17. A Seemingly Miraculous Reprieve That Saved Medieval Europe
In the east, Ogedei’s Mongols campaigned against northern China’s Jin Dynasty, in alliance with southern China’s Song Dynasty. Ogedei commanded in person until 1232, when he returned to Mongolia. He entrusted final mopping up operations to subordinates, who eventually extinguished the Jins for good in 1234. The Mongols then fell out with their Song allies, and began a new campaign against southern China. At the same time, Ogedei’s forces invaded the Korean Peninsula and asserted Mongol suzerainty. While that was going on, other Mongol armies invaded India, marched into the Indus Valley and on to the Delhi Sultanate, and occupied parts of today’s Pakistan and the Punjab. Simultaneously, another Mongol army marched into and subdued Kashmir.
In the west, Ogedei’s men subdued Central Asia. They overran Khorasan, Afghanistan, Persia, and reached Mesopotamia. From there, they turned northward and conquered Armenia, Georgia, and the Caucasus region, then continued to reduce Russia to centuries of vassalage. Afterwards, they penetrated into Eastern Europe, where they captured Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, and reaching the Adriatic Sea. Mongol forces in the west, led by the brilliant general Subutai, were finalizing plans to plunge into Italy and Central Europe, when news arrived from Mongolia that resulted in a seemingly miraculous reprieve for medieval Europe.