According to the decree of President Putin of February 1996, the Russian Federation celebrates annually April 18th as a day of military glory in honor of the victory of Russian commander Alexander Nevsky over the troops of the Livonian Order in medieval times.
On this day in 1242, Russian troops of Novgorod and Suzdal-Vladimir Principalities, led by a 22-year-old young prince of Novgorod Alexander, fought with the joint army of the Livonian Order and the Danish kingdom on the shores of Lake Peipus (Chud in Russian).
In this battle, marked as the Battle of the Ice in historical chronicles, his 15 thousand army defeated the enemy’s 10 thousand army. In Novgorod chronicles, it is noted that “the cavalry sent by God from heaven” helped Alexander Nevsky to win in this battle.
But, it is a mystery what kind of cavalry was sent to him from heaven?As Russian historian S. Solovyev writes, the grandson of Genghis Khan Batu, together with the talented general Subedei, headed a successful military campaign to Europe. On his return to homeland in regards with the death of Ogedei Khan and the forthcoming elections of the a new khan in early spring of 1242, he ordered Alexander Nevsky to come to him in bid and meet in person.
It was said in the ordering letter, “If you want to continue to rule your lands, come and get an official permission for this.
“Alexander Nevsky immediately arrived at Batu’s bid and became an adoptive son of a Mongolian general, as well as a brother to his son Sartak by giving a bloody oath.
Thus, Batu apparently wanted to protect the Russian princedoms, which became vassals of the Mongol Empire from attacks by Catholic states in the northwest with the help of Alexander Nevsky, during the temporary retreat of Mongolian troops. Since Mongolian military intelligence service worked very well, Batu must have known about the intentions of the Livonian Order in advance.
R.Heidenstein, a Polish medieval historian, wrote that Alexander Nevsky opposed the Livonian Order at Lake Peipus according to Batu’s order and returned the city of Pskov back to Novgorod with the help of the Mongol regiment.
The fact of Russian troops using Mongolian military strategies also suggests that the Mongol regiment could have participate in this battle.
At the beginning of this battle, the advantage of the heavy cavalry of the Livonian Order was met by foot archers that inflicted heavy damage on its enemy, although they were almost completely destroyed by themselves. Continuing to advance the troops of the Livonian Order, it clashed with the main forces of Alexander Nevsky.
And they were suddenly attacked by cavalry from both flanks at that time. It can be assumed that this cavalry was “sent by God from heaven.” In fact, it was the Mongolian regiment sent by Batu to help his adopted son.
In this case, we can conclude that Alexander Nevsky was able to protect the Russian lands and the Orthodox faith from the invasion of the Catholic West with the help of the Mongols.