This article discusses the Mongol approach to warfare, then goes on to consider the Mongols' conversion to the notion that they would have to develop a siege train, since walled cities cannot easily be taken by a cavalry charge. The contribution of Chinese siege engineers is discussed, and there is a survey of Chinese siege techniques as they evolved before the Mongol period. The author considers the evidence for the use of inflammable materials, and then moves to the question of gunpowder. The widespread (not quite universal) consensus that the Chinese used gunpowder is discussed, and then attention moves to Hulegu's expedition to western Asia in the 1250s. It is pointed out that none of the major sources seems to imply the use of anything that might be construed as gunpowder technology during those campaigns. Lastly, the author considers, in some detail, sieges conducted by the Ilkhanid Mongols against Mamluk border strongholds during the succeeding decades, drawing attention to and explaining those sieges' increasing lack of success.
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