The Battle of Koniggratz, fought on July 3, 1866, was the largest military battle on the continent of Europe between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the Battle of the Somme during the First World War in 1914. Another improbable battle in this series, it seemed at the outset of the war that Prussia would be slowly crushed by the vast resources of Austria and the other German states, nearly all of whom allied with Austria. When Austria's imperial army defeated Prussia's only ally, the kingdom of Italy, at Custoza on June 24, Prussia's doom seemed to be only a matter of time. This is the story of the brilliance of Prussia's supreme commander, Helmuth von Moltke, and how in a matter of six weeks, he humbled the Austrians on the fields of Moravia in a lightening campaign. Austria's defeat and consequent expulsion from Germany irrevocably altered the European balance of power and within five years, the German Empire was born under Prussian domination with its capital in Berlin.