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Battle of Kherlen
Part of the Ming-Mongol War
DateSeptember 23, 1409
LocationKherlen River
Result Decisive Mongol victory
Borjigin Mongolia Ming Dynasty
Commanders and leaders
Öljei Temür Khagan Bunyashiri,
Qiu Fu †
Unknown 100,000[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Believed to be heavy

The battle of Kherlen was a battle between Borjigin Mongolia and Ming China that took place at the banks of Kherlen River (Kerulen) in Mongolia on 23 September 1409.[2]

After Bunyashiri had been crowned with the title of Öljei Temür in 1403, the Yongle Emperor sent an envoy to congratulate and demand submission of him in 1409. Öljei Temür Khagan Bunyashiri detained the envoy to express he was not willing to join the tributary relationship with the Ming.[3] The Asud leader, Arughtai, beheaded another envoy of Yongle in the same year and declared his allegiance to the Khagan. Yongle in return dispatched a large punitive expedition of 100,000 men to Mongolia.[4]

Lured deep into the steppe of Mongolia, the Ming army was completely routed and defeated. Qiu Fu, with several other commanders, was killed by Arughtai west of Onohu. This victory postponed any immediate invasion of Mongolia by Ming China for more than three years.


  1. Tony Jaques-Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O, p.521
  2. Shih-Shan Henry Tsai-Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle, p.167
  3. Frederick W. Mote, Denis Twitchett, John King Fairbank - The Cambridge history of China:The Ming dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1, p.226
  4. Shih-Shan Henry Tsai-Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle, p.167

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