Ogatai (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Ogatai presided over the quriltai (council, public assembly) that planned the conquest of Russia and Eastern Europe by a Mongol army of 150,000 under the nominal command of his nephew, Batu, and the brilliant general Subatai.
The third son of Genghis Khan, Ogatai was sent with his quarrelsome brothers Jochi and Chagatai to fight the Khwārezm Empire in 1219. Genghis appointed Ogatai to oversee the Siege of Urgench (1219). The Mongols, lacking stones, made missiles from the trunks of mulberry trees soaked in water and captured the city after seven months.
Ogatai was chosen by his father before his death in 1227 to succeed him and was elected khan by a quriltai in 1229. He ruled during the final conquest of North China (1234) and founded the Mongol capital at Karakorum in Central Mongolia in 1235.
Crossing the Volga in winter, 1237, Mongol armies conquered Russia, defeating Grand Prince Yuri II of Vladimir’s army at Sil River (March 4, 1238) and sacking Kiev (December 6, 1240). Over the next two years, the Mongols advanced to the Adriatic after destroying the armies of Bohemia and Hungary at Liegnitz (April 9, 1241) and Sajó River (April 11, 1241). Batu and other commanders returned to Mongolia to elect a new khan after Ogatai’s death in 1241, and shortly afterward, in 1242, the Mongols abandoned their campaign in Europe. The commanders’ return to Mongolia...
(The entire section is 266 words.)
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