After failed diplomatic attempts to secure control of Japan, the Mongol Empire sent an army across the sea to begin a physical invasion in November 1274. The Mongol Empire, which occupied a vast area stretching across the entirety of Asia, was adept at waging land-based warfare but its infamously effective cavalry was hampered following the journey packed together in ships. During this era the Mongolian forces had superior military technology and were able to make good initial advances, destroying the town of Hakata during their landing on 19 November. However, the Japanese defended ferociously and inflicted heavy casualties. As the Japanese retreated, readying themselves for large numbers of reinforcements, the Mongolians decided to retreat to their ships as they realized that a continued push further inland would be unsustainable. During the journey back to Korea, a number of ships were sunk in a storm, meaning that the offensive ended as a costly failure.
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