Could the Russians have held off the Mongols?

"Never invade Russia"--unless you're the Mongols (John Green)
So could the Russians have stopped the Mongols, or was it too little, too late?
Have any other armies successfully invaded Russia as well?
 
poland in the 17th century took moscow and other armies during the time of troubles raided deep in to russia.

i dont think the rus could have even assuming the battle of kalka river is a disaster and subotai along with jebe and most their force dies , the mongols show up and conquer them later the rus didnt prepare after a defeat much less if it was victory the only chance i see is mstislav III of kiev surviving and then him preparing and even then i dont think it would work .
 
*Laughs in WW1 Germany*
Germany's conduct for most of the Eastern Front of WWI was cautious and primarily defensive. It wasn't until the Russian Empire was practically in a state of complete collapse that the Germans began to advance deep into Russian territory. Even then, they never advanced on St. Petersburg or Moscow so this example doesn't really work.

At any rate, repulsing a Mongol army at the height of its power is a tall order. Even if they somehow succeed, there's always next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. Volga Bulgaria was already conquered so the Mongols WILL be coming back no matter what. The Rus would need to hold off the Mongols every year for a hundred years or more.
 
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Is Muscovy so valuable that they'd continue advancing on it indefinitely when they gave up on defeating the Mamluks IOTL? I should think Egypt was the richer prize.
 
Is Muscovy so valuable that they'd continue advancing on it indefinitely when they gave up on defeating the Mamluks IOTL? I should think Egypt was the richer prize.
Muscovy doesn't exist yet so Kiev would be the main target. Also, Middle Eastern geography is vastly different from the Eurasian steppe. The Mongols could easily keep their horses fed and watered on the short jaunt from Sarai to Kiev or any of the other Russian cities nearby.
 
Muscovy doesn't exist yet so Kiev would be the main target. Also, Middle Eastern geography is vastly different from the Eurasian steppe. The Mongols could easily keep their horses fed and watered on the short jaunt from Sarai to Kiev or any of the other Russian cities nearby.

The medieval Middle East was much greener and wetter than it is today, so that's hardly a convincing explanation for why they only made one perfunctory attempt to redress Ain Jalut. And the Mamluks themselves also centered their armies around cavalry, I should add. So I'm still unconvinced that they had a Romanesque stubbornness that would stomach dozens of defeats for just one victory, no matter the theater.
 
The medieval Middle East was much greener and wetter than it is today, so that's hardly a convincing explanation for why they only made one perfunctory attempt to redress Ain Jalut. And the Mamluks themselves also centered their armies around cavalry, I should add. So I'm still unconvinced that they had a Romanesque stubbornness that would stomach dozens of defeats for just one victory, no matter the theater.
Perhaps, but that's assuming the Rus are capable of defeating the Mongols dozens of times. I don't think they are. The Crimean Tatars burned Moscow in 1571, at a time when Russia was significantly more powerful than in the Middle Ages, and the Crimean Tatars were significantly weaker than the Mongols at their height.
 
Perhaps, but that's assuming the Rus are capable of defeating the Mongols dozens of times. I don't think they are. The Crimean Tatars burned Moscow in 1571, at a time when Russia was significantly more powerful than in the Middle Ages, and the Crimean Tatars were significantly weaker than the Mongols at their height.

They'll only have to if the Mongols try dozens of times, and your assumption that they would is what I'm questioning.
 
My understanding is that Kiev and its successor states were way too divided and weakened from years of fighting to be hope to resist the Mongols.
You'd have to change something in there, to alter the core reality, for them to have a chance.
 
They'll only have to if the Mongols try dozens of times, and your assumption that they would is what I'm questioning.
My point was that the Mongols would not be defeated after one battle if there was one, and the collective states of Rus were not really capable of defeating the Mongols on the field anyway. As opposed to the Ilkhanate, where the Mongols mostly kept their horses in the pastures of distant Iran, the Golden Horde was camped on the Volga, which was far closer to Rus territory. Even assuming that the Mongols are defeated once (which is a far-fetched assumption), they will come back again. Furthermore, Ain Jalut was a disastrous defeat with most of the Mongol Army destroyed. The Rus did not have the ability to inflict a similar defeat on the Mongols.
 
Perhaps, but that's assuming the Rus are capable of defeating the Mongols dozens of times. I don't think they are. The Crimean Tatars burned Moscow in 1571, at a time when Russia was significantly more powerful than in the Middle Ages, and the Crimean Tatars were significantly weaker than the Mongols at their height.
Well, they managed to do this under a very specific set of the circumstances (most of the Tsardom’s forces had been engaged against Lithuania and the Crimeans managed to bypass the Russian defenses on the South. Anyway, this was a big scale raid, not a conquest and when Devlet Giray tried the next year to make it into a submission (his claim was that he is a legal successor of the GH and as such a true sovereign of Kazan, Astrakhan and Moscow) he suffered a terrible defeat at Molodi losing most of his army: the Crimean Khanate was depopulated to such a degree that there were no raids for the next 20 years.

Russian defeats on a battlefield had been happening before and after all the way to mid-XVII (as at Konotop) but they were not the same as being conquered.
 
Probably not. The squabbling Rus princes were no match for the organization, speed, and effectiveness of the Mongol Army, not to mention the brilliance of Jebe and Subutai.
 
The answer is simple: in the XIII the Russian princedoms could not repel the Mongolian invasion in the form it happened. “Rus” was just a set of the big and small princedoms in which even the “great” ones had very limited mobilization capacities and most of which under no circumstances would cooperate with each other.

But even if we assume that somehow they did manage to get together, it would most probably end up with Kalka-like situation, no agreement on a single leadership (at Kalka they had been broken into two main groups not coordinating their actions with each other and generally sticking to two different courses of actions). If we assume that by some kind of a divine inspiration the did get together (we are talking about the Central ad Northern Russia) and chose a single leader, which has to be the Great Prince of Vladimir, we still have an ad hoc assembly of the big and small bands led by a mediocre leader against an experienced regular army led (unofficially but nonetheless) by a great general and a number of very good subordinated commanders. Russian army does not have an advantage in the equipment and its tactics is rather primitive: the mounted archers are going first following by the bands of a heavy cavalry. Not too much in the terms of maneuvering. At Kalka this battle order had been crushed so why would it be different now?

Could the princedoms resists by defending their cities? This was exactly what they had been doing and the results is a history.

So how exactly, without getting the ASBs involved, could they successfully repeal the invaders?

In the best case scenario they could avoid the conquest by submitting voluntarily as did Novgorod and Prince of Suzdal.
 
Well, they managed to do this under a very specific set of the circumstances (most of the Tsardom’s forces had been engaged against Lithuania and the Crimeans managed to bypass the Russian defenses on the South. Anyway, this was a big scale raid, not a conquest and when Devlet Giray tried the next year to make it into a submission (his claim was that he is a legal successor of the GH and as such a true sovereign of Kazan, Astrakhan and Moscow) he suffered a terrible defeat at Molodi losing most of his army: the Crimean Khanate was depopulated to such a degree that there were no raids for the next 20 years.

Russian defeats on a battlefield had been happening before and after all the way to mid-XVII (as at Konotop) but they were not the same as being conquered.
Yes, I know it was a raid. The point I was trying to articulate in bringing that up was that Russia, due to its sheer size, is difficult to defend against all incursions. Even a raid could have disastrous consequences, which is why the Mongols really could not have been checked by the Rus indefinitely.
 
Yes, I know it was a raid. The point I was trying to articulate in bringing that up was that Russia, due to its sheer size, is difficult to defend against all incursions. Even a raid could have disastrous consequences, which is why the Mongols really could not have been checked by the Rus indefinitely.
While I generally agree with your point, actually the Tsardom eventually developed a rather effective defensive system which mostly prevented the major raids into its territory limiting them to the peripheral border regions. Strictly speaking, the “defensive perimeter” was no too long because border with the KH was limited even if we count the Nogais. Also, realistically, there was a need to cover a limited number of the river crossing to prevent penetration beyond the border area. The border itself was protected by the fortified defensive lines, which had been gradually expanding southward. It was not perfect but adequate and backed up by the “service people” of the Southern regions providing a mobile force capable of meeting the Crimean at the field.

But the Russian princedoms f the XIII lacked the necessary resources and unity - this was a task for the strong centralized state. Also, by the time of Ivan III the Muscovite armies already had an advantage of using the firearms which was absent in the XIII century.
 
I don't see how the Russian Princes could repulse the Mongol invasion totally. Perhaps in the north (Novgorod, Vladimir, etc) they could drive off the Mongol advances due to receiving less attention as they were on the periphery, but states like Kiev, Chernigov, and Pereyaslavl are going to be destroyed no matter what.
 
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