Battle near Sajo River

April 11th 1241

Rumours about possible Tatar (Mongolian) invasion are traceable as far as the last 30th years of 13th century. The threat became more real after the Belo IV. has invited to his territory tribes of Kuman. Buchtan (thingischan grandson) considered them as their peasants. By the year 1920 Belo IV. has reinforced the positions in the Karpatian hills and has ordered the preliminary regroup of army. But the order for their concentration near Budapest came on 14. March, two days after Buchtan has invaded the country near Verecky mountain pass. Buchtan has destroyed the guarding forces of Palatin Dyoniz.

By the end of March Belo IV. has deployed his army, mongolian army has tried to attack Belo's forces but they moved back to Sajo river. There they joined the main army of Buchnat, which were in the settled in the forest areas between the rivers Hornd, Slan (Sajo) and Tisa secured from sides by natural borders and swamps. Ugrian army camped out on the lowland near village Mohi (Mohi village is located in today's Hungary just few ten's of kilometres from Slovakian border). Deep swampy soil and swampy banks of the river looked like the perfect natural obstruction against a sudden attack. Across the river runned only one bridge which Belo did not destroyed on the contrary he has ordered a heavy guard of the strategic bridge. The fortified camp was rather small surrounded by cart's with spaces filled up with shield's.

Night of 10th April Russian runaway from Mongolian camp warn Belo IV. that Batu is preparing to attack. Belo order to strengthen the guards at the bridge. At night Mongolian really attacked the guards on the bridge. Only after the reinforcement arrived ( kings brother duke Koloman, archbishop Ugoln and knights Templars - under the leadership of Jakub de Mont Royal) were Mongols pushed back.

The attack of Mongols on the bridge which was leaded by Buchtan himself was only the cover up of plan. Left wing of Mongols under the leadership Subodej and the right wing under the leadership of Sejban crossed the river elsewhere and surrounded Ugrian camp. Mongols circled arround the camp and showered the camp with flamed arrows and torches. Ugrian army in small camp did not manage to form formations. Only the forces of Koloman, archbishop Ugolin and Templars tried to break from the camp but after great losses were forced back into the camp. Mongols opened the rim of surrounding and leaved the decimated army to run towards the swamps and the rest they followed. According to the chroniclers dead bodies lied so far as two days of travel from the centre of battle. Templars fought until the last men.  Belo IV. run away dressed as peasant through south Slovakia and Austria to Zagreb.

Picture of Belo IV. escaping after loosing the battle near Sajo river by "Viennese Pictorial Chronicle" from 14th century.