Did Tamerlane Start The War Between Hitler and Stalin?

Amir Timur (Tamerlane)

Timur's Forensic facial reconstruction by M.Gerasimov. 1941
Timur's Forensic facial reconstruction by M.Gerasimov. 1941 | Source

Timur is famous as the 14th century conqueror of large parts of Asia and founder of the Timurid Dynasty.

Better known as Tamerlane in the West from the Persian nickname Timūr-e Lang, "Timur the Lame", he died in 1402.

So how could he start a war which happened more than five centuries after his time?

There lies a strange story.

Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov was a famous Russian archaeologist and anthropologist with a difference. Born in 1907, Gerasimov was not a run of the mill archaeologist who is content with finding historical sites and tombs.

Gerasimov had developed the art of reconstructing faces of people who were long dead by a technique of forensic sculpture.

This remarkable technique was based and aided by anthropological, archaeological and paleontological findings.

Using this remarkable technique he reconstrutcted the faces of more than 200 people which included such notable figures as Ivan, the Terrible and Tamerlane

Ominous Warnings

It is said that in June 1941 Stalin had ordered Gerasimov to go to Samarkand, Uzbekistan to dig up the tombs of Tamerlane and others of his dynasty.

When the people of Samarkand learned about this plan they protested vigorously, predicting dire consequences of this sacrilege.

Apart from that, the tomb of Timur is alleged to be inscribed with the words: “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble."

It is also said that when Timur’s body was exhumed the archaeologists were cautioned yet again. His casket carried this ominous forewarning:

"Whoever opens my tomb, shall unleash an invader more terrible than I”.

Gur-e-Amir (Tomb of Timur)

Gur-e-Amir (Tomb of Timur)
Gur-e-Amir (Tomb of Timur) | Source

Gur Emir Mausoleum (Timur Tomb)

Terrible Aftermath

Such fore-warnings rarely affect men of science.

In old times it was not unusual for the graves of the royalty to have cautionary words on them to deter grave-robbers. So it is unlikely that Gerasimov could have been concerned if he saw any such writing when digging up Tamerlane’s grave. At the same time he could not have foreseen the dramatic event that was to follow.

Just two days after Gerasimov started the exhumation, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union unleashing one of the world’s bloodiest wars.

However, Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov carried on his work and reconstructed the likeness of Timur from his bones. He also confirmed that Timur was indeed lame because of hip injury.

A twist in the tale was still to come.

It was just after the remains of Tamerlane were re-buried with full Islamic rites in the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (the Tomb of Timur) in November 1942, that the Red Army launched its first successful Operation Uranus that turned the tide of the war in favor of the Soviet Union.

Tamerlane's Revenge or Coincidence?

Is there any explanation for the events following exhumation of Timur?

Probably not.

A rationalist would say that the chain of events was mere coincidence and nothing more. In his opinion, no man can influence any event on this earth from beyond his grave.

But those who believe would maintain that it was indeed Tamerlane taking revenge for disturbing him.

So what do you think is the correct stand?

Cast Your Vote Below:

Did Tamerlane Really Start The War Between Germany and Soviet Union?

  • Yes
  • No, it was all coincidence
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Comments 4 comments

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Interesting story, but how much of it is true?


surefire profile image

surefire 4 years ago Author

Hi christopheranton,

Good question.

Exhumation of Tamerlane's body, the Hitler invasion just after that, re-burial of Tamerlane's body and turnaround in the war are all verifiable historical facts.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


SanXuary 4 years ago

This is what we call seeing past normal boundaries. This is how believers see the presence of God and evil. It is seeing things in literal terms and then seeing beyond it. Regardless of the story its purpose was meant to warn someone. Such stories occur all the time and become mysteries after the fact. In some cases it is not a warning but what will happen once it occurs. Like the temple being built Jerusalem. We live in a World where we refuse to see the obvious and stories such as these claim that something beyond this World knew the facts as well and marked them with mystery.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting and informative thank you for following me.

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