Equipping an Army
A potent fighting machine, the Mongol warrior was fast and self-sufficient. He cared for his own weapons, equipment, food, and as many as five spare mounts. Take a look at a Mongol warrior’s arsenal below.
Recurved Composite Bow
The Mongol warrior’s most effective weapon, the recurved composite bow could shoot an arrow 350 yards. A warrior made it himself, taking up to one year. Mongols also had another heavier and bigger bow that was used for shooting longer distances.
The Mongols used armor-piercing arrows, flaming arrows, and ones that made a whistling sound. They could shoot while facing backward, or while hanging from one side of their saddle, using the body of the horse as a kind of shield. The warriors released their arrows when all four feet of their mounts were off the ground to keep their aim true.
Mongol armor was made of lightweight, flexible chain mail or leather plates to allow a warrior much easier movement than the full metal armor of his opponent. The Mongols’ felt-lined leather boots were often covered with armored plates as well—and even the horses wore armor!
Mongol Sabers & Lances
For close combat, Mongols used a sharp, lightweight saber with which they could cut and slash with one hand. During mounted warfare, the saber was an advantage over larger and heavier swords. A long hooked lance helped warriors drag an opponent off his horse.