Condottiere wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:22 pm
Three things really stopped the Mongols: amphibious operations, jungle warfare and probably congested European terrain.
As regards the fragility of their institutions, it worked as long as you had a Khan of khans that all respected, probably the reason everyone had to return home, do some politicking, and repledge fealty.
The thing about the Mongols was that they only had to win once, because they weren't averse as to wiping out the tax base and scourging the earth, that eight centuries later, you could say Baghdad really hasn't recovered from. And the Russians are still paranoid.
That only stopped them from invading Japan. Horses don't do as well in jungles, so their spread there would be limited by terrain, and Europe they were going as far as modern-day Poland/Germany, Czech Republic & Bulgaria and Hungary. Probably the two things that stopped them was their silly having to go back to Mongolia every time the Great Khan died, infighting and rain (trees from that era show an increase in rainfall, causing more marshy terrain instead of dry grassland). Horses don't do so well in marsh. Lot's of speculations, but that's all there is, speculation.
Mongols were actually decent rulers if you surrendered. They could care less about what religion you were, and Ghenghis supposedly was thoughtful about ruling (as far as a bloodthirsty Mongol could be). So for their time if (you surrendered) it wasn't as bad as some of the other zealots who would kill and/or tax you to death for having a different religion. But yeah, if you didn't surrender you were pretty much toast and they would have no mercy.
Russians paranoia seems to be more of a genetic thing I'd say. Even today they have an, ah, different social and historical climate than most.