Summary of "Genghis Khan" by James Chambers (Part V)
Chapter V: The War With The Golden Emperors
Genghis became so famously feared that it was common for tribes to surrender in advance or when his army reached their camps. He conquered lots of land with no casualties. In 1207-1209 they were raiding for explorative purposes when Genghis received many gifts from tribes all around the steppes to show their loyalty to him. He was offered lots of daughters as wives and lots of army men.
Genghis was gifted his first set of literate army men and could organize everyone better now because of it. They also had religious leaders who were the Shamans of the tribe. One Shaman named Kokochu was appointed Genghis Khan's chief Shaman. However, the vanity of his role got to his head fast and led to his downfall. Kokochu called himself "Most Heavenly," and when Genghis was out fighting formed a smaller tribe outside the main camp. When Genghis sent a scout to go tell them to come back, the scout was whipped and returned home on foot with only his saddle.
When Genghis sent his younger brother Temuge to get them back, Kokochu got him to kneel before him in front of everyone. When Temuge told Genghis about this, Genghis was furious and immediately rallied troops for his brother. He told his brother that when the Shaman got to camp, he could do whatever he wanted with him.
When the Shaman Kokochu was brought to the camp, three men immediately grabbed him and broke his back. They tossed him in a little pit in the middle of the camp, so everyone saw and left him to die from starvation and a broken back. This made it so all the gullible followers of the "most heavenly" discredited him quickly. Seeing a man they thought was their god be killed so fast, like every other man, put things into perspective for them.
All the Shaman's followers were useless without him, and his little army slowly dwindled away. Now Genghis was ready to march deeper into China through the Gobi Desert. However, he needed his flanks covered first. To the East were his friends, the Ongguts, but he had no friends to the West that made him feel comfortable enough to proceed South to invade the Chin capital. To the West was the independent kingdom called the Tangut Kingdom. Genghis invaded them a few years ago, and they brought back thousands of camels. But now, they had much better defences. The Mongols have never dealt with city walls before.
The Mongols retreated to spend two years studying new technology to help them with their invasion and returned to the city walls with storming ladders. They captured smaller cities around the Capital over a few months before laying siege to the Capital. It was a war of attrition that both parties were losing until the Tangut king surrendered. He gave Genghis one of his daughters to marry and tons of material goods like silk. He also gave Genghis falcons and rare white camels. However, the Tangut king would not give Genghis any army men. Genghis would never forget this; it is what he cared about most. Genghis knew all these material goods were a distraction and that the Tangut king might be keeping his army with him for alternative motives. Knowing this, he took the gifts and rode home.
He spent three days of silence at the top of a holy mountain, and then they rode off with around 65,000 men to invade the South.
Their first destination was the great wall which was crumbling down at the Northern tip. There were about 10,000 men positioned there, employed by the Chin as swords for hire. When Genghis got there, they joined Genghis, and there were 0 casualties. This happened several times during his trip, and the 65,000-man army grew larger from his reputation alone.
Mongols tormented the cities around the Chin capital. They would show their strength to a large city and wait a few days as the city readied their troops for battle. By the time the troops in the city were ready for war, the Mongols were hundreds of miles away, sacking another less guarded city. Their mobility allowed them to do this and eventually capture all the Chin cities. Whenever the Chin army attempted to fight outside city walls, they would get decimated by the Mongols. One time the defeat was so bad that Mongols were chasing retreating Chin for 30 miles, picking them off like game as they sprinted to their city walls. When the city wall door closed, they were hunted like animals and marked for death.
When the Mongols got to the Capital, they realized the defences were unlike anything they'd seen before. The walls were taller than their ladders, and the moat prevented a siege. After a month, the Mongolian horses finished grazing all the grass, and Genghis contemplated leaving and re-training, then returning. But the Chin Emperor sent out a scout before Genghis retreated to negotiate. Instead, Genghis asked the scout many questions while pretending to listen. He learned about their courts, the names of their commanders and a few secrets the scout shouldn't have told him over food. Genghis rejected the scout's offer for peace and sent him back. The Mongols rode home with new intelligence.
By 1213, the Mongols had the men and equipment to take over the Capital. Not only this, but the courts were falling apart within the Chin capital, and people were being betrayed. Trust was at an all-time low within society, so they were preoccupied and didn't have time to increase their defences as much as Genghis increased his offence.
When Genghis returned to the Chin Capital, every 10,000 groups of men in the Mongol army had their own siege train. The largest ballistae and catapults were carried on wagons and easily dismantled and put back together again for travel. This allowed the Mongols mobility and strength, something no other armies had in unison.
By 1214, Genghis captured the Capital. He received brides, 3,000 horses and 500 slaves. Many thousands of other prisoners of war also followed them. After several miles, Genghis ordered all the prisoners of war to be inspected by his generals. All craftsmen, scholars, physicians and artists were allowed to live, and the rest were executed.
Genghis later found out that the Chin capital was abandoned, and their army fled the South and abandoned their partnership. Genghis was furious and blocked everyone from assisting the Chin, declaring him an enemy. Anyone who helped him would be executed.
When the Mongols later returned to the Capital, it was noted that the streets were still slippery with human fat even two years later. A white hill also looked like a part of nature, made from crushed human bones. The Capital was in such chaos and constant war with no defences after it was abandoned, so the citizens were all reduced to cannibalism and insanity.
Through all this conquer, the Mongols acquired new medical technology with highly trained Chinese physicians and were able to recover from injuries faster now. Genghis also added siege training and a dress station with the latest Chinese physicians in every camp.
Within four years, Genghis declared war on the most powerful ruler in Asia, who was to contribute to Genghis Khan's reputation as a monster and military genius.