He gained failure is the key to success essay wikipedia by means of imaginative and sophisticated strategies and routinely coordinated movements of armies that were hundreds of kilometers away from each other. He is also remembered for devising the campaign that destroyed the armies of Hungary and Poland within two days of each other, by forces over five hundred kilometers apart. By any metric, he is one of the most successful commanders in history.
Siberian forest-dwellers who did not live like the plains Mongols to their south. As a result of his upbringing, Subutai lacked the natural horsemanship training from birth that all Mongols possessed, making him an outsider among them. Subutai’s great-great grandfather, Nerbi, was supposedly an ally of the Mongol Khan Tumbina Sechen. Mongol army and was a close companion of Temujin. Encountering robbers, he was seized. Subutai arrived in good time, and with their lances stabbed some of the robbers. Horses and men fell together, and the remainder of the band withdrew and departed.
Consequently, they relieved their father’s difficulty, and the sheep were able to attain the emperor’s station. When he was 14 years old, Subutai left his clan to join Temujin’s army, following in the footsteps of his older brother Jelme who had joined when he was 17 years old, and he rose to the very highest command available to one who was not a blood relative to Genghis. During the invasion of Northern China in 1211, Subotai was partnered with the senior Mongol general Jebe, an apprentice and partnership they would maintain until Jebe’s death in 1223. In 1212 he took Huan by storm, the first major independent exploit mentioned in the sources. They are the Four Dogs of Temujin.
They have foreheads of brass, their jaws are like scissors, their tongues like piercing awls, their heads are iron, their whipping tails swords . In the day of battle, they devour enemy flesh. Behold, they are now unleashed, and they slobber at the mouth with glee. Subutai seems to have been identified from early on by Temujin as special, and given rare opportunities for growth.
I will ward off your enemies as felt cloth protects one from the wind. This access enabled him to listen on, and later join, the Mongol strategy meetings somewhere around his late teens and early twenties. It is likely that his unique access to the most brilliant Mongol leaders assisted his growth. Subutai’s first chance at independent command came in 1197, when he was just 22 years old. This boon occurred during the war against Genghis Khan’s most hated enemy, the Merkit. Subutai’s role was to act as the vanguard and defeat one of the Merkit camps at the Tchen River. Subutai refused Genghis Khan’s offer for extra elite troops, and instead traveled to the Merkit camp alone, posing as a Mongol deserter.
Subutai managed to convince the Merkits that the main Mongol army was far away, and they were in no danger. As a result, the Merkit lowered their guard and limited their patrols, allowing the Mongols to easily surprise and encircle the Merkits, capturing two generals. This is evidence that even in his formative years, Subutai was a highly unorthodox general who found innovative ways to cheaply solve problems with few casualties. He also served as a commander of the vanguard with distinction in the 1204 battle against the Naiman that gave the Mongols total control over Mongolia.
Subutai was a major innovator in the art of war, and his later campaigns demonstrated an unprecedented level of complexity and strategy until World War II. 100,000 men across frontages separated by 500-1,000 km and between 3 and 5 separate army groups. These maneuvers were highly synchronized despite the enormous distances: the Mongols defeated the main army of Poland and Hungary in separate battles two days apart. Though impressive on a geometric level, Subutai’s maneuvers were designed to present his foes with a false illusion and strike them from the least expected angle. The Mongol invasion of the Jin in 1232 continually pulled the hitherto successful Jin forces apart despite their highly advantageous terrain, as they could not determine which Mongol armies were the feints and which were the true threats until their main army became isolated and starved. Strongly fortified locations would be bypassed and ignored until all organized resistance had been destroyed. Mongols either left a blockading force, or simply ignored fortified citadels and devastated the surrounded agriculture so that the remaining people would starve if they remained within fortified walls.
Due to his long tenure of service, Subutai had the opportunity to face off against elite armies of all types from west to east, and emerged triumphant in every campaign. The horse archers of other great steppe confederacies, the elite Jurchen cavalry of China in the 1230s, the seasoned Qangli Turk cavalry of the Khwarezm, fresh from conquering their own Empire, and the heavily armored knights of Georgia, Poland, and Hungary were all powerless against Subutai’s armies. Subutai fought in a much more decisive and fluid manner where heavy firepower was used to create openings for cavalry charges that were exploited with great rapidity and deep formations. 1223, Subutai’s 20,000 man army routed the 80,000 man Russian army by stringing it out after a 9-day retreat, and then immediately turning and delivering a decisive charge without a prolonged missile bombardment.
The vanguard of the Russian army was already put in flight before the second wave even reached the battlefield and began to deploy. Hungarian crossbowmen repelled a night bridge crossing by the Mongols, and inflicted considerable casualties on the Mongols fighting to cross the river the following day. Subutai ordered huge stonethrowers to clear the bank of Hungarian crossbowmen and open the way for his light cavalry to cross the river without further losses. This use of siege weapons was one the first recorded use of artillery bombardments against the enemy army to disrupt their resistance while simultaneously attacking them. In execution, his usage functioned more akin to the creeping barrage of World War I, used to soften and disrupt enemy lines right before an attack.