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How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field?

I'm looking for the number of soldiers the Mongol Empire had at the time of Genghis Khan. What percentage of them were ethnically Mongolians?

In this period, the Mongols had a nominal strength of around 100,000 to 130,000.

According to the Secret History of the Mongols, Ghengis Khan had an army of 105,000 strong by A.D. 1206. This number grew to 129,000 by A.D. 1227, according to Rashid-al-Din_Hamadani in his Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh. Of the latter figure, 27,000 were new units raised from Manchuria. If we assume the rest were "Mongolian", then:

Without the forces added later, Rashi al-Din has 102,000, or 3,000 less than the Secret History's total. This difference could be explained by units left to guard the western regions. It therefore seems that the total number of "Mongol" soldiers was quite constant from 1206 to 1227.

- Sverdrup, Carl. "Numbers in Mongol Warfare." Journal of Medieval Military History 2010 (8).

However, these figures are nominal estimates based on the tümen unit.

[C]ontemporary soruces often quote the number of army units or the number of commanders of tumens, for example. However, though theoretically a tumen consisted of 10,000 men and a commander of a tumen had 10,000 men under his command, this was rarely the case, and in reality numbers could be very considerably less.

- Lane, George. Daily Life in the Mongol Empire. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.

As is usually the case everywhere else, not every individual units would have been at full strength. They certainly would be diminished on campaign, by both natural attrition and casualties in fighting. Moreover, some would have had to stayed behind at home. Thus,

The effective total of the Mongol army was likely 70-80% of the nominal total. The percentage of effectives should have been high when the army set out from home territory with a gradual decrease as time passed.

- Sverdrup, Carl. "Numbers in Mongol Warfare." Journal of Medieval Military History 2010 (8).

Therefore, Genghis Khan probably fielded no more than 100,000 soldiers in total at any one time. This excludes conquered subjects pressed into service as infantry meat shields, though.

Just before Ghenkis Khan died, he invaded Western Xia with 180,000 soldiers, according to Wikipedia.

Did Genghis Khan really kill 1,748,000 people in one hour?

Now that the Cold War is over, Genghis Khan's role as the father of Mongolia is once again being celebrated. Under Soviet rule, Mongols couldn't even utter Khan's name aloud. Now, however, the Mongolian people can visit the ruler's recently discovered tomb. So many related products have appeared in recent years that the Mongolian government is considering copyrighting "Genghis Khan" to protect the integrity of Khan's name.

This resurgence in popularity has also made some people reconsider Genghis Khan. Was he a bloodthirsty heathen, or a fair and just statesman? Although his reign left behind no tangible artifacts -- like architecture or art -- does Khan's role as champion of diplomacy, religious tolerance and equal rights for women serve as legacy enough? And what of the incredible bloody legends that surround Genghis Khan?

Perhaps no other historical figure has as much death directly attributed to ­him than Genghis Khan. A quick glance at the many lists of his supposed deeds yields a recurring and s­tartling attribution: Genghis Khan is said to have once killed 1,748,000 people in a single hour.

While Khan inarguably killed his fair share of people, it's impossible that he -- or anyone else -- personally ever took as many lives in such a short time. For Khan to have killed that many people in an hour, he would have had to take 29,133 lives per minute.

It's clear this isn't possible, but what's the story behind this amazing, although untrue, legend? And why such an oddly specific number? Find out in the next section.

The 1,748,000 refers to the estimated population in April 1221 of a Persian city called Nishapur. This city, located in what is now Iran, was a bustling cultural center during Khan's time. And during his campaign to the West, following his successful subduing of China, Nishapur was one of the cities his troops sacked.­

Genghis Khan (whose adopted name means "Universal Ruler" in Altaic, his native tongue) was something of a populist conqueror. He generally followed a self-imposed rule that those who surrendered to him were allowed to live. Common folk were often spared­, while their rulers usually were put to death. The same fate met anyone else who dared resist.

­In Nishapur, Khan's favorite son-in-law, Toquchar, was killed by an arrow shot by a Nishapuran. It's not entirely clear whether a revolt broke out after Khan's troops had already overtaken the city, or if the fateful event took place during an initial siege. Either way, this proved to be the death warrant for the inhabitants of the city.

Khan's daughter was heartbroken at the news of her husband's death, and requested that every last person in Nishapur be killed. Khan's troops, led by his youngest son, Tolui undertook the gruesome task. Women, children, infants, and even dogs and cats were all murdered. Worried that some of the inhabitants were wounded but still alive, Khan's daughter allegedly asked that each Nishapuran be beheaded, their skulls piled in pyramids. Ten days later, the pyramids were complete.

Exactly how many died at Nishapur during the siege is questionable, but it does appear that a great many people were killed and beheaded. There is no evidence that Genghis Khan was at the city when the massacre took place, however.

It's unclear why the legends say these events transpired in just one hour. And when the 1.75 million deaths became attributed directly to Khan is equally murky. Even more difficult to understand is how the idea made it on so many lists of amazing statistics. Regardless, a great many people died at the hands of Genghis Khan or his men. But in a strange, roundabout way, he put back more than he took. Thanks to his far-flung travels and his appetite for women, a 2003 study found that as many as 16 million people alive today -- or about 0.5 percent of the global population -- are descendants of Khan [source: Zerjal, et al.].

The Devil Had A Violent Upbringing

Viennese doctor Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) believed that the way parents dealt with children's basic sexual and aggressive desires determined how their personalities developed and whether or not they would end up well-adjusted as adults. With this in mind, note that when Genghis Khan was only 9 years old his father was killed by an enemy tribe and Genghis’ tribe expelled his mother, so she raised Genghis and his six brothers and sisters on her own.

Genghis' family suffered from extreme hunger and cold - it would appear those hardships made Genghis a hardened fighter. When Genghis was just ten years old, he fell into a dispute with his brother over a piece of food. This is where we see the first signs of his inner demons - he killed his brother for the food. Genghis was later enslaved by a rival clan, which further fueled his hate. When he escaped slavery all hell broke loose.

Field Battle

The new master of Kim's country is the Perfect Inheritance Leader of the army of Kim, ordered the people in Hangzhou, Changzhou, and Fuzhou to move to the Field. His goal was to take advantage of the mountainous terrain of Da Ho Linh to prevent the Mongol cavalry steps.

The Kim army also concentrated on 45,000 main forces at Da Ho Linh, divided into two wings, the main wing of 30,000 troops directly facing the Mongols, the second wing of 15,000 troops ready to respond.

Photo 4 The biggest battle of Genghis Khan's military career
Portrait of Genghis Khan.Silk paintings, stored at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.(Photo from wikipedia.org).

The Mongols had only 9,000 troops, much less than the Kim army. Attack on Da Ho Linh was the biggest battle up to that point of the Mongols.

At this time, the warring general of the Mongols, Moc Hoa Le, made a plan to first use the suicide force to penetrate deep into the enemy's center, causing the Kim army to be confused. Then the new army divided the attack line.

Genghis Khan immediately sent Jupiter to lead the Bat Lu Doanh army to attack the army. Da Ho Linh mountain makes it difficult for Mongolians to develop the strength of the cavalry, many places have to take the horse. However, the Mongols continued to strike straight into the main camp of Hoan Nhan Thua Du, causing panic for the Kim army. At this time, the Mong Cong army divided the attack wings straight into.

Before the Mongol army, the Kim army was defeated, 15,000 troops belonged to the second wing to meet but before the situation of Kim's panic, the army also ran away.

The defeated Kim, the Complete Renowned General, weighed 30 thousand troops and were killed, and the army of Kim stretched for hundreds of miles.

The Kim forces concentrated all their main forces, as well as the elite troops for this battle, so when Kim lost the main army, the country was no longer able to cope with Mongolia. Later battles were easily defeated, and Kim fell into Mongolia's hands.

How many soldiers did Ghengis Khan field? - History

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Genghis Khan accomplished what no other human before him had ever done and what none have done since. Through brutal military force, he amassed one of history's greatest armies and built the largest contiguous empire the world has ever seen.

Second only to the British Empire in terms of overall size, Khan's Mongol Empire controlled much of Asia and laid claim to a quarter of the world's population during the 13th century. His conquests not only changed the ancient world but the ripple effect can still be seen today.

For example, some fairly recent research has suggested that 0.5 percent of men worldwide (about 16 million people at the time of the study) can most likely trace their genetic lineage back to male-line descendants of Genghis Khan.

A conqueror of such great power and influence, Genghis Khan was destined to be a leader from birth according to Mongolian folklore. Local tradition holds that the blood clot found in his hand upon his birth — in the mountains of northeast Mongolia circa 1162 — meant that he would become a ruler.

Born with the name Temüjin and part of the Borjigin tribe, Khan had a difficult childhood. His father, the tribe's leader, was poisoned when he was just a young boy and the family spent much of his childhood living a nomadic and meager lifestyle without the protection of a tribe.

However, this only fueled Khan's quest for power. He soon aligned himself with his father's sworn ally Toghrul, leader of the Keraite tribe confederation. The alliance proved fruitful and the young warrior was able to gather 20,000 fighters and defeat the rival confederacy of Merkit.

These early military campaigns allowed Khan to slowly unite the various Mongolian tribes and launch larger campaigns that eventually allowed him to conquer nearly all of Eurasia.

Like other conquerors of the ancient world, Genghis Khan (a name he didn't adopt until middle age) was known for his fearsome military tactics and ruthless bloodshed. Entire cities were burned and those left alive were incorporated into the Mongol's growing population.

This gave Khan's empire an incredibly diverse population for the time and one that was made up of multiple faiths and skilled artisans of various trades. Without his seemingly unquenchable thirst for expansion of the Mongol Empire, the Silk Road likely would not have been as expansive as it became.

Despite his extraordinary influence, the number of verifiable Genghis Khan facts that we know today is still quite small. Depictions of his appearance vary and the uncertain location of his tomb has remained both a point of frustration and intrigue for archaeologists.

However, the fact that we only know about small parts of Genghis Khan's life and death is probably what he would have wanted. His soldiers actually went to great lengths to keep his tomb a secret.

As these interesting facts about Genghis Khan above show, however, what we do know about him proves that his life was one of monumental impact that the world still feels today.

​Meet Genghis Khan, The Most Brutal Bastard In History Who You’re Probably Related To

Orite, mate, I haven't read up much on history since I was made to do homework at school, but the other day I came across one fuck so twisted and deranged that it made me think it was worth letting you all know about him.

I mean, reading this shit was like reading through something from a real-life Game of Thrones. In fact, it was probably worse.

So, without further ado, meet Genghis Khan.

So I know what you're thinking here, he doesn't look that brutal and he's not much of a looker. But maybe you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. This man was not only responsible for the deaths of as many as 40 million people, but his notorious shagging means that one in every 200 of all of us alive today is a direct relative of him - that's tens of millions of us.

But how did it all begin for him.


Unlike the mollycoddled men that grow up today playing Pokémon Go and listening to tracks about 'Becky with the good hair', ol' Ghengis had the kind of brutal upbringing that can only breed a cold, calculating, hardnosed bastard.

Born in north central Mongolia around 1162, Genghis Khan was originally named 'Temujin' after a Tatar chieftain that his father, Yesukhei, had captured. Imagine that, your dad captures some bloke and then to add insult to injury he names you after him.

Genghis chillin' on a modern Mongolian bank note. Image credit: Blogspot

Rival Tatars poisoned his father when he was only nine, and his own tribe later expelled his family and left his mother to raise her seven children alone. This meant that Genghis grew up hunting and foraging to survive, and as an adolescent he may have even murdered his own half-brother in a dispute over food.


When he was about 20, Genghis was captured in a raid by former family allies, the Taichi'uts, and temporarily enslaved. He escaped with the help of a sympathetic captor and then joined his brothers and several other clansmen to form a fighting unit.

From there he began his slow ascent to power by building a large army of more than 20,000 men. He set out to destroy traditional divisions among the various tribes and unite the Mongols under his rule.

But, thinking about it, I might have got ahead of myself a bit here.


That's a good question, mate. Originating in the steppes of Central Asia, the Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of nomadic tribes under the leadership of Genghis Khan. He was proclaimed ruler of all Mongols in 1206, so being a Mongol originally meant you were ruled by Khan.

The Mongolian empire was established because he went against custom by putting competent allies rather than relatives in key positions in his army and, while he executed the leaders of enemy tribes, he would incorporate the remaining members into his clan.

He also ordered that all looting wait until after a complete victory had been won, and organized his warriors into organised units of 10 not based on family connections. He was tolerant of people of all religions in his armies, he cared more about conquering, than what god you believed in.


By the time he was proclaimed the ruler of all Mongol he was thought of as more of a god than a man.

Genghis wasted no time in capitalizing on his divine stature. Although they were spurred by the fact they thought they were fighting for a literal god, his armies were also driven by environmental circumstances. This was because, as his empire grew, food and resources were becoming scarce. They therefore had to capture more territory to survive.

In 1207, he led his armies against the kingdom of Xi Xia and, after two years, forced it to surrender. In 1211, Genghis Khan's armies struck the Jin Dynasty in northern China, lured by almost endless rice fields and easy pickings of wealth.


Genghis Khan's armies were also active in the west against border empires and the Muslim world. Initially, he used diplomacy to establish trade relations with the Khwarizm Dynasty, a Turkish-dominated empire that included Turkestan, Persia, and Afghanistan.

But when one of his diplomats was killed he demanded the governor be extradited to him and sent a diplomat to retrieve him. Shah Muhammad, the leader of the Khwarizm Dynasty, not only refused the demand, but in defiance sent back the head of the Mongol diplomat.

This act released a fury that would sweep through central Asia and into eastern Europe. In 1219, Genghis Khan took control of planning and executing a three-prong attack of 200,000 Mongol soldiers against the Khwarizm Dynasty.

The Mongols swept through every city's fortifications with unstoppable savagery. Those who weren't immediately slaughtered were driven in front of the Mongol army, serving as human shields when the Mongols took the next city.


But eventually even the mighty must face death. He is believed to have died in 1227 after falling from a horse, although one more questionable account claims he was murdered while trying to force himself on a Chinese princess.

However he died, he took great pains to keep his final resting place a secret. His funeral procession slaughtered everyone they came in contact with and repeatedly rode horses over his grave to help conceal it. The tomb is most likely on or around a Mongolian mountain called Burkhan Khaldun, but to this day its precise location is unknown.

All in all, it's impossible to know for sure how many people perished during the Mongol conquests, but historians put the number at somewhere around 40 million. The population of China plummeted by tens of millions during Khan's lifetime, and he may have killed a full three-fourths of modern-day Iran's population during his war with the Khwarezmid Empire.

All-in-all, the Mongols' attacks may have reduced the entire world population by as much as 11 percent.

So, there we have it. Genghis Khan, one of the biggest and hardest bastards who ever lived.

Legacy of Genghis Khan

To have such a startling impact on a population required a special set of circumstances, all of which are met by Genghis Khan and his male relatives, the authors note in the study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Khan's empire at the time of his death extended across Asia, from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea. His military conquests were frequently characterized by the wholesale slaughter of the vanquished. His descendants extended the empire and maintained power in the region for several hundred years, in civilizations in which harems and concubines were the norm. And the males were markedly prolific.

Khan's eldest son, Tushi, is reported to have had 40 sons. Documents written during or just after Khan's reign say that after a conquest, looting, pillaging, and rape were the spoils of war for all soldiers, but that Khan got first pick of the beautiful women. His grandson, Kubilai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty in China, had 22 legitimate sons, and was reported to have added 30 virgins to his harem each year.

"The historically documented events accompanying the establishment of the Mongol empire would have contributed directly to the spread of this lineage," the authors conclude.

Genghis and his Y-chromosome

In the study of historical genetics, published in 2003, geneticists focused on Y-chromosomes.

The Y-chromosome passes down directly and only from father to son. The chromosome is basically unchanged, except for random, traceable mutations, called markers.

Once geneticists find a marker, they can trace which males are genetically linked. The Y-chromosome that was traced in the study belongs to sixteen million males in Asia.

There is only one man in history who could father a lot of children all over the Middle East to China. The concerned area corresponds with the area of the Mongol Empire at the time of his death.

Obviously, Genghis Khan had plenty of sex with a huge number of women.

The descendants of Genghis ruled across Asia for centuries after his death. Their position in society meant they could have more women and consequently more children.

For example, Genghis’s son Toshi had forty sons. Genghis’s grandson, Kublai Khan, known for hosting Marco Polo, had twenty-two legitimate sons. Also, he added thirty virgins to his harem each year. Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, was also the direct descendant of Genghis Khan. He had six wives and eighteen children.

For Genghis, a ruler with absolute power and god-like status, getting women was not a problem.

At the battle of Yehuling in 1211 Genghis and his Mongol horde won a crushing victory in which they killed many thousands of Jin soldiers. The entire Jin army was destroyed, paving the way for Genghis’ subjugation of the dynasty.

Four years later, in 1215, Genghis besieged, captured, and sacked the Jin capital of Zhongdu – modern day Beijing.

Genghis Khan enters Beijing (Zhongdu).

Top 10 Facts about Genghis Khan

At the mention of the name Genghis Khan we picture the ‘universal Ruler’ who at one point in history conquered almost half the world, an empire stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the east to Eastern Europe in the West. He was a formidable warlord who’s unbeaten and unstoppable Mongol hordes raided and pillaged across Central Asia.

Born of humble beginnings in the steppes of Mongolia he grew up to command one of the fiercest armies known in the history of man. Despite his name being synonymous with barbarity, he was a great leader who unified warring tribes of Mongolia and advanced the economy of Central Asia. Here are top 10 facts about Genghis Khan.

1. One in 200 men today are direct descendants of Genghis Khan.

Known to be a conqueror he was also able to make an immortal legacy for himself by passing his genes across centuries. A recent finding by DNA researches estimates that there are 16 million men in Central Asia alone who are his descendants.

He was able to have numerous descendants as he is described as being a great lover who had many wives and courted many more women. He was also given the first pick of the most beautiful women of the towns the Mongol armies had conquered.

Some ruling dynasties of Asia and Russia were also his descendants like the Mughal royal family from Timur through Babur, Yuan Dynasty of China, Ilkhanids of Persia, the Jochids of the Golden Horde, the Shaybanids of Siberia, and the Astrakhanids of Central Asia, Girays of Crimea.

2. His grave site is unknown and unmarked.

Burkhan Khaldun – Wikipedia

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding Genghis Khan is the location of his gravesite. It is estimated that he was buried around a Mongolian mountain called Burkhan Khaldun but this has never been proven. Maury Kravitz, an archeologist, spent 40 years searching for the gravesite in vain until his death in 2012.

Before his death, Khan had instructed that his gravesite be unmarked and no one is told about its location. Upon his death during the battle of Western Xia in 1277, he was only 65 years, his soldiers carried out his last wishes to the letter.

According to the legend on their journey to the gravesite the funeral procession killed everyone that they came in contact with. Soldiers killed all the slaves who built his tomb and those soldiers were silenced by other soldiers. After burying him the funeral procession soldiers started killing everyone and eventually killed themselves.

3. “Genghis” wasn’t his real name.

Genghis Khan’s enthronement in 1206 – Wikipedia

Genghis was born sometime around 1162 along the banks of the Onon River as Temujin meaning ‘iron’ or ‘blacksmith’. He was named after a rival chief who his father had recently captured.

It was in 1206 that he got the famous name Genghis Khan when he was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a “Kurultai.” “Khan” is a traditional title meaning “ruler” or “leader” but historians are unsure of the meaning or origin of the name “Genghis.”

4. There is no definitive record of what he looked like.

In spite of being considered a national hero and founding father of Mongolia very little is known about Genghis’s personal life or even his physical appearance. There is no accurate portraits or sculptures of him that have survived. This can be attributed to the Soviets rule in the region who banned anything and everything related to Genghis.

Their various versions of how Genghis Khan might have looked from being tall and strong with a flowing mane of hair and a long, bushy beard to the 14 th description by the 14th-century Persian chronicler Rashid al-Din. He claims that Genghis had red hair and green eyes. All these accounts have been considered unreliable by historians.

5. He was responsible for the deaths of around 40 million people.

Mongol warrior of Genghis Khan – Wikipedia

For Genghis Khan to have conquered almost half the world he would have had to massacre many towns. His rampages left such a path of destruction that many historians put the number of deaths he caused somewhere around 40 million and estimate that the Mongol’s attacks may have reduced the entire world population by 11 per cent.

Census from the Middle Ages shows that the population of China reduced by tens of millions during Khan’s reign. He is also responsible for the death of a three-fourth of modern-day Iran’s population during the Khwarezmid Empire. It is said that he enjoyed advertising his brutality as a way to keep people afraid and submissive.

6. He created one of the first international postal systems.

Khan’s earliest decree was the formation of a mounted courier service known as the “Yam.” The “Yam” was used to refer to the post houses and way stations, which were approximately 24 kilometers apart that could be found across the whole of the Mongolian Empire. Thanks to the “Yam” system Khan could keep up to date with the military and political developments throughout his vast empire.

This remarkable medieval postal system improved the economy, simplified the transportation of goods along the Silk Road and improved the efficiency and effectiveness of information sharing. The postal system also helped to protect foreign dignitaries and merchants during their travels. A good example of foreigners who used the system is Marco Polo and John of Plano Carpini.

7. Some of his most trusted generals were former enemies.

Genghis Khan & Jebe – Wikimedia Commons

Unlike most medieval rulers who promoted officers because of their social class or status, Khan was known to focus primarily on an officer’s capabilities and experience. He had a keen eye for talent and this can explain why he even allowed women to be part of his army.

He was also known to appoint his enemies as generals and a good example is his field commander Jebe. The story goes that Jebe shot an arrow and killed the horse Khan was riding during a battle against the Taijut in 1201. Despite winning this battle this incident almost killed khan. Once the Taijut were captured Khan inquired on who had shot the arrow and one archer bravely stood up and confessed it was him. Impressed by the soldier’s braveness Khan appointed him an officer in his army and nicknamed him Jebe meaning “arrow.”

8. He killed his half-brother as a child.

Genghis was known to be a cold-blooded killer in his adult life, but he also depicted his thirst for blood as a youth. From a young age, khan knew he had to fight and kill for what he needed and wanted. His family was at odds with their clan members and a result they lived on their own.

This solitary life caused a food shortage in their household. In an effort to help feed his family Khan would go hunting, but he did not always agree with how the food was divided. One day Khan had a serious argument with his half-brother over the food he had captured. Khan took the dispute to his mother, who sided with his step-brother. This enraged Khan.

In his anger, Khan enrolled the help of his younger brother and killed his unsuspecting half-brother. It is said that Khan never had any remorse whatsoever.

9. He strategically killed his sons-in-law.

Tumanba Khan, His Wife, and His Nine Sons – Wikipedia

Khan was a genius in his own right. He understood that he could not rule such a large empire by himself and would need help from local people. Who is more loyal than your own flesh and blood? Khan enlisted the aid of his sons and daughters in the ruling.

It is said that Khan would marry off one of his daughters to the king of an allied nation and dismiss the other wives of the allied king. Khan would then assign his new son-in-law to military duty in his army. Most of his sons-in-law died in combat thus leaving Khan’s daughters to rule in their place.

10. Khan was a strategic warlord.

Mongol Cavalrymen – Wikipedia

In most of his battles, Khan was mostly outnumbered, but he still managed to defeat his enemies because of the various military strategies he applied. He was able to devise many of his enemies into thinking that his army was larger than it actually was and setting cunning traps for them.

He was also successful in his raids because he provided his soldiers with the resource they needed. Each Mongol had at least five to six horses per soldier and the soldiers were allowed to shield themselves with dummies or prisoners of war. Khan took good care of his army thus busting their loyalty and drive to serve him.

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