In December 1740, the War of the Austrian Succession finally breaks out. Seizing the opportunity, Frederick II of Prussia - himself King for only six months - invades the Austrian province Silesia, driven by his ambition for power and personal glory. The Prussian surprise attack takes Silesia with scarcely a fight. In Spring 1741, Bavaria, Saxony and France take up arms as well. Engulfed by this wave of attacks, Austria seems doomed. However, the attackers have underestimated Maria Theresa, her strength of character, and her fierce tenacity. Against the advice of her ministers, she is not willing to give up the smallest part of her heritage.
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