In the course of the summer he took the fortresses of Arad, Lippa and Vilagos; provided himself with guns and trained gunners; and one of his bands advanced to within five leagues of the capital.
It is customary to ascribe their successes to the power of the breech-loader, but there were actions in which it played no part, cavalry versus cavalry encounters, and isolated duels between batteries which gave the Prussian gunners a confidence they had not felt when first crossing the frontier.
The heavy rain, which had delayed the commencement of the action, had swollen the Bistritz so as to check their advance and thus postpone the decision, whilst the mist and driving rain hid the approaching troops from the Austrian gunners, whose shells burst almost harmlessly on the sodden ground.
But the Austrian gunners were intent on the Prussian batteries farther back, which as the light improved had come into action.
Range and from cover they were able to open fire on the Austrian gunners under conditions which renlered the case fire of the latter practically useless; but here was the opportunity a great cavalry leader on the Austrian side might have seized to restore the battle, for the ground, the shortness of the distance, and the smoke and excitement of the cannonade were all in favour of the charge.