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The first Russian operations were, however, decidedly successful. The region

to the north of Tilsit was cleared by the

Cossack patrols attached to the northern

army, and the German advanced posts

were forced back to the line of Stillen,

Gumbinnen, and Goldap. North of Stalluponen a strong Russian force fell upon

a German army corps, and, after 'a bitter

fight, turned the German flank and forced

them to retreat toward Gumbinnen, with

a loss of many killed and wounded, several

hundred prisoners, and about twenty


The Russian advance was much hampered by the ease with which the enemy

obtained information of their movements,

arrangements for this purpose having

been made by the Germans long before.

Not only were there secret telephones

by which the position of the invaders

could be described to the German gunners,

but the German aeroplanes hovered overhead and allowed no movements to escape

them, while the inhabitants communicated

information by pre concerted signals. Thus

on one occasion some Cossacks set out to

surprise a German force occupying a

village, and on the way passed a haystack

that had been fired. The owner was

seemingly making every effort to save his

property, and was frantically throwing

bucket after bucket of water on the flames,

though the only result was a vast column

of dense smoke that rose toward the

heavens. The Cossacks rode onward, and

after going a couple of miles fell into an

ambuscade from which only a part

escaped. As the survivors rode back,

they saw that the haystack was still

smoldering, but the owner had disappeared. Subsequently it was discovered

that the "water" he had used contained

a chemical that made great clouds of

smoke, and that thereby he had signaled

to his countrymen to be in readiness.

Furthermore, according to General Yanouskevitz. Chief of the Russian General