Sunday, July 16, 2023

Tamerlane's Brutal Warfare

Tamerlane demonstrated a military prowess comparable to that of Genghis Khan, achieving success in every operation, even when facing the same adversaries multiple times in battle. The central element defining his warfare strategy was the frequent targeting and assaulting of major cities, such as Damascus, Baghdad, Aleppo, Delhi, and Ankara. It is crucial to recognize that his opponents were formidable and should not be underestimated.

Tamerlane has gained a reputation as the most recklessly destructive among the nomadic horse chieftains of the steppes. He systematically used terror as a tool against towns, making it an integral part of his strategic approach. Whenever he besieged a city, its inhabitants had the option to spare their lives by surrendering at the first warning. However, resistance resulted in brutal punishment, often leading to the massacre of civilians under horrific circumstances. After conquering a city, Tamerlane went on to construct pyramids made of decapitated heads. For example, during the taking of Isfahan in 1397, a city with approximately half a million inhabitants, observers estimated a death toll of 100,000 to 200,000.

Following these ruthless actions, Tamerlane ordered the construction of approximately fifty pyramids, each comprising thousands of heads, with the aim of compelling other besieged cities to surrender immediately. However, this tactic did not consistently yield the desired results, as many towns still refused to give in. Nonetheless, after the devastating events in Isfahan, Tamerlane advanced to Shiraz, encountering no resistance. According to his perspective, this approach prevented further bloodshed, especially among those willing to lay down their weapons without a fight. Despite the methodical nature of his use of terror, Tamerlane took care to spare certain groups, including elites, theologians, artists, poets, engineers, architects, and others.
Tamerlane's Brutal Warfare

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