Today in European history: the Battle of the Kalka River (1223)

The Mongols’ 1240 siege of Kyiv, an event we’ve also discussed here, occurred on their second incursion into the eastern European steppe. The Mongols’ first European invasion, which gives us today’s anniversary, was more a raid than an invasion, since there was no consideration given to actually conquering territory. But it stands as perhaps the most momentous raid in history. By 1221 the Mongols’ war against the Khwarazmian Empire was over, although that empire’s straggling remnants would survive for another decade. Instead of turning around and heading home, as most of the Mongol army was doing, two generals—Jebe and Subutai—asked Genghis Khan for permission to take 20,000 men on an extended (1-2 year) expedition further west. Their intent was not conquest but simply to scout out these western lands, assess the kingdoms controlling them, take whatever booty they could scrape up, and then return home a little richer and a lot better informed.

This is just a placeholder. If you’d like to read the rest please check out my new home, Foreign Exchanges!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.