Monday, May 18, 2009

Tatar Invasions of Europe

Tatar invasions of Europe from the east took place over the course of three centuries, from the middle ages to early modern period.

The term "Tatars" was often confusingly applied to different peoples.

Mongol-Tatar Golden Horde forces led by Batu Khan began attacking Europe in 1223, starting with Kyivan Rus'. They continued to defeat German, Polish, and Hungarian armies before turning back to go home, upon learning of the death of their Great Khan in 1241. It was in this during this series of invasions that Krakow was sacked.

The Tatars succeeded in establishing control over Rus' principalities which they held until 1380, when they were defeated in the Battle of Kulikovo by Grand Prince of Muscovy Dmitri Donskoi. Muscovy remained a vassal of the Golden Horde until Great standing on the Ugra river in 1480.

Poland was invaded by Tatars from Crimean Khanate in 1506 with an army 10,000 men, who were summarily destroyed. The Ottoman Turks invaded in the summer of 1524, but were prevented from breaching deeply the boundary of Polish lands by Hetman Jan Tarnowski. Tatar forces invaded again in 1589, invading Lwow and Tarnopol, but were beaten back by Cossack forces.

From 1569 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, have suffered many Tatar invasions, whose goal have been to loot, pillage and capture slaves. The borderland area to the South-East has been in a state of semi-permanent warfare until the 18th century.

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