Why Mongols Made an Empire

There was this Quora question about why Genghis Khan was so successful. Here’s the answer:

The insane execution of meritocracy and discipline in his armies.

The “organization” he led was constructed so perfectly that no other military force at the time could go head to head. There were contenders though, they were defeated, harshly.

Let’s talk about meritocracy first, and this is the main reason why Mongol made an empire run across Eurasia.

Genghis Khan absorbs talents like daily necessity. Whenever he conquers a city, whoever fights the best in his enemy army, when he defeats them, he would absorb that strong warrior instantly in his army and provides him the best he can have. Genghis Khan would handpick a position for the enemy “general”, “private” or “officer” as long as they fit the standards of his valuation. He does not care about races, genders or cultures. He only values talents, as it’s an essential need for his “team”.

Wonder genders? In Mongol era, there were female warriors on battlefield, most of the time they were support units for the armies.

Know how the word “amazon” came from? It allegedly came from Mongol era’s female warriors, in old Bible. They said there was this tribe of fearsome female warriors active in the east and on the Great Steppe.

Across all great empires in history, one thing you can not miss, is the well execution of meritocracy that leads ultimately to great triumph of an empire. The unbiased valuation of talents, and the wit to position them correctly.

Onto discipline. This is an almost insane execution of discipline for his organization, and it is the reason that makes his armies so invincible.

Whoever breaks the rules, do you know the consequence?


No argument, straight up death.

And it’s so “linking”. Let me explain this.

In an assault, a squad of 7 warriors must listen to command unconditionally.

If one man strikes earlier than others, he’s put to death. If his squadmates do not follow up/catch up his strike, they are all put to death.

If one man strikes slower than others, he’s put to death. If his squadmates wait for him, they are all put to death.

If one unit in an army strikes earlier than others, the whole unit is put to death.

No question ask.

This creates a mad discipline in his armies and almost suffocating unity between man and man. No one dares to be the “special” one and it makes the whole army act at a completely same pace.

Corporations these days may learn one or two things from Genghis Khan’s management and philosophy, although they are mad enough and not practical now, but still—meritocracy and discipline, they are the two pillars that build great empires straight from the ground.

Terror Tactics of MONGOLS

The Mongols at the time really liked to use terror tactics to conquer towns and cities. It really produced widespread effects that whenever people heard the Mongols are coming, they lost their shit, literally.

It was so terrifying at the time, a lot of cities just straight up surrendered to the Mongols.

The terror tactics are simple yet very violent. For example, the Mongols would rape women and children in front of the populace they captured, after they conquered a city. Outside the city wall, that was when rapes happen.

And sometimes Mongols force the citizens to rape their own family.

And they force populace to watch them executing their families. To a point that when they conquered a city, the populace would just stay where they are and don’t struggle at all for the Mongols to execute them one by one. No struggle at all. They are so obedient like sheep.

The terrorism definitely had made huge progress on their march into deeper Eurasia. The further their war went, the more horrified the people became.

It’s like a reverberating sound of ghost cry that just can not fade in a house. The constant terror made everyone at the time feel so powerless and give up for fights.

Sources mostly came from Hardcore History by Dan Carlin

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