukar
Instead of the bootlicking commentors seemingly prevalent on this site, I'd like to come forward and say this: that was a horrible debate.

The Pro side has a love affair with wikipedia and goes even further, providing TRIPOD as a source. The Con side has much more effective use of sources and many of his arguments make much more sense, but a significant majority is filled with strawmans. Who cares which route the Mongols took? Unless either of you read the plans created by Subutai and Batu themselves, you can never say what route the Mongols take. Nonetheless, the question was "The Mongols would have conquered Europe" and not "Italy is good cavalry country" which is what the debate seem to boil down to.

I must also point out some key factual errors presented:
It is an incredible misconception that Mongols were inept at siege warfare. This cannot be further from the truth: during the campaign against the Jin the Mongols went through 50 fortified cities in the space of 2 years, with the Khan personally overseeing the fall of 28 (http://www.amazon.co.uk...). However, what is true is that mobility is the key to Mongolian STRATEGY. China was easy to fall because the strategic targets were her fortified cities; in Europe, they were the Castles. And there were many more castles in Europe than Cities in China. This is why no European nation can be completely subjugated even after a massive victory such as after Bouvines, Crecy or Poitiers. To subjugate just the Duchy of Normandy, King Philip II had to lay siege to over 50 fiefdoms, and this was with Prince John's help and with Richard I rotting away in a Bavarian dungeon. The fact that, 3 years later Richard was able to land in Rouen is a testament to the fact that campaigns in Europe take a very, very long time due to the amount of castles.
Posted by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
RFD part III

Conquest continued: Sorry, that last word was "won" and I meant to say The Mongols would not have been trapped, as pro said" instead of con. Anyway, I think they could have beaten each army piecemeal, and pro proved that. They would take over most of Europe. But in the end, I think they would have united and drove them out, the supply lines being easily cut as con said. So they could have beaten Germany and most likely the Italian combined forces, but they would band together, along with the rest of untouched Europe and drive them out.

In the End: In the end, this point above is a tie due to both sides having some logical fallacies and difference between the medium term and long term outcomes and consequences.

So What's the Score?: Pro wins a greater number of points, but con is able to pick apart at certain aspects of those points and pro can not prove his inductions and con can not refute the inductions. Inductions are inductions, they can not be proven and can not be disproven without evidence, which con did not have. The most important point, conquest, in the end, is a virtual tie due to the long term outcome and since con's short and middle term arguments were refuted and countered. I think pro wins arguments by a hare.

Then Why the Vote?: I don't give pro arguments due to the closeness of the arguments, but due to pro's slight edge, he will get the win based on the appropriate point structure and analysis.

I would like to give both sides a good job, this was a great debate.
Posted by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
RFD part II

Hold Out Ability Continued: Also, since the equipment was better thank at Kiev and the walls of the castles were no better than Kiev's, most of the castles would have fallen and the remainder fished out in no more than a year. (Proof above). That being said, it would not be very easy.

Venice and Spies: Mongols were not dumb. They would not have broken a necessary alliance that benefited them. Venice did need it too, for the Byzantine silk road route was not to develop until later. However, a lot of European conquest may have made the Venetians weary at some point during the conquest out of fear of their own conquest. I can't say what would happen in that senario. As for spies, Venice did provide a lot of spies, but Venice did not have enough people to have a very widespread spy network. Not to mention, some were probably double agents. Needless to say, pro's statement about the widesperead network of spies is only true to a small certain extent.

Conquest: When it comes down to it, this is the most important point. The first issue to resolve is which route the Mongols would take. Pro did not provide evidence for his plan while con did. Thus, con wins this point. Italy was more fertile and was the spot chosen by the Venetians, advice the Mongols most likely would have taken to heart. However, that is not to say that there would be NO invasion of Germany, just to a smaller extent. The second issue to resolve it who would win in the case of a battle. I think pro wins when he says that the European could not have gotten along. That is certainly true. The HRE was weak at the time and to use a source that both sides used, "A weak Holy Roman Empire meant a weak Europe." Double whammy. Still, some would have united. It would have to depend on the circumstances of the battle to see who would win. The Mongols would not have been trapped, as con said, and free to fight anywhere. Increasing tensions, killing armies piecemeal, and using guerrilla tactics wo
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
MouthWashlarztheloserTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:21 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
MouthWashlarztheloserTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Cant decide