Mae'r '''Mongolwyr''' yn grwp ethnig sy'n dod yn wreiddiol o lle sydd rwan [[Mongolia]], [[Rwsia]] a [[Tsieina]], yn enwedig [[Mongolia Mewnol]]. Heddiw mae tua 8.5 miliwn o Fongolwyr, yn siarad yr iaith Mongoliaid. Mae nhw'n cynnwys un o'r 56 cenhedlau yn y [[Gweriniaeth Pobl Tsieina|Weriniaeth Pobl Tsieina]]. Mae tua 2.3 miliwn o Fongolwyr yn byw yn [[Mongolia]], 4 miliwn ym [[Mongolia Mewnol]] (talaith Tsieina), a 2 filiwn yn nhaleithiau Tsieneeg cyfagos. Hefyd, mae nifer o grwpiau ethnig yng Nhgogledd Tsieina sydd yn perthynol i'r Mongolwyr: y [[Daur]], [[Buryat]], [[Evenk]], [[Dorbod]], a'r [[Tuvin]].
Mae'r Mongolwyr yn pwysig iawn yn yr hanes y byd, though few in number (approximately 200,000 people at the height of their empire). Under the leadership of [[Genghis Khan]], the Mongols created the largest land [[Mongol empire|empire]] in world history, ruling 13.8 million mile² (36 million km²) and more than 100 million people. At their height, [[Mongol Empire]] spanned from [[Korea]] to [[Hungary]], and included most of the lands in between, such as [[Afghanistan]], [[Georgia (country)|Georgia]], [[Armenia]], [[Russia]], [[Persia]], and much of the [[Middle East]].
The Mongols were a [[nomadic people]] who in the [[13th century]] found themselves encompassed by large, city-dwelling agrarian civilizations. However, none of these civilizations were part of a strong central state. [[Asia]], [[Russia]], and the [[Middle East]] were either declining kingdoms, or divided city states. Taking the strategic initiative, the Mongols exploited this power vacuum and linked all of these areas into a mutually supporting trade network.
The Mongols were largely dependent on trade with the city-dwelling peoples, and raiding these villages when times were particularly hard. As nomads, they could not accumulate a surplus against bad times, or support artisans. When trade was reduced by the northern Chinese kingdoms in the []'s, shortly after Genghis Khan became [[Khan]] of the Mongol tribes, the Mongols repeated their tradition of getting their goods by looting Northern China.
Conquest, in the Khan's initial viewpoint, did not consist of subordination of competing cultures to the nomadic way of life, but rather in their looting and destruction if there was resistance. If there was no resistance, Mongols usually left the town unharmed and demanded them to pay tribute. As a nomad, Genghis Khan is supposed to not have understood or cared of the supposed benefits in the city dwellers' way of life. This contrasts with their dependence on trade with the cities. However, the economic theories of these relationships still lay seven centuries in the future.
The Khan's initial plan of conquest if people resisted was sacking all that was valuable, and then razing the city and killing the resistance, leaving only artists and human shields (for future campaigns) to survive. [[Genghis Khan]] himself was extremely supportful to the people that were loyal to him and even his enemies. Different theories exist for why the Mongols were initially so extreme. Militarily, the Mongols were often far from home territory and greatly out-numbered, and wouldn't want to leave enemies in their rear. Economically, destroying population centers gave the Mongols more room to graze their herds.
One such example is the capture of [[Beijing]] in []. Rather than adding the city to the Mongol Kingdom, he instead thorougly sacked the city for silk and other valuables.
As the Mongols grew more powerful, advisers convinced Genghis Khan to start building a [[vassal]] empire. If the city-dwelling peoples were allowed to continue their way of life, they could produce a surplus of food and goods, a portion of which could be paid to the Khan as taxes. Given the Khan's extraordinary success in his aggressive foreign policy, this wealth could be equally extraordinary. The Khan agreed, taking his tribute in tax, and saving countless lives and cultures in the process. Until [] they continued these invasions through Western Asia, into [[Persia]] and [[Russia]].
In [], Genghis Khan died, leaving the Empire to his son [[Ogedei Khan]]. Ogedei Khan continued the expansion into Western Asia, also conquering [[Korea]] and Northern China. The armies of the Mongols had reached [[Poland]] and [[Egypt]] by [], and looked poised to continue, when Ogedei Khan died, leaving no clear successor. Mongol military leaders (who as descendants of Genghis Khan were possible heirs to the throne) rushed back to claim the throne. Nearly a decade later, [[Mongka Khan]], grandson of Genghis and nephew of Ogodai, took the throne, through the assistance of his mother [[Sorghaghtani Beki]]. By this time, the Western expansion had lost its momentum.
Various members of the Mongol Court, including Sorghaghtani Beki, were [[Nestorian]] Christians. While the court was nominally [[Buddhist]] and maintained a policy of being open to all religions, it was known as particularly sympathetic to [[Christians]] (which may have helped contribute to the legend of [[Prester John]]). In [] the court followed the suggestion from [[Crusade|Crusader]] Kingdoms in [[Syria]] to attack the Muslim capitals of [[Baghdad]] and [[Cairo]]. Baghdad was conquered and sacked in [], with the city's Christians spared, and the [[Abbasid]] [[caliph]] killed. However, with the troops on the road to Cairo, Mongka Khan died in []. Much of the force returned home for the selection of the new leader, and Egyptian troops repelled the attack in []. This marked the farthest West the Mongol Empire would progress.
[[Kublai Khan]] quickly succeeded Mongka Khan, moved the court to [[Beijing]], formed the [[Yuan dynasty]], and re-started the invasion of China, in the first war with [[guns]] on both sides. After 18 years, Kublai Khan conquered both Northern and Southern China, forming the largest empire in history (as famously described by [[Marco Polo]]).
However, by the early [[14th century]], the prominence of trade, and a possible cooling of the world's climates, led to worldwide outbreaks of [[plague]], which encouraged revolt and invasion. Mongols quit China around [], and the [[Turks]] (among others) carved out their gains throughout the [[14th century]]. The Chinese invaded Mongolia, and in Mongolia started wars between tribes. Western Mongolian tribes (Oirats) conqure other tribes, but after death of Esen-Khan they separated from other Mongolians [[15th century]]. In 17 century Oirats lost control under Outer Mongolia, in 18 century they lost Qinghai, Gansu and Tibeth, in 1754 Oirats lost Jarkend and in 1758 Manchu Army crashed Oirats in Jungaria. Many Oirats from Jungaria retreated to Volga-river, and joined to Oirats in Europe (Kalmyks). The [[Qing dynasty]] fully incorporated Mongolia into its empire, forming the states of [[Outer Mongolia]], a more Sinocized [[Inner Mongolia]] and Xinjiang.
The western expansion was halted in [] (see [[Wahlstatt]]) when high-ranking '''Mongol''' generals returned back to [[Mongol]] capital [[Kharakhorum]] to participate in the selection of new Great [[Khan]]. As they encountered the peoples of [[Europe]], the Mongols with their advanced way of warfare were unstoppable. One of key to successes was strategy used by [[Genghis Khan]] to chase the enemy leader until he was killed, so that he couldn't be a rallying point for his armies. [[Genghis Khan]] didn't place high importance on tracking down the enemy leaders before, and it haunted him later. The Mongols used, and introduced, several revolutionary military ideas to European combatants.
* Use of ''articulation''. Mongols used a system of horns and flags, blown or raised-and-lowered by the field commander. This allowed them to move their troops to preplanned positions on the field of battle, or modes of attack or retreat (such as charge, withdraw, or flank). In addition, their subcommanders were allowed to make decisions on the spot.
* Mongols based their forces almost entirely on ''light cavalry.'' Light cavalry consisted primarily of [[archer]]s and light swordsman mounted on horseback. Mobile and light cavalry could choose its battles and retreat from forces it could not handle, such as heavy cavalry. Heavy cavalry lacked archers (who could kill at range) and was designed mainly to provide ''shock'' -- using weight, speed, and fear of their massed movement to break enemy heavy infantry lines.
Thus, when light cavalry met heavy cavalry, the lighter, faster moving, bow using, well-articulated light cavalry usually defeated mounted knights -- the cream of European military power.
* Their conception of ''armor'' was markedly different. European knights used heavy plate armour (sheets of loops of chain and pieces of metal plate to protect the wearer, restricting vision and movement). Mongols used silk clothes. The cloth allowed Mongol warriors greater range of movement, better vision and endurance but still provided resistance to projectile weapons. It thus gave them a qualitative advantage over their opponents.
If a Mongol soldier was struck with an arrow, it penetrated the skin and sank into the flesh. However, the silk was not cut but pushed into the wound. Mongol doctors could easily pull an arrow from the wound, because it was wrapped in silk cloth. This reduced the chance of infection and made cleaning and dressing the wound easier, returning the skilled warrior to combat more quickly.
This simple procedure saved many lives. In a prolonged conflict, the Mongols retained more battlefield veterans than their opponents. This usually resulted in a situation where an army of veteran Mongols faced a conscript peasant army, with disastrous results for the Mongols' opponents.
* Mongols used innovative doctrines. As nomads, Mongols carried all of their wealth and provisions with them on horseback. It was equivalent to placing an entire city on horseback. It was more mobile than many of their opponents' armed forces, who were tied to the towns for supplies.
Since their way of warfare was superior (articulated veteran light cavalry) they could not be bested in combat. The traditional solution to this problem is to attack the opponents' supply tail (food, fields, water, etc.). However, their city-dwelling opponents were tied to a supply tail, not the Mongols.
These strategies and tactics assured them victory against foes throughout their history. The closest modern analogue is the modern aircraft carrier, with its ability to bring an entire city of warriors next door to an opponent on short notice, strike, and retreat, without pursuit.
* Mongols' effective use of terror is often credited for the unprecedented speed with which Mongol armies spread across western [[Asia]] and eastern [[Europe]].
First, the Mongols would provide an opportunity to surrender, usually on terms favourable to the Mongols. These offers were typically dictated to the first major population center in a new territory.
If the offer was refused, the Mongols would sack the city, execute the entire population (save a handful of skilled workers), and burn the city and the surrounding fields to the ground. They would often construct an edifice of cleaned skulls outside the walls of the destroyed city to serve as a reminder of their passage.
Finally, they would allow a few survivors to flee, to spread terror throughout the countryside. By first offering favourable (or at least acceptable) terms for surrender, and then invariably completely destroying any resistance, it is argued that Mongols forestalled most combat with invaded peoples. The Mongols quickly developed a reputation of being unstoppable, genocidal opponents. After the initial victories, and proof of the Mongols good intentions, it became more difficult for rulers to convince their people to resist an invasion.