Third Mongol invasion of Poland

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Third Mongol invasion of Poland
Part of Mongol invasion of Poland
Date 1287-1288
Location Lesser Poland
Result Polish victory
Golden Horde flag 1339.svg Golden Horde
Coins of Boleslaw-Yuri-I.png Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia
Alex K Kingdom of Poland-flag.svg Kingdom of Poland
Armoiries Hongrie ancien.svg Kingdom of Hungary
Commanders and leaders
Golden Horde flag 1339.svg Nogai Khan
Golden Horde flag 1339.svg Talabuga
Alex Volhynia.svg Duke Volodymir of Volhynia
Duke Mstislav of Lutsk
Halicz coa XIVw.png Duke Lev of Halych
Reconstruction of the Grand Coat of Arms of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom.svg Leszek II the Black
30,000 15,000

The third Mongol invasion of Poland was carried out by Nogai Khan and Talabuga in 1287-1288. [1] As in the second invasion, its purpose was to loot Lesser Poland, and to prevent Duke Leszek II the Black from interfering in Hungarian and Ruthenian affairs. The plan, devised by Nogai Khan, was similar to the one from 1259. Mongolian army was divided into two columns, the stronger one attacking towards Sandomierz and northern Lesser Poland, and the weaker one heading towards Kraków. After looting the province, they were to unite north of Krakow.

Northern column of the Mongol forces was supported by a large contingent of the Mongol vassals, Ruthenians, under Duke Mstislav of Lutsk, Duke Volodymir of Volhynia, and Duke Lev of Halicz. Altogether, the invading forces numbered some 30,000 warriors, with 20,000 attacking the north and 10,000 targeting the south. Leszek II the Black stood opposed to the Mongols with probably 15,000 strong. Furthermore, in comparison to the second invasion, several towns and cities had been fortified.

On December 7, 1287, the northern group of Mongol forces under Talabuga left a camp near Wlodzimierz Wolynski, and, after by-passing Lublin, the army tried to cross the Vistula near Zawichost. Since the river was not frozen, they had to find a ford, heading southwards. The invaders decided not to capture Sandomierz, leaving Ruthenian units in the area of the city. Mongol forces were ill-prepared and failed to capture any fortified locations. Most likely, they attempted to approach the Łysa Góra Abbey, but some time in late 1287, were defeated in the Battle of Łagów. After reaching the area of Kielce, the Mongol began the retreat, and in January 1288, they reached their winter camp in Lwow.

The southern group of Mongol forces, under Nogai Khan, on December 24, 1287 besieged Krakow. Since the city had been well prepared for the attack, Nogai Khan decided to change plans, and to plunder the areas both north and south of Krakow. Mongol units attacked Stary Sącz, but again failed to capture the fortress. After several skirmishes with both Poles and their Hungarian allies, they were beaten back and forced to leave Lesser Poland in late January 1288.

Compared to the first two invasions, the raid of 1287/88 was short and ended in defeat. The Mongols did not capture any significant cities and castles, taking fewer prisoners than in the previous invasions.


  1. ^ Stanisław Krakowski, Polska w walce z najazdami tatarskimi w XIII wieku, MON, 1956, pp. 181-201