Uriyangkhadai (Modern Mongolian: Mongolian Cyrillic: Урианхадай, [uriɑŋ.xɑˈdæ], Chinese: 兀良哈台; pinyin: Wùliánghātái, c. 1201c. 1272)[1] was an Uriankhai general in the Mongol Empire who led several campaigns during the 13th century Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty, including the first Mongol invasion of Vietnam.[2][3][4] He was the son of military strategist Subutai and father of Mongol general and chancellor Aju.[4]

Born1201 (1201)
Died1272 (aged 70–71)
Other namesLatin transcriptions: Uriyankhadai, Uriyangqadai, Uriyanqadai, Ouriyangkhataï
RelativesJelme (uncle)

Early life and campaigns in EuropeEdit

Uriyangkhadai was born to Mongol general Subutai and was named after the Uriankhai, their tribe of origin.[5] He was a nephew of Jelme.[5][6] A folk legend claimed that Subutai wished to die by his son Uriyangkhadai by the banks of the Danube river.[5]

By 1241, Uriyangkhadai had become an accomplished general in the Mongol invasion of Eastern Europe.[5][7] According to Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat, he participated in the conquest of Kievan Rus', conquest of Poland, and conquests of Germanic lands before being sent to China.[7]

Campaigns in China and VietnamEdit

Invasion of Yunnan and TibetEdit

During the first phase of the Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty in southern China, Uriyangkhadai led 3,000 Mongol cavalry in Sichuan.[2] Uriyangkhadai led successful campaigns in the southwest of China against the Dali Kingdom alongside Kublai Khan and pacified tribes in Tibet after Kublai Khan's return to northern China, before turning east towards the kingdom of Đại Việt under the Trần dynasty by winter 1257.[8] Uriyangkhadai had significantly more military experience than Kublai Khan and proved invaluable in battle.[8]

Invasion of VietnamEdit

In the autumn of 1257, Uriyangkhadai addressed three letters to the Vietnamese monarch Trần Thái Tông demanding passage through to southern China.[9] After the three successive envoys were imprisoned in Thang Long (modern-day Hanoi), the capital of the northern Vietnamese kingdom of Dai Viet,[10] Uriyangkhadai invaded Đại Việt with generals Trechecdu and Aju in the rear.[9] According to Vietnamese sources, the Mongol army consisted of at least 30,000 soldiers of which at least 2,000 were Yi troops from the Dali Kingdom[1] while Western sources estimate that the Mongol army consisted of about 3,000 Mongols with an additional 10,000 Yi soldiers.[4] In 1258, Uriyangkhadai successfully captured Thang Long.[8][11][3] While Chinese source material incorrectly stated that Uriyangkhadai withdrew from Vietnam after nine days due to poor climate, his forces did not leave until 1259.[11][3]

Invasion of Guangxi and HunanEdit

Uriyangkhadai left Thang Long in 1259 to invade the Song dynasty in modern-day Guangxi as part of a coordinated Mongol attack with armies attacking in Sichuan under Möngke Khan and other Mongol armies attacking in modern-day Shandong and Henan.[3][12] Around 17 November 1259 while besieging Ezhou in Hubei, Kublai Khan received a messenger who described Uriyangkhadai's army advances from Thang Long to Tanzhou (modern-day Changsha) in Hunan via Yongzhou (modern-day Nanning) and Guilin in Guangxi.[3] Uriyangkhada's army subsequently fought its way north to rejoin Kublai Khan's army on the northern banks of the Yangtze river, after which both armies returned to northern China due to the succession crisis that emerged as a result of Möngke Khan's death at the Siege of Diaoyucheng on 11 August 1259.[3]


  1. ^ a b Hà, Văn Tấn; Phạm, Thị Tâm (2003). "III: Cuộc kháng chiến lần thứ nhất" [III: The First Resistance War]. Cuộc kháng chiến chống xâm lược Nguyên Mông thế kỉ XIII [The resistance against the Mongol invasion in the 13th century] (in Vietnamese). People's Army Publishing House. pp. 66–88.
  2. ^ a b Yang, Bin (2009). "Chapter 4 Rule Based on Native Customs". Between winds and clouds: the making of Yunnan (second century BCE to twentieth century CE). Columbia University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0231142540.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Haw, Stephen G. (2013). "The deaths of two Khaghans: a comparison of events in 1242 and 1260". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 76 (3): 361–371. doi:10.1017/S0041977X13000475. JSTOR 24692275.
  4. ^ a b c Atwood, Christopher Pratt (2004). Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. Facts of File. New York. p. 579. ISBN 978-0-8160-4671-3.
  5. ^ a b c d Weatherford, Jack (2017). Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World's Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom. Penguin. p. 286. ISBN 978-0735221178.
  6. ^ Gabriel, Richard A. (2004). Subotai the Valiant: Genghis Khan's Greatest General. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-275-97582-7.
  7. ^ a b Abel-Rémusat, Jean-Pierre (1829). Nouveaus Mélanges Asiatiques. Vol. 2. Paris: Schubart and Heidelhoff. pp. 96–97. "A la mort d'Ogodaï, il y eut une grande assemblée de tous les princes de la famille de Tchingkis. Batou ne voulait pas s'y rendre; mais Souboutaï lui représenta qu'étant l'aîné de tous ces princes, il lui était impossible de s'en dispenser. Batou partit donc pour l'assemblée qui se tint sur le bord de la rivière Yetchili. Après l'assemblée, Souboutaï revint a son campement sur le Tho-na (Danube), et il y mourut a l'âge de soixante-treize ans. Conformément a l'usage des Chinois, on lui donna un titre qui rappelait ses plus belles actions: ce fut le titre de roi du Ho-nan, à cause de la conquête de cette province qu'il avait enlevée aux Kin. L'épithète honorifique qui fut jointe à son nom fut celle de fidèle et invariable. Il laissa un fils nommé Ouriyangkhataï, qui, disent les Chinois, apres avoir soumis les tribus des Russes, des Polonais, et des Allemands, fut envoyé pour conquérir le royaume d'Awa et le Tonquin."
  8. ^ a b c Rossabi, Morris (2009). Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press. pp. 24–27. ISBN 978-0520261327.
  9. ^ a b Lien, Vu Hong; Sharrock, Peter (2014). "The First Mongol Invasion (1257-8 CE)". Descending Dragon, Rising Tiger: A History of Vietnam. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1780233888.
  10. ^ Wilson, Jack (2020). "Subutai Batar: The General of the Khan": 1–18 – via Academia.edu. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) Wilson 2020, p. 14
  11. ^ a b Buell, P.D. "Mongols in Vietnam: end of one era, beginning of another". First Congress of the Asian Association of World Historians 29–31 May 2009 Osaka University Nakanoshima-Center.
  12. ^ Rossabi, Morris (2009). Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times. University of California Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0520261327.