Mongol Conquest of the Song Dynasty

Bayan of the Baarin, the Mongol commander, then sent half of his force up river to wade to the south bank in order to build a bridge across to take the Yang lo fortress .Three thousand Song boats came up the Han river and were repulsed;fifty boats destroyed with 2,000 dead. Xianyangs commander then surrendered to the Mongol commander ,the entire force including the surrendering commander sailing down the Yangtze, the forts along the way falling as this commander, now allied with the Mongols, had also commanded many of the down river garrisons. In 1270, Kublai ordered the construction of five thousand ships. Three years later, an additional two thousand ships were ordered to be built; these would carry about 50,000 troops to give battle to the Song. In 1273, Fencheng capitulated,the Mongols putting the entire population to the sword to terrorize the inhabitants of Xianyang. After the surrender of the city of Xiangyang, several thousand ships were deployed. The Song fleet, despite their deployment as a coastal defense fleet or Coast Guard more than an operational Navy, was more than a match for the Mongols. Under his great general Bayan Khublai unleashed a riverine attack upon the defended city of Xiangyang on the Han River. The Mongols prevailed, ultimately, but it would take five more years of hard combat to do so. By 1273, the Mongols emerged victorious on the Han River. The Yangtse River was now open for a large fleet that could conquer the Southern Song empire. A year later, the child-prince Zhao Xian was made emperor. Ressistance became stiffer, resulting in Bayan's massacre of the inhabitants of Changzhou in 1275 and mass suicide of the defenders at Changsha in January 1276. When the Yuan Mongol-Chinese troops and fleet advanced and one prefecture after the other submitted to the Yuan, Jia Sidao offered his own submission, but the Yuan chancellor Bayan refused. The last contingents of the Song empire were heavily defeated, the old city of Jiankang (Jiangsu) fell, and Jia Sidao was killed. The capital of Song, Lin'an (Hangzhou), was defended by Wen Tianxiang and Zhang Shijie. When Bayan and Dong Wenbing camped outside Lin'an in Februray 1276, the Empress Dowager Xie and Quan Jiu surrendered with the underage emperor and the imperial seal. Emperor Gongdi abdicated, but faithful loyalists like Zhang Jue, Wen Tianxiang, Zhang Shijie and Lu Xiufu enthroned the emperor's younger brother Zhao Shi and Zhao Bing. Zhao Shi was enthroned far from the capital, in the region of Fuzhou (posthumous title Song Duanzong) but he soon died during the flight to the south in the region of modern Guangdong. Zhao Bing was enthroned on an island in the South China Sea (Yaishan, near Xinhui/Guangdong). In 1279 the Yuan took the island, and Lu Xiufu drowned himself, embracing the last emperor of Song.

Around this time, North of China the Mongols dramatically arose under a 52 year old man, Genghis Khan. They swept the northern frontier of the Jin. The Southern Song immediately took this chance and allied itself with the Mongols to conquer Jin. Jin was finally crushed in 1234. However, instead of recovering the lost land as the Song had dreamed for a long time, they found themselves desperately threaten by the Mongols from 1235 on. The Southern Song' nightmare unfortunately came into a dreadful reality in the 1250s when the Mongols, under Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, started attacking Southern Song China.