The Shortcomings of the Mongol Art of War as seen in China, Korea and Eastern Europe
By James Corbyn
Master’s Thesis, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2015
Abstract: This paper will briefly discuss the nature of the Mongol armies and some of their successes before exploring their shortcomings in a select number of regions. For each theatre of war, the obstacles faced by the Mongols will be identified and accounted for in relation to the theses offered by a number of scholars. Consideration will be taken of both internal and external factors. There will be an evaluation of how, if at all, the Mongols overcame these obstacles and were able to obtain success against their opponents.
Firstly, the half century period of military activity in Song China and Korea will be considered. Secondly, the comparatively brief period of military involvement in Eastern Europe will be assessed. A decision has made not to consider the Mamluk-Ilkhanid war within this paper, acknowledging the detailed work already carried out on this subject and the relative scarcity of analysis about Mongol shortcomings in military campaigns elsewhere.