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The Mongol Art of War Hardcover – 22 Mar 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (22 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844154769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844154760
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


' The definitive study of the Mongol legacy' -- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Timothy May, a leading expert on the Mongol empire, is a professor of history at North Georgia College and State University. He is coauthor of The Horse and the Origins of Horse Medicine in China. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is indispensable for anyone interested in Mongol warfare.
It contains sections on every category which the student of medieval war will be seeking. Recruitment, organisation, tactics, exploits of the toxophilite cavalry, the Mongol generals. This book fills an important gap in our knowledge and complements the work of J.Saunders, George Vernadsky and Martin. I'm so glad I bought a copy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a good introduction to the subject of Mongol warfare, but due to its brevity it falls short of being a definitve text on the subject. While it contains heaps of very interesting information about Mongol tactics, military organisation, training, equipment, logisitics and command structure it fails to properly illustrate them with examples from the actual campaigns. The author himself says that "only through the thorough examination of their military actions can one truly appreciate the Mongol art of war". Yet all we get is a short overview of the Mongols' principal enemies and the specific challenges they presented and very brief and superficial accounts of two battles (Chakirma'ut and Khalka River) and two sieges (Baghdad and Caizhou). I think the book would have greatly benefitted from another hundred pages so more campaigns and pitched battles could be analysed in depth. It could also use more maps and pictures/drawings of Mongol military equipment and siege engines. I enjoyed reading it, but I expected a little more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prof May and I share a tutor in common - Prof David Morgan of Wisconsin, an erudite, witty and incisive teacher who has made the study of the history of the Mongol Empire such a pleasure over several decades. So what can I say anent this work of Prof May? Simply that it is superb and will no doubt hold its own as the best exposition of the Mongol art of war for years to come.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x914c1258) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x908ee57c) out of 5 stars Highly recommended military history book on the Mongol Army 4 Sept. 2007
By John H. Nguyen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a PURE military history of the Mongols. It is topical rather than chronological. As the title of the book suggests, it is almost exclusively about the organization, training, weapons and equipment, logistics as well as the tactical and operational history of the superlative Mongol Army. I think the author should substantially expand those chapters of the book which discuss about the tactical and operational performances of the Mongol Army. Furthermore, for an excellent military history book like this one it is a shame that there are not enough tactical, military topographical maps to illustrate the chapters of the book (in particular those chapters that deal with the Mongol Army's battles, tactical and operational arts). I totally disagree with another reviewer who faulted the author for not discussing the social and economical factors behind the organization and behaviors of the Mongol Army. Those may be valid concerns for an academia (and I'm sure there are plenty of books on those factors on the market). But for a book about the Mongol Art of War they are quite irrelevant, in my opinion. As far as I know this is only the second book available (the other one is Richard Gabriel's Genghis Khan Greatest General Subotai the Valiant, which I also highly recommnend) that provides a DETAILED military history of the Mongol Army. If you enjoy military history, get this book.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x912405a0) out of 5 stars Rekindles Interest - The Art of War Mongolian Style 28 Sept. 2007
By James Neville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a readable and well-researched book. It moves fast and is rich with facts. I even enjoyed reading the chapter notes in the back.

"The Mongol Art of War" covers the years 1185-1265 and the leaders Chinggis (Genghis) Kahn through Khubilai (Kubla) Kahn. In all it took the empire only 80 years to conquer a vast range from Mongolia and China in the East to Russia and Persia in the West. Along the way the Mongols mastered the art of Steppe warfare including discipline and logistics, and showed a willingness to adapt and learn from their enemies including how to conduct siege warfare. The book includes a thought provoking discussion of similarity of Mongolian war tactics with war tactics in World War II especially Blitzkrieg.

Timothy May's passion for the Mongol war machine makes the book factual and fast-paced. He tells the 'bottom line' of Mongol rise and expansion in the first chapter, then explains the details of how they did it in the remaining eight.

This history is a surprising illustration that turns the tables on thinking of Mongols as uneducated barbarians. They had the ability to master themselves and logistics, and then to further learn and adapt from their campaign experiences. They were masters of communication, espionage and (where needed) deceit. These were some of the real reasons behind their empire's success.

I find it thought provoking to wonder at the end of the book: What would it have taken for Chinggis to assure continuity of his empire through time (past his lineage's death) in the same manner that he mastered its continuity in space (breadth). May's book rekindles interest and awareness of the contribution of the Mongol empire to the history and growth of Asia and East Europe culture.
HASH(0x908e7924) out of 5 stars A Very Good Book on Operational Details Pertaining to the Art of Mongolian War 28 Feb. 2016
By Master Hahn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Easily one of the better books on this topic.

As there are several quality reviews listed, I would prefer to them with some additional comments.

One wanting a full in depth view of the Mongol Empire as well as the Mongolian Art of War would do well to read application books by Morris Rossabi, Thomas Craughwell and Richard Gabriel's book on the Mongolian general, Subotai.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9076b1bc) out of 5 stars Great Book 11 Feb. 2010
By M. Perera - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book that covers topics not widely known about. Specifically, the author discusses Temujin's rise to power, the changes instituted by him, and how the Mongols had to adapt to their enemies tactics. Additionally, he gives detailed comparisons of the Mongols armies to their enemies. A bit more detail about the the Mongol's campaign invasion of Viet Nam, and the attempted invasion of Japan would have been nice. Also, more information about Subetai and Jebe ( Temujin's top generals ) would have been nice as well. Overall it is a great book that doesn't glamorize the Mongols nor does it demonize them.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c0fabc) out of 5 stars Detailed Descriptions of Mongol Tactics and Practices 5 Jan. 2008
By L. Sabin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great title written at a very lively pace. Anyone interested in military or world history will appreciate all the details and lesser-known facts, as well as the more traditional narrative passages and descriptions of individual Mongol leaders like Hulegu Khan and Subudai. The description of the infamous sacking of Baghdad in the 1250s is also very well done.

There is a lot to like about The Mongol Art of War. It is written, for the most part, from the ground up and gives great detail as to what individual Mongol soldiers carried with them, the weapons they used, the mounts they traveled on, and their daily tasks. The text is never dry or dull and the pace keeps the reader interested throughout. Great book.
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