The sudden Mongol withdrawal from Hungary in 1242 has been explained by historians in several ways and no consensus about the reason has ever been reached. Contrary to some previously expressed opinions, it was not an unparalleled event: a similar withdrawal from a successful invasion of the Song empire in southern China occurred in 1260. The parallels between the events of 1242 and 1260 are instructive, and strongly suggest that the deaths of the Khaghans Ögödei, in 1241, and Möngke, in 1259, were the basic reasons for breaking off the campaigns. The full explanation is more complex, however. The Mongol invasions of Dali and Annam in the 1250s are also briefly examined, and it is pointed out that a Mongol army led by Uriyangkhadai successfully invaded Song from Annam in 1259, a fact that has often been overlooked.
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