Tamerlane Campaigns

Campaigns on Mogolistan

Tamerlan (or Timur) is the Turkic-Mongol conqueror, whose victories made him the master of most of Western Asia. Tamerlan belonged to the Turkized Mongolian clan Barlas, whose representatives, as the Mongol armies moved west, settled in the Kashka valley, near Samarkand. Tamerlan was born near Shakhrisabz on April 9, 1336. This place is located on the territory of modern Uzbekistan between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, and at the time of its birth, these lands belonged to Khan Chagatay, named after the founder of a kind, the second son of Genghis Khan .

In 1346–1347 Kazan Khan Chagatay, was defeated by the emir of Kazan and was killed, as a result of which Central Asia ceased to be part of his khanate. After the death of Kazgan in 1358, a period of anarchy followed, and the troops of Tuglak-Timur, the ruler of the territories beyond the Syr Darya, known as Mogolistan, invaded Maverannahr first in 1360 and then in 1361 in an attempt to seize power.

Tamerlan declared himself a vassal of Tuglak-Timur and became the ruler of the territory from Shakhrisabz to Karshi. Soon, however, he rebelled against the rulers of Mogolistan and created an alliance with Hussein, the grandson of Kazgan. Together in 1363 they defeated the army of Ilyas-Khoja, son of Tuglak-Timur. However, around 1370, the Allies quarreled and Tamerlan , captivating his ally, announced his intention to revive the Mongol Empire. Tamerlan became the sole owner of Central Asia, settling in Samarkand and making this city the capital of the new state and its main residence.

From 1371 to 1390, Tamerlan made seven campaigns on Mogolistan, finally defeating the army of Kamar ad-Din and Anka-tur in 1390. Tamerlane undertook the first two campaigns against Kamar ad-Din in the spring and autumn of 1371. The first campaign ended in a truce; during the second, Tamerlan, leaving Tashkent, moved towards the village of Yangi to Taraz. There he turned the Moguls to flight and captured a large booty.

In 1375, Tamerlan carried out the third successful campaign. He left Sayram and passed through the areas of Talas and Tokmak, returning to Samarkand via Uzgen and Khojent. However, Kamar ad-Din was not defeated. When Tamerlane’s army returned to Maverannahr, Kamar ad-Din invaded Ferghana in the winter of 1376 and besieged the city of Andijan. The governor of Ferghana, the third son of Tamerlane Umar-sheikh, fled to the mountains. Tamerlan hastened to Ferghana and for a long time pursued the enemy behind Uzgen and the mountains of Iasi to the valley of At-Bashi, the southern tributary of the upper Naryn.

In the years 1376–1377, Tamerlan made his fifth campaign against Kamar ad-Din. He defeated his army in the gorges west of Issyk-Kul and pursued to Kochkar. Tamerlane’s sixth campaign in the Issyk-Kul region against Kamar ad-Din took place in 1383, but the ulusbegi again managed to slip away.

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In 1389, Tamerlan went on a seventh campaign. In 1390, Kamar ad-din was finally defeated, and Mogolistan finally ceased to threaten the power of Tamerlane. However, Tamerlan reached only the Irtysh in the north, Alakula in the east, Emil and the headquarters of the Mongol khans Balig-Yulduz, but he could not conquer the lands east of the mountains of Tangri-tag and Kashgar. Kamar ad-Din fled to the Irtysh and subsequently died of dropsy. Khizr-Khoja was established as the khan of Mogulistan.

The first campaigns in Asia

In 1380, Tamerlan went on a campaign against Malik Giyas ad-din Pir-Ali II, since he did not want to recognize himself as a vassal of the emir of Tamerlane and in response began to strengthen the defensive walls of his capital city of Herat. In the beginning, Tamerlan sent an ambassador to him with an invitation to the kurultai in order to solve the problem peacefully, but Giyas ad-din Pir-Ali II rejected the offer, delaying the ambassador. In response to this, in April 1380, Tamerlan sent ten regiments to the left bank of the Amu Darya. His troops captured the areas of Balkh, Sibirgan and Badkhyz. In February 1381, Tamerlan himself came up with troops and took Khorasan, the cities of Serakhs, Jami, Kausia, Tue and Kelat, and the city of Herat was taken after a five-day siege. In addition to Kelat, Sebzevar was taken, as a result of which the state of the Serbedars finally ceased to exist. In 1382, the son of Tamerlan Miran Shah was appointed ruler of Khorasan. In 1383, Tamerlan devastated Sistan and brutally crushed the Serbadars rebellion in Sebzevar. In 1383, he took Sistan, in which the fortresses of Zireh, Zava, Farah and Boost were defeated. In 1384, it captured the cities of Astrabad, Amul, Sari, Sultania and Tabriz, effectively capturing all of Persia.

The first, the so-called “three-year” campaign in the western part of Persia and the adjacent areas of Tamerlane began in 1386. In November 1387, Tamerlane’s troops captured Isfahan and captured Shiraz. Despite the successful start of the campaign, Tamerlan was forced to return due to the invasion of the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh in alliance with the Khorezmians on Maverannakhr. In Isfahan, a garrison of 6,000 soldiers was left, and Tamerlan took away his ruler Shah-Mansur from the Muzaffarid dynasty with him. Soon after the departure of the main troops of Tamerlane in Isfahan, a popular uprising took place under the leadership of the blacksmith Ali Kuchek. The entire garrison of Tamerlane was killed.

In 1388, Tamerlan drove the Tatars away and took the capital of Khorezm, the city of Urgench. By order of Tamerlane, the Khorezmians who resisted were mercilessly destroyed, the city was destroyed. First trip to the Golden Horde

In January 1391, the army of Tamerlane went on a campaign against the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh . To gain time, Tokhtamysh sent ambassadors, but Tamerlane refused to negotiate. His army passed Yasy and Tabran, crossed the Hungry Steppe, and by April, crossing the Sarysu River, reached the Ulytau Mountains. Tokhtamysh’s army, however, eluded the battle.

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On May 12, Tamerlane’s army reached Tobol, and by June saw the Yaik River. Fearing that the guides might lead his people to an ambush, Tamerlan decided not to use ordinary fords, but ordered him to swim in less favorable places. A week later, his army arrived on the banks of the Samara River, where scouts reported that the enemy was already nearby. However, the Golden Horde retreated to the north, using the tactics of “scorched earth.” As a result, Tokhtamysh accepted the battle, and on June 18 a battle took place on the Kondurch river near Itil. In this battle, the Golden Horde were utterly defeated, but Tokhtamysh managed to escape. Tamerlane’s army did not force the Volga and through Yaik moved back and two months later reached Otrar.

“Five Year Campaign” and the defeat of the Horde

Tamerlan began the second long, so-called “five-year” campaign in Iran in 1392. In the same year, Tamerlan conquered the Caspian region, in 1393 – western Persia and Baghdad, and in 1394 – Transcaucasia. Tsar George VII managed to conduct defensive measures by 1394 – he gathered a militia, to which he added the Caucasian highlanders, including the Nakhs. At first, the combined Georgian-mountain army was somewhat successful, they were even able to reject the advanced detachments of the conquerors. However, ultimately, Tamerlane’s approach with the main forces decided the outcome of the war. Broken Georgians and Nakhis retreated north into the mountain gorges of the Caucasus. Given the strategic importance of the transit roads to the North Caucasus, especially the natural fortress – the Darial Gorge, Tamerlan decided to capture it. However, a huge mass of troops was so mixed in the mountain gorges, that turned out to be unworkable. Tamerlan appointed one of his son, Umar Sheikh, the ruler of Fars, and another son, Miran Shah, the ruler of Transcaucasia.

In 1394, Tamerlane learned that Tokhtamysh had again gathered an army and entered into an alliance against him with the Sultan of Egypt Barkuk. The Golden Horde Kipchaks poured south through Georgia and again began to devastate the borders of the empire. An army was sent against them, but the Horde retreated north and disappeared into the steppes.

In the spring of 1395, Tamerlan arranged a show for his army near the Caspian Sea. Rounding the Caspian, Tamerlan went first to the west, and then turned to the north along a wide arc. The army passed through the Derbent passage, crossed Georgia and entered the territory of Chechnya. On April 15, two armies converged on the banks of the Terek. In the battle, the army of the Golden Horde was destroyed. To Tokhtamysh did not recover again, the army of Tamerlane went north to the shores of Itil and drove Tokhtamysh into the forests of Bulgar. Then the army of Tamerlane moved west to the Dnieper, then rose north and devastated Russia, and then went down to the Don, from where it returned to the homeland through the Caucasus in 1396.

Campaign to India

In 1398, Tamerlane undertook a campaign against India; the highlanders of Kafiristan were defeated along the way. In December, Tamerlan defeated the army of the Delhi Sultan under the walls of Delhi and without resistance occupied the city, which was plundered by his army and burned several days later. By order of Tamerlane, 100 thousand captured Indian warriors were executed for fear of rebellion on their part. In 1399, Tamerlan reached the banks of the Ganges, on the way back he took several more cities and fortresses and returned to Samarkand with huge booty.

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Campaign in the Ottoman State

Returning from India in 1399, Tamerlane immediately began a new campaign. This campaign was originally caused by riots in an area ruled by Miran Shah. Tamerlane deposed his son and defeated the enemies who invaded his domain. Moving west, Tamerlan clashed with the Turkmen state of Kara-Koyunlu, the victory of Tamerlane forces forced the leader of the Turks, Kara Yusuf, to flee west to the Ottoman sultan Bayazid Lightning . After that, Kara Yusuf and Bayazid agreed on a joint action against Tamerlane.

In 1400, Tamerlan began military operations against Bayazid, who captured Erzincan, where Tamerlane’s vassal ruled, and against the Egyptian sultan Faraj al-Nasir, whose predecessor, Barkuk, had ordered the death of Ambassador Tamerlane in 1393. In 1400, he took the fortresses of Kemak and Sivas in Asia Minor and Aleppo in Syria, which belonged to the Egyptian sultan, and in 1401 occupied Damascus.

July 20, 1402 Tamerlane won a major victory over the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid I, defeating him in the battle of Ankara. The sultan himself was captured. As a result of the battle, Tamerlan captured the whole of Asia Minor, and the defeat of Bayazid led to the peasant war in the Ottoman state and the feuds of the sons of Bayazid.

Tamerlane stormed the fortress of Smyrn , which belonged to the knights- joannites , which the Ottoman sultans could not take for 20 years, by storm in two weeks. The western part of Asia Minor was returned to the sons of Bayazid in 1403, and the local dynasties deposed by Bayazid were restored in the east.

Campaign to China

In the fall of 1404, the 68-year-old Tamerlan began preparing the invasion of China. The main goal was to capture the remaining part of the Great Silk Road in order to maximize profits and ensure the prosperity of the native Maverannahr and its capital Samarkand. The campaign was stopped due to the beginning of a cold winter, and in February 1405, Tamerlan died.

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