History : Aug-Sep 2015
Helmet Traditional felt hats were replaced with iron or leather helmets for combat. Bow The iconic recurved composite bow had a practical range of 160 to 650 feet. The Mongol army was made up almost entirely of mounted archers. These were far superior to the infantry that formed the bulk of armies in the more sedentary states that the Mongols preyed upon. The horse and archer combination delivered the advantages of speed, mobility, and range. It was also perfect for their preferred tactic: the feigned retreat. The Mongols would pretend to flee, inciting the enemy to break formation and chase them. Suddenly they’d stop (sometimes in a preplanned spot), regroup, and turn to attack their disorganized pursuers. THE KHAN’S HORSEMEN whistle arrows The whistling sound, caused by air passing through the holes in the tip, was intended to terrify the enemy. Protection Their vulnerable shoulders and forearms were sometimes protected by leather armor. Horses These were similar to the Przewalski breed, being small, strong, fast, and very hardy. Stirrups These gave the riders support and allowed them to fire arrows while moving at speed. Saddle A ration of raw meat was kept under the saddle, which would tenderize over time. Bow holster The holster was open at the top for rapid access to the bow. Saber The Mongols preferred a curved blade that was ideal for cavalry combat. Cuirass The sleeveless vest-like armor was worn with a silk tunic underneath, making it easier to remove arrowheads from the body.