Medieval World War

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Who will win?

The West (England, France, Ayyubid, Holy Roman Empire)
18
39%
The East (Genghis Khan and his Empire of Khanates plus Japan)
28
61%
 
Total votes : 46

Re:

Unread postby Aaron.K » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:48 am

Calax wrote:I don't think that the Chinese or Japanese would easily adapt to the style of fighting the west uses. A katana isn't very well equipped to smash through Plate, the Chinese might do better but I don't think that either army would do that well against the european style of beating the living daylights out of your opponent. War in China and Japan isn't nearly as savage as the fights in Europe.

Admittedly I'm still in a Community college so I may be wrong.


Plate armour would not have been in widespread use at this time. It was still chainmail which was the norm. (And even then, it was only knights who wore any real form of armour at the time.) Due to studying past battles, the victor is for the most part the one who has the superior number of cavalry. Now the ones who had the best form of cavalry at this time were the Mongolians. Not only could the riders act as a self sufficient mobile force (it's a lot easier for horsemen to forage for food than for infantry), but they had mobility on their side.

There is always the mention of technology, and while the English longbows were rather good weapons, it was proven that they could not pierce plate armour and kill the man wearing it. At most he would get a very large welt, and possibly some slight bleeding. (Nothing to really worry about.) And these tests were done with just plate armour. The arrow still had to penetrate the chainmail underneath, and the cloth padding. However as I mentioned, the knights would be wearing mostly chainmail, and there would be a small minority wearing plate armour. Basically the Mongols didn't have to worry about the longbow, it was more that likely that the arrow wouldn't hit (due to the moving target). But even the arrows used were bodkins (designed not to pierce plate armour, but to get through weak spots in chainmail or those wearing no armour.) However the thing about bodkins is that they aren't barbed, making them rather easy to remove.

So we have the Mongol cavalry, and then we have the Japanese samurai cavalry (which were trained to be horse archers, so essentially of the same calibre as the Mongolians.) And then the Chinese cavalry (The use of heavy cavalry as well as those trained to be horse archers.) We have Chinese foot troops trained to use the Guan Dao (it was put in widespread use during the Song dynasty.) There's also the large sword called the Zhanmadao (Which was used brilliantly against the Jurchen cavalry by the Song general Yue Fei.) And considering so many liberties have been taken to even think of this topic, then I can say that Yue Fei was not executed by Qin Kui, and is still alive. Yue Fei alone as an infantry general could hold off any cavalry thrown his way. (He was beating back the Jurchens, and remember... They were used to the same kind of warfare as the Mongolians and other nomadic tribes.)

In any case, the fight would be a no contest victory for the eastern side. Though how one could make a supply line for both sides is beyond me...
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby lordomni » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:06 am

I tend to think western armor was more sophisticated than eastern, with the exception of China. The Japanese never had the iron resources to truly develop plate armor and instead had to rely on lamellar so the question of penetration of longbows on plate is moot. Nothing eastern would have stopped a longbow. Also, the range. While its true that the more mobile cavalry would be an issue for static formations, the strength of the longbow guaranteed several volleys before the cavalry could get to a point of counter fire. The English were also quite accurate, so the mobility would not be as difficult as one would think.

Honestly, if you combine the heavy infantry and ranged power of western armies and the mobility and technology of the Muslim armies, I don't think the mongols would have a chance. Japanese forces were still fairly poor during the 1200's, and Chinese would be in an interesting position as the heavy infantry of a combined army. I don't think Chinese heavy infantry had the same armor quality or sword strength of western. Much of Chinese tactics involved the standard of pin with infantry, strike with cavalry and the Muslim forces would prevent that as well as western longsears preventing front charges.

However tactics on both sides would develop dramatically during such a conflict, so theres no way to know what would happen.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby DonMatthew » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:40 am

I think I'll go for The West (England, France, Ayyubid, Holy Roman Empire), they very intelligent and brave. I like the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed for about a millennium in Central Europe, ruled by a Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes. In its last centuries, its character became quite close to a union of territories.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:00 am

The east, just because nobody touched the Mongols in terms of army organization, strategic coordination, army management, sheer speed, doctrines etc.

Cos when you talk a world war, you're not talking pitched battles are you? You're talking about multiple theatres and invasions and maneuvers. (Though in a pitched battle, I'd still give it to the Mongols due to tech superiority and better doctrines and drilling) and in those terms Europe and the general feudal system was terrible. At mustering armies, feeding them, marching them etc. And general morale and fighting quality of troops were just as bad if not worse. High desertions, high likelihood of routing, difficulty of controlling and maneuvering, bad unit cohesion etc.

The only worthwhile units the West has were, of course, armored knights. And the Mongols showed that they could deal with them easily enough through superior maneuvering and hit and runs.


I honestly don't see Japan adding much to this fight. They don't have the capabilities to march their army to Europe, and they're isolationist. And I doubt Japan circa 12th and 13th century was in any kind of state to launch any offensive wars with hundred thousand men armies.


Honestly we kind of did have a Medieval World War, it was called the Mongol invasion and they were winning, and would have won had they not been forced to go back.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby Jordan » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:45 am

Whoever attacked would inevitably overextend themselves. No side would end up winning because the technology of the Middle Ages did not lend itself very well to Empire building on a global scale. The largest exception to this, I suppose, is the Mongol Empire, which ended up fragmenting anyways. I guess I'd vote for the East, if anybody, mainly because of this. Factoring in Subotai's victories over Georgia, Russia, the Khwarezmians, etc. the Mongols showed that they somehow had the capacity to take on far-flung adversaries at this time. No other Medieval group of people that I can think of were even close to as successful in this sense.

The Japanese and Chinese, in comparison to the Mongols, add very little to the equation. Japan rarely had successful foreign incursions. The Chinese were comparably more successful, but still not nearly as much as the Mongols. I guess China adds a whole lot more technology for the Mongols to utilize. Japan adds next to nothing. Their horses in particular were small and crappy, whereas China could usually get good quality horses from Central Asia. In every other respect during the Middle Ages they were inferior to China as well.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:13 pm

And guys, remember this is like 13th century Japan. Not sengoku (sp?) era. They would have been really shitty.


The Mongols would have an edge in launching offensive wars because they moved their whole nation, not just armies. That's why it was a horde. Supply wasn't as big a problem for them.

And you're right, China's addition to the war would be what the Mongols already had. That is, China's amazing technologies.

China probably could have also contributed it's navy which I think should have been pretty good at that time? Though I may be wrong. Granted they can't really sail their fleets to Europe (cos the Suez canal didn't exist yet) but once the Mongols captured ports along the levant, Chinese engineers could start building ships.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:39 am

It's a cold thread, but what the hell.

In a manner of speaking, this war did happen. And while the West didn't win, they persevered, while the Mongols fragmented and collapsed. The key battle here was the Mamluke victory at Ain Jalut in 1260, which broke the Mongol momentum and was the beginning of the end for the Khanates.

I don't think China had a huge martial superiority against the West either. The Tang Dynasty was defeated by the Abbasid Caliphate at Talas in 751, though the Muslims supposedly outnumbered them by a wide margin (I say 'supposedly' because the "massively outnumbered" claim was made by the defeated party).

And though this technically predates the Middle Ages (by about twenty years), the Romans defeated Atilla at the Catalaunian Plains in 451. But since history hates to paint a clear picture, it must be mentioned that both sides has large numbers of Germans fighting under their respective banners.

Finally, the Mongols were eventually evicted from Russia after hundreds of years of domination, which the Russians very slowly eradicated. The last Khanate was only destroyed in the 18th Century!

So the only real decisive battles (that I know of) between West and East happened at Ain Jalut and in Russia, which the West won. Of course, the Mongols didn't get much help from the fact that they were the invaders, and that most non-Mongols under their rule despised them...
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:41 am

I would say actually that whilst Ain Jalut was an amazing battle in that they won a tactical victory, strategically it accounted for nothing as the Mongols were already on the retreat due to their need to return east to elect a new leader.

And all decisive conflicts in Russia between the Mongols and the West were won by the Mongols, so I don't know what you're talking about there. Only the republic of novgorod survived the Mongol invasion because they were too far north.


I would say the two decisive conflicts between the East and Europe in medieval times were simultaneous twin battles, the Battle of Legnica between the Golden Horde and the Polish-Holy Roman Empire alliance and the Battle of Mohi between the Golden Horde and Hungary. And both were solid Mongol victories.

The Middle East meanwhile presented no worthwhile obstruction to the Mongol invasion other than Ain Jalut, which was a tactical victory but no where near damaged the Mongol horde enough.


And also, the fact that the Mongols got kicked out of Russia like six centuries later isn't really something to boast about. The West lost the war well and good tactically at every opportunity except for the considerable but no where near game changing Ain Jalut. And would have lost the war strategically as well had the Mongols not needed to return to Mongolia to pick a new leader. After which they became more obsessed (probably rightfully so) with conquering the still defiant Chinese Empire under the Southern Song Dynasty.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:05 am

Crazedmongoose wrote:I would say actually that whilst Ain Jalut was an amazing battle in that they won a tactical victory, strategically it accounted for nothing as the Mongols were already on the retreat due to their need to return east to elect a new leader...And all decisive conflicts in Russia between the Mongols and the West were won by the Mongols, so I don't know what you're talking about there. Only the republic of novgorod survived the Mongol invasion because they were too far north...I would say the two decisive conflicts between the East and Europe in medieval times were simultaneous twin battles, the Battle of Legnica between the Golden Horde and the Polish-Holy Roman Empire alliance and the Battle of Mohi between the Golden Horde and Hungary. And both were solid Mongol victories...The Middle East meanwhile presented no worthwhile obstruction to the Mongol invasion other than Ain Jalut, which was a tactical victory but no where near damaged the Mongol horde enough...And also, the fact that the Mongols got kicked out of Russia like six centuries later isn't really something to boast about. The West lost the war well and good tactically at every opportunity except for the considerable but no where near game changing Ain Jalut. And would have lost the war strategically as well had the Mongols not needed to return to Mongolia to pick a new leader. After which they became more obsessed (probably rightfully so) with conquering the still defiant Chinese Empire under the Southern Song Dynasty.


All good points..., especially about Russia. Reminds me of the Vietnam War; America won every battle there, too. As for Ain Jalut, Hulagu Khan put that Mongol army there to basically guard their front line; after the defeat, he could never recapture those lands, even though he'd rampaged through them earlier.

I don't know too much about Russian history (never even heard of Legnica and Mohi), so you may be correct about all that, but my brief readings of the Russian's eastward expansion involves them wiping out a lot of the old Khanates. Maybe its nothing to boast about, but when the "Pax Mongolica" ended, Russia were on the rise and the Mongols were on the wane.
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Re: Medieval World War

Unread postby Crazedmongoose » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:02 pm

Legnica and Mohi are actually the most famous Mongol battles as far as the Western World is concerned. Because Europe really threw everything they had into those battles. The cream of their crop in the Knights Templars, Teutonic Knights, Hospitallers, Hungary, Poland and the Holy Roman Empire (which was probably militarily the most capable force in Europe at the time, as France had weakened itself from too many crusades), with all the support of Rome. And they lost so soundly to what was essentially 1/3 of the total Mongol force (the golden horde, lead by Subutai, who in my opinion is one of the greatest military minds of all time).


And you're absolutely right regarding that the later Russian expansion essentially dislodged many khanates. But it's important to distinguish the Mongols at their peak, ie. the four direct successor Khanates to Genghis Khan's empire, and the later smaller separated khanates, many of whom basically adopted the local culture and traditions (ie. the middle eastern khanates largely turned muslim) and were basically not Mongol, and not even Eastern anymore.

In that sense the Mongolian Empire was a lot like Alexander's Macedonian empire. It was nigh unbeatable during it's rise, but internal politics means that it quickly fragmented. And as soon as it began Pax Mongolia/Macedonia was over, replaced by a series of weak Khanates and Diadochi (sp?) states respectively.
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