First Mongol invasion of Poland

First Mongol invasion of Poland
Part of the Mongol invasion of Europe
HedwigManuscriptLiegnitz b.jpg
The Mongols at Legnica display the head of Duke Henry II of Silesia (a 15th-century illumination from the Legend of St. Hedwig)
Datelate 1240–1241
Location
Parts of eastern and southern Poland
ResultMongol Victory - Polish armies decisively defeated
Belligerents
Mongol EmpireKingdom of Poland-flag.svgKingdom of Poland
Cross of the Knights Templar.svg Knights Templar
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806).svg Holy Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Baidar
Kadan
Orda Khan
Wappen Schlesiens.png Henry II the Pious  
POL województwo opolskie COA.svg Mieszko II the Fat
POL województwo małopolskie COA.svg Włodzimierz 
Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Sulisław  
POL województwo małopolskie COA.svg Pakosław  
Boleslaus Děpolt  [a]
Kingdom of Poland-flag.svgKlement of Brzeźnica 
Kingdom of Poland-flag.svgKlement of Ruszcza
Kingdom of Poland-flag.svgSzczepan of Wierzbna 
Strength
about 10,000 (one tumen)[b]Disputed
(see Battle of Legnica)

The Mongol Invasion of Poland from late 1240 to 1241 culminated in the battle of Legnica, where the Mongols defeated an alliance which included forces from fragmented Poland and their allies, led by Henry II the Pious, the Duke of Silesia. The first invasion's intention was to secure the flank of the main Mongolian army attacking the Kingdom of Hungary. The Mongols neutralized any potential help to King Béla IV being provided by the Poles or any military orders.

Background

The Mongols invaded Europe with three armies. One of the three armies was tasked with distracting Poland, before joining the main Mongol force invading Hungary. The Mongol general in charge, Subutai, did not want the Polish forces to be able to threaten his flank during the primary invasion of Hungary. Thus, the Mongol goal was to use a small detachment to prevent the Poles from assisting Hungary until the Hungarians were defeated. That army, under Baidar, Kadan and Orda Khan, began scouting operations in late 1240.[1] Though the Mongols may have entered with relatively modest goals and forces, they almost completely annihilated all Polish forces and influenced the Bohemian army to defend its homeland instead of assisting the beleaguered Hungary.