Today in the Middle Ages: April 9, 1241

On April 9, 1241, Polish knights fought the invading Mongol army at Liegnitz (aka Legnica) in Silesia.

The Polish were heavily outnumbered, and the Mongols had the additional advantages of superior mobility and better-organized battlefield communications. Not surprisingly, the Mongols won the battle.

The Mongol victory focused the attention of western European nations on their westward migration for the first time. However, the death of Ogedei Khan caused the Mongols to return home for the selection of the new Khan. Some historian believe this retreat alone saved Europe from Mongolian domination.