David vs. Goliath: Round Two of the Little Guy Triumphs


The Battle of Huan’erzui or Badger’s Mouth

In February 1212, the Mongol army of Genghis Khan decisively defeated the forces of Jin China.  By 1211, the Mongols had reached the capital of the Jin dynasty in North China, forcing the emperor to choose a new capital, further south, but chose to retreat into the frontier of the Jin Empire.

The Mongols began a new offensive in early 1212. It is relevant to note that there were a number of battles in this general region, including the Battle of Wild Fox Ridge, that dramatically reduced the Jin forces. These battles were also excellent examples of times when the smaller Mongol force defeated a much larger one.

In response, the Jins dispatched a massive army, numbering several hundred thousand individuals, led by Heshilie Jiujin and Duji Qianjianu. Heshilie Jiujin sent a messenger to the Mongols to warn them of an impending attack. Many of the Kitan commanders under him favored a surprise attack, likely weakening the overall strength of the Jin forces. The Mongol army stopped their breakfasts and moved into fighting formation.

Genghis Khan’s cavalry, led by Muqali, charged directly at the Jin forces. The charge was unexpected, leading to disorder in the Jin troops. The remaining Mongol army was able to disperse the Jin, and eventually to pursue the retreating forces more than 30 miles.

Following the Battle of Badger’s Mouth, Mongol forces moved further into Jin China, reaching and taking the capital city of Zhongdu in 1215. After the conquest of China, the Mongols turned westward, continuing their path of domination through 1227.