18th August
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1227 Genghis Khan Dies

Genghis Khan means "Oceanic Ruler" or "Universal Ruler," he was given this name, in 1209, because of his fearsome warrior credentials (he was about 47 years old at this time). He was named Temujin at birth.

Khan was over 60 years old when he died. The Mongol chief was leading a campaign against the Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia. It is believed that he could have died from complications from a fall from his horse that he suffered the previous year. He gave orders to flatten Xi Xia after his death, which his followers did. To keep his death a secret they killed anyone who saw the funeral procession as it returned home. His resting place is still a secret.

By his late teens, Temujin started to build up a following. He was a ruthless and charismatic figure, forging alliances with other Mongol tribes. His wife was kidnapped and he led a military force to defeat the tribe that took her, he won.

A number of warriors came to his side, those who didn't voluntarily were given the choice of obedience to him, or death.

He seems to have risen to greatness by using two innovative strategies:

1) By using an extensive network of spies, Khan found his opponents weakness and then attacked at that point with overwhelming force.

2) He innovated a military strategy of putting his men into regiments, a practice that modern armies use today because it inspires loyalty to a group of fighting men that know each other intimately. He spilt his men up into groups of 10 in a squad, 10 squads to a company, 10 companies to a regiment and 10 regiments to a 'Tumen' (ie 10,000 men).

All of his warriors were mounted on a horse. Half of his troops wielded impressive swords and lances.

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