• peter clings

How could the Mongol invaders defeat the Hungarian Kingdom in one battle only in 1241?

I have found a host of bizarre inconsistencies related to the interpretation of events pertaining to the First invasion of the Hungarian Kingdom as explained by some people (historians or not). I am using this answer to list some claims that I found absurd in the narrative:

  1. The Mongol invaders seem to have utterly defeated the Hungarian army, in a single Battle of Mohi

  2. The King Bela IV escapes miraculously from the battle to take a 1 year vacation on an island in Dalmatia. The Mongol conquerors found it impossible to get to the island because they could pay no money for a ship (Venetian, Ragusan, Genoese - all sworn enemies of the King)

  3. For one full year, between March 1241 – April 1242 the Mongols ruled absolute in the Hungarian Kingdom unchallenged, yet without the intention to stay on the long run. They were not able to take the few strongholds (such as Esztergom) for the good defenders were able to survive without food and water supplies for one full year

  4. During the occupation of Hungary, only the eastern half, the Mountainous region was ravaged. The Mongols faced no opposition during they crossing of dense forests and mountains, mostly over an uncharted territory

  5. After the 1 year of occupation, the Mongols were so weakened that rather than heading straight home, they instead headed south. On they retreat through the Despotate of Serbia and the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Mongol Invaders found strength to ravage them both badly

  6. After the departure of the Mongols, Bela IV returned to the kingdom unchallenged and never again forced to pay any tribute to the Mongols. Yet, both the Despotate of Serbia and the Second Bulgarian Empire did send the due tribute on a regular bases for 2 generations

  7. The great king was able to restore his kingdom to its full glory in only a few years such that he was able to attack Austria and Bohemia again in less than 10 years. He took partial possession of Styria just 10 years after the Mongol departure

None of the above make any sense for someone who knows just a little bit of comparative history between regions


I’d like to highlight the many dissimilarities between the two invasions. Both happened within the same Mongol generation of leaders, yet the approaches to the conquest cannot be more dissimilar

  1. The Georgian invasions resulted in multiple battles and attempts to resist for more than a decade

  2. The Invasion resulted in its conquest and submission

  3. The Mongol army avoided mountainous regions in general for in would have exposed they weaknesses against the local defenders

  4. The Georgian invasion happened for they held the strategic crossing of the Caucasus Mountains along the Caspian sea. The Mongol aim was to reach the Kipchaks in a surprise attack from South

For a proper understanding of the events I have published a number of blog posts in a separate category Mongol Invasion

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