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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 4th, 1238 - The Battle of Sit River

Conflict: Mongol Invasions of Eastern Europe

Combatants: Mongols vs. Russians

Location: Russia

Outcome: Mongol victory

In 1236, the Mongol ruler Ogatai Khan dispatched an army of 150,000 to conquer Eastern Europe. While the official leader of the invasion was Batu (later Batu Khan), Genghis Khan protégé Subotai took command of the soldiers.

Mongols by an unknown artist

On this day in 1238, Subotai completed the conquest of Western Russia by destroying the remaining forces of Yuri II, Grand Duke of Vladimir, near a tributary of the Volga river. Yuri II himself was killed in the battle.

Sketch depicting the body of Yuri II on the battlefield by an unknown artist

Points of Interest:

  • Subotai made extensive use of reconnaissance and other intelligence to carefully lay out military plans before conducting the invasion of any territory.

  • Although overshadowed by Subotai in the Russian invasion, Batu was a skilled and brave military commander in his own right. Batu established the Khanate of the Golden Horde on the Volga which remained in power for three hundred years.

Subudei (Subotai) from a medieval Chinese drawing
Batu Khan from a medieval Chinese drawing



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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