This is a history of the Austro-Prussian-Italian War of 1866, which paved the way for German and Italian unification. It is based upon extensive new research in the state and military archives of Austria, Germany, and Italy. Geoffrey Wawro describes Prussia's successful invasion of Habsburg Venetia, and the wretched collapse of the Austrian army in July 1866. Although the book gives a thorough accounting of both the Prussian and Italian war efforts, it is most notable for the light it sheds on the Austrians. Through painstaking archival research, Wawro reconstructs the Austrian campaign, blow-by-blow, hour-by-hour. Blending military and social history, he describes the terror and panic that overtook Austria's regiments of the line in each clash with the Prussians. He reveals the unconscionable blundering of the Austrian commandant and his chief deputies who fumbled away key strategic advantages and ultimately lost a war - crucial to the fortunes of the Habsburg Monarchy - that most European pundits had predicted they would win.