Battle of Zhongdu

The Battle of Zhongdu (present-day Beijing) was a battle in 1215 between the Mongols and the Jurchen Jin dynasty, which controlled northern China.[1] The Mongols won and continued their conquest of China.

Battle of Zhongdu
Part of the Mongol–Jin War
Siège de Beijing (1213-1214).jpeg
The siege of Zhongdu (modern Beijing), as depicted in the Persian Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani
Beijing, China
Result Mongol victory
Mongol Empire Jin Dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Genghis Khan Xuanzong
Unknown 6,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown Thousands massacred


The year 1211 marked the beginning of the war between the Mongols and the Jin Dynasty. The Jin Dynasty was able to hold Genghis Khan (Temüjin) and his Mongol army at bay for the first two years of the war.

The Jurchen Jin emperor Wanyan Yongji's daughter, Jurchen Princess Qiguo was married to Mongol leader Genghis Khan in exchange for relieving the Mongol siege upon Zhongdu (Beijing) in the Mongol conquest of Jin China.[2]

Throughout this time, however, Temüjin continued to build his forces and by 1213 had an army so powerful that it conquered all Jin territory up to the Great Wall of China. From this strategic location Temüjin made the decision to split his forces into three smaller armies in an attempt to break through the wall and finish his conquest of northern China. He sent his brother, Kasar, at the head of one of these armies east into Manchuria. He sent another army south toward Shanxi under command of his three oldest sons. He himself led the third army, along with his son Tuli, towards Shandong. The plan was a success, as all three armies broke through the wall in different places.

According to Ivar Lissner, the besieged inhabitants resorted to firing gold and silver cannon shot on the Mongols with their muzzle-loading cannons when their supply of metal for ammunition ran out.[3][4][5]

The battle for Beijing was long and tiresome, but the Mongols proved to be more powerful as they finally took the city on 1 June 1215,[6] massacring its inhabitants. This forced Jin Emperor Xuanzong to move his capital south to Kaifeng, and opened the Yellow River valley to further Mongol ravages. Kaifeng also fell to the Mongols after a siege in 1232.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tony Jaques (2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-313-33537-2.
  2. ^ Broadbridge, Anne F. (2018). Women and the Making of the Mongol Empire (illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-1108636629.
  3. ^ Ivar Lissner (1957). The living past (4 ed.). Putnam's. p. 193. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  4. ^ Wolter J. Fabrycky; Paul E. Torgersen (1966). Operations economy: industrial applications of operations research (2 ed.). Prentice-Hall. p. 254. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  5. ^ Wolter J. Fabrycky; P. M. Ghare; Paul E. Torgersen (1972). Industrial operations research (illustrated ed.). Prentice-Hall. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-13-464263-5. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  6. ^ "What happened on June 1". Dates in History. Retrieved 17 May 2014.