This book tells the story of Subotai the Valiant, one of the greatest generals in military history, surely the equal of Hannibal and Scipio in tactical brilliance and ranking right along with both Alexander and Caesar as a strategist. Subotai commanded armies whose size, scale, and scope of operations surpassed all of the commanders of the ancient world. Under his direction and command, Mongol armies moved faster, over greater distances, and with a greater scope of maneuver than any army had ever done before. His legacy lives to the present day, for much of the theory and practice of modern military operations was first used by Subotai. The modern emphasis on speed, maneuver, surprise, envelopment, the rear battle, the deep battle, concentration of firepower, and the battle of annihilation all emerged as tactical skills first practiced by this great Mongol general.
Subotai died at age 73, by which time he had conquered 32 nations and won 65 pitched battles, as the Muslim historians tell us. For 60 of those years, Subotai lived as Mongol soldier, first as a lowly private who kept the tent door of Genghis himself, rising to be the most brilliant and trusted of Genghis Khan's generals. When Genghis died, Subotai continued to be the moving force of the Mongol army under his successors. It was Subotai who planned and participated in the Mongol victories against Korea, China, Persia, and Russia. It was Subotai's conquest of Hungary that destroyed every major army between the Mongols and the threshold of Europe. Had the great Khan not died, it is likely that Subotai would have destroyed Europe itself.