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The Battle of the Steppes was an armed conflict in which Russian soldiers, united for the first time under one banner, fought with the Mongolian Golden Horde. The battle consisted of three phases; Mongolian Charge, Russian Counter-Attack, and Mongolian Retreat.
The Mongolian Charge (Also known as the Ride of the Golden Horde) was the opening phase of the Battle of the Steppes. The Golden Horde, consisting of around 15,000 elite horsemen, charged the Russian left guard. This was not the normal Mongol attack of shooting arrows then retreating. This was a flat out charge.
The Russian soldiers of the guard were surprised by this aggressive move, and were forced to move back. As the Golden Horde charged through them, the Russians lowered pikes and spears and fought them off. When the Golden Horde pulled back, they left around 5000 men dead and 6000 wounded. Russian casualties were estimated at 3000 dead and 4500 wounded.
The Russian generals, seeing the way Polish weapons devastated cavalry, ordered all soldiers to take up spears or pikes and advance on the Mongols. During this counter attack, Mongol cavalry was devastated by the bristling forest of weapons.
After 10 hours of almost continuous Russian advance, Genghis Khan ordered his men to retreat. The legendary retreat became a route when the Russian cavalry, yet unused in the battle, charged the Mongols. For five hours, the Russians pursued the Mongols, killing them by the thousands.
The Impact of the Battle
The Battle of the Steppes impacted history by weakening the Mongolian hold on Asia. Casualties were estimated at 40,000 Mongol dead and 50,000 Mongol wounded out of a host of 100,000. Russians lost 25,000 dead and 46,000 wounded. The Battle Unified Russia.