Another from the MagWeb vault...
BOOK REVIEW: The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe
By James Chambers
This reprint of the 1979 book offers an illuminating look at the Mongol warfare of Genghis Khan as it swept from East to West. On Christmas Day, 1241, a portion of the horde crossed the Danube and headed towards the balkanized kingdoms of Western Europe. Had it not been for the death of the great Khan, it's possible the horde would have reached the Atlantic Ocean. After all, few Kingdoms had resisted a first attack and none had survived a second.
Chambers weaves an impressive tale of power and prowess as he traces the Mongol conquest of Asia and eastern Europe. The army had perfected encirclement tactics on the steppes, and used conquered engineers and specialists for sieges. The more they conquered, the stronger they became. Simultaneously with the attack into Europe came an attack into the Middle East--fascinating examination since so little is known about the campaign in the West.
However, the Mongol empire, like those before it, suffered the fatal flaw of infighting, and the once coordinated movements devolved into individual power ploys. Twin losses at Ain Jalut and Hims ended Mongol advances in the Middle East, while weather and internecine warfare halted the European invasion in Transylvania and Poland.
Chambers offers an excellent book about a little known subject.