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September 14, 2008, 3:01 pm

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Mongol Military Organization


Mongol Military Ranks & Civil Organization

Unlike many military organizational methods in history, the Mongols firmly believed in a meritocracy to establish the leadership of their forces.

Note: Due to the inconsistancies in the spelling of various terms, I use the ones most convinient for reading.

Unaghan Boghul - Mongol term for serfs.

Arad & Qarachu - Mongol terms for the commoner caste.

Nokud - A military title for the free warrior-retainers of the Mongols. These are the standard soldiers which make up the Mongol Army.

Bahadur - The Mongolian nobility, they were generally organized into elite units of the Imperial Guard, rather than directly into the army and acted as the equivalent to knights.

Yurtchi - The quartermaster of an Ordu, responsible for overseeing many of the daily activities of the army.

Boyan - The general of a Khan, in command of an Ordu, but not related by blood to the Khan.

Orlok - A marshal of an Ordu containing three or more Tumens. This title was generally applied to royal princes related by blood to the Khan.

Ilkhan - This title refers to a provincial Khan who rules as a subordinate to an overall Khan.

Khatun/Khanum - This title is roughly equivalent to queen, and applies to the wife of a Khan.

Khan - While this originally appeared as the title for a tribal leader, it was later equated to king.

Khagan/Great Khan - Essentially translated as "Khan of Khans," equivalent to King of Kings, this title was reserved for the equivalent of the emperor of the Mongolian Empire.

Military Organization

The military organization of the Mongols is a simple, decimal-based scheme.

Arban - The smallest unit, composed to 10 soldiers. Commanded by an Arban-u Darga.

Jagun - A unit of ten Arbans, comprising 100 soldiers. Commanded by a Jagutu-iin Darga.

Mingghan - A unit composed of ten Jagun, comprising 1000 soldiers. COmmanded by a Mingghan-u Noyan.

Tumen - A unit of 10,000 soldiers, composed of ten Mingghan. Commanded by a Tumetu-iin Noyan.

Ordu - The basis for the term "Horde," Ordu were composed of ten to five Tumens, with varying arrangements. One common Ordu composition was three Tumens of light cavalry, with several Minnghans of artillery, commanded by an Orlok. Another standard organization was to use several Tumens of light cavalry horse archers and a couple Tumens of heavy cavalry lancers, arranged in a 60/40 split in favor of light cavalry.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
September 16, 2008, 13:50
Short, but provides good amount of detail.
Voted valadaar
September 16, 2008, 13:52
This was new information for me, and is fleshed out enough to be interesting.
Voted Cheka Man
September 16, 2008, 19:08
The Mongols were the first truely professional army to come out of the Middle Ages.
September 18, 2008, 1:45
First, by what definition of "professional" are using?

Yes, The Empire existed from 1206 to 1368 which was a small segment of the "Middle Ages" in Europe. And yes, Mongols identifiable as Mongols had existed for nearly 400 years before that. However, the "Middle Ages", and in many ways "Europe", were inconsequential to China/ Asia where the Mongols and The Mongol Culture was focused. (Okay there was a leak of trade going on by this point, but ....) The Mongol expansion moved other "barbarous peoples" into Roman spaces (part of the fall). They even took the eastern edges of Eastern Europe, which is a footnote in the Mongol History really. They were never part of Europes' Middle Ages, they were just around during that 1100 year time 400-1500.

So how did they get professional? After the Romans, the next professional army (One which was paid a wage to be soldiers, did regular training, and was considered a "job") on the planet did not occur until around the late 1500s and did not formally and regularly appear until the mid 1600s.

And for those who need some additional info...
Voted MoonHunter
September 18, 2008, 1:48
Another fun listing of military/ social ranks. It is something you should keep in mind when designing your "barbarian cultures". After all, some barbarians (Mongols and Celts) are really more civilized that "the Civilized People".

Would the Orcen follow these? I would hae to think...
The Orcen: A New Take on Orcs and Barbarians and Horsemen
Voted Orouboros
March 19, 2012, 20:54
Only voted
Voted Murometz
January 30, 2015, 1:32
Only voted
Voted Moonlake
January 30, 2015, 2:12
Thank you for this sub, comes in handy as research material for my novel. Other than that, a solid info sub.

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