1. A Savage Conqueror’s Curse From Beyond the Grave?
To cap off his accomplishments, Tamerlane sought to conquer Ming China, which had overthrown and chased out its Mongol rulers in 1368. He formed alliances with the surviving Mongols, and established supply depots in Central Asia for his upcoming invasion. However, China was spared – and Tamerlane’s rampage finally came to an end – when the savage conqueror took ill and died in 1405, just before the start of his planned invasion. Eerily, the lethal warlord supposedly continued to wreak havoc even after death.
Centuries after his demise, Tamerlane’s body was exhumed by Soviet anthropologists on June 19th, 1941. Carved inside his tomb were the words: “When I rise from the dead, the word shall tremble“. Two days later, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, in an onslaught that the USSR survived only by the skin of its teeth. Just to be on the safe side, Tamerlane was reburied with full Islamic ritual in November, 1942, shortly before Operation Uranus. Tamerlane’s curse – if a curse it had been – was lifted, and the operation led to the first major Soviet victory at Stalingrad.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading
Burton, Turkus B., and Feder, Sid – Murder Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate (2003)
Kavieff, Paul R. – The Life and Times of Lepke Buchalter, America’s Most Ruthless Labor Racketeer (2006)
Lee, David D. – Sergeant York: An American Hero (1985)
Manz, Beatrice Forbes – The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane (1999)
Saarelainen, Tapio – The White Sniper: Simo Hayha (2016)
Vinogradova, Lyuba – Avenging Angels: Young Women of the Soviet Union’s WWII Sniper Corps (2017)