The only way for Prussia to become dominant over the northern German Confederation and German people was to break the power of Austria. The conflict that would lead to the war was that the King of Denmark attempted to gain control over the independent Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Austria and Prussia representing the federal Diet of the German Confederation took over the Duchy of Schleswig. After the Danes were defeated Prussia and Austria argued over who should control the duchies. Austria elected to ask the Diet at Frankfurt to determine who should control the duchies. Prussia responded by militarily taking control of Holstein which essentially started the war. It is interesting to note that most of the countries of Europe believe that Austria was militarily better prepared than Prussia. Prussia knew that it could mobilize more men and more quickly than Austria. Therefore, Prussia allowed Austria to mobilize ten weeks earlier so that it would seem that Prussia was forced into the war. The Prussians defeated Austria in every battle they fought. The book clearly explains why Prussia was able to beat Austria including how the railroads, the telegraph, their breach loading needle gun help them win, and military organization. I found the book to be very interesting.