Temujin, the future Genghis Khan, and Jamukha were childhood blood brothers, who became drawn to opposing sides in the ceaseless conflicts of the Mongolian tribes. In 1201, in the Battle of the Thirteen sides, confederacies of Mongol tribes were pitted against one another, with Temujin and Jamukha the generals. Defeated, Jamukha allied with the Naiman Mongols under their Khan Tayang who retreated to his home turf in the Altai Mountains. Temujin pursued the Naiman, and was confronted by Tayang at the foot of Mount Naqu in the Altai foothills. Temujin was outnumbered, but ordered his men to charge; at the critical moment, Jamukha and his men deserted the field, eliminating Tayang’s numerical advantage. Shaken, Tayang ordered his troops to form a defensive square, allowing Temujin’s crack cavalry on the flanks to envelop his army; many fell to their deaths in Naqu’s ravines while fleeing. Jamukha, captured, was hacked to death.
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