Poland is a regional power and her situation in 1936 is not very good. Poland's neighbors are leaders of two opposing factions; the Axis and the Comintern. Threat from them will grow over time resulting in war with Germany(1st Sep 1939) and the USSR(random date, it may be 1940 or even 1943).
Poland in 1936 has a sizeable infantry army. It gives the player a solid base to prepare for a good defensive or counter-attack based strategy in wars against Germany or the USSR. From a strategic point of view the Polish border with Germany is very hard to defend. It will be a great challenge for the player.
HoI3 gives the player a chance to choose many ahistorical paths for Poland. It is possible to declare war on Germany before the "Danzig or War" ultimatum or join either the Axis or Comintern.
Distribution of leadership
In the 1936 Scenario Poland has a leadership score of 9.36 (Base 3.70, Base Value +3.50, Massive Education Investment +20%, Polish Corridor +10%) which is quite good for a regional power. A good strategy would be to invest everything into intelligence until the player has ten spies in Poland. After that the player should invest everything they have into research until around the time the UK offers an alliance after Czechoslovakia is annexed. At this point Poland will draw a lot more attention from enemy spies. Poland will need a high officer ratio to cancel out Germany’s advantages in generals and technology. Shoot for an officer rate of no less than 100% by the start of the war, but do not invest in officers without a three-year contract or better. During Poland's counter offensive into Germany it will help a lot if it has an officer ratio of 140 percent.
Poland starts with cavalry and militia techs level 3, infantry 2 with mountain infantry, light armor, armored car, anti-tank, anti-air and artillery all level 2, destroyer level 3, submarine level 1, twin engine aircraft with all basics, single engine aircraft with basic engine, agriculture and supply production level 4 and the doctrines infantry warfare, mass assault, assault concentration and people's army level 2.
Poland has a few leadership points in the beginning of the 1936 campaign, but it should be enough to keep the Polish army up to date. The player's goal will be to make the Polish army as deadly as possible before war with Germany.
The main focus should be on:
- Infantry. Infantry brigades are the core of the Polish army. Light anti-tank weapons are key in allowing infantry to stand a chance against armored spearheads, and the support weapons tech improves their durability when defending; both should be kept up to date if at all possible. Conversely, the toughness boost from light artillery only benefits infantry when attacking, making it the least important of the four infantry technologies.
- Engineers. They require only a single research project to unlock, and as a support brigade, a unit of Engineers provide an easy 5% combined arms bonus to almost all divisions. However, while most nations use combat engineers to reduce penalties when attacking fortified positions, across rivers, or through bad terrain, you want them because they have +100% combat efficiency when defending in urban or fortified areas, or on any bad terrain other than hills and mountains. This is distributed into a 25% bonus in a five-unit division, or a 30% boost with only four. Given the much lower manpower and officer costs of an Engineer brigade comrade to an infantry brigade, they are an excellent addition to a formation primarily intended for defensive combat.
- Land Doctrines. A focus on the infantry and artillery doctrines(for morale and organization) should be made. High organization will make Polish infantry divisions better able to cope with enemy numbers, while higher morale makes them better able to withstand relentless, drawn-out assaults.
- Combat Medicine. Trickleback is extremely useful because most of Poland's battles with Germany will result in high casualties, and you lack the manpower supply to readily absorb losses.
- Agriculture. Anything that increases Poland's small manpower pool is very useful.
- Radios. Radios increase combat efficiency by 10%. This will require a couple of gateway technologies.
Other things that are useful but the player will not have the resources to research all of them:
- Other core Industrial technologies. Things like Education, Industrial Production, Industrial Efficiency, and Supply Production. Don't forget the Heavy AA Guns tech; you lack the raw industrial power to match the Third Reich or Soviet Union in the air, but emplaced anti-air guns can help drive up the cost of air superiority and reduce the harm it can do.
- Artillery/Anti-tank. Going for both or only for artillery is possible. Polish infantry brigades can use anti-tank equipment to fight the Wehrmacht and Red Army, both of which are bound to have plenty of armor.
- Cavalry/Armor. The player should only research these only if he thinks he can spare the research points for it. Polish cavalry will, however, play only a secondary role in upcoming wars, and Poland lacks the IC and leadership to build an effective armoured force.
Poland will not be able to produce an air force sufficient to challenge the Luftwaffe, so any investment in air power is likely to be a futile effort. However, if commitment is made into this area, it will help preserve her manpower, and an effective defensive air force can be made with just aircraft armament upgraded to '39 level. Remember to avoid the German fighters, as their radio and superior planes will doom your air force. If you decide to attempt any air-to-air strategy, licensed production of combat aircraft from a major power after joining a faction is worth considering.
Naval research is completely futile, and allied navy won't protect your convoys in the Baltic Sea, so those aren't useful until after the war, as well.
If the player will not build any fuel consuming brigades like engineer or armoured car brigades, then fuel can be sold for a good price. Extra money can be spent on supplies or to cover other resource shortages.
Extra money can also be spent to buy production licenses. This can give the player an option to buy a license for things Poland does not know how to produce, thus saving research effort on them, whilst enabling the player to spend it on other things.
A historical Poland is going to join the Allies. Do not make any effort to join the Allies before the UK offers an alliance through event after Czechoslovakia is annexed. Joining the Allies early increases Poland consumer goods demanded greatly (10%) and makes it a bigger target for spies.
And a historical Poland would be wise to shift to a power in Eastern Europe that can offer it protection, the Soviet Union.
Another path would be to either join the Axis or give Danzig to the Germans. Your main enemy would be then the Soviet Union where Poland has some core provinces (watch your diplomatic map) including the resource/IC provinces of Minsk and Olevsk.
As of 5.02 Poland has no decisions. It only has events that are triggered by other countries' actions.
Poland starts with 75 Neutrality and 70 unity. Head of state is Ignacy Moscicki and head of government is Marian Zyndram-Koscialkowski, both from the OZN.
- Józef Beck (Intel during Peace: +10%) as the Foreign Minister, he will help with the player's espionage efforts (goals 1 and 2).
- Tadeusz Kasprzycki (Supplies: +20%) as the Armaments Minister, he will increase the amount of supplies made by the player's industry, enabling the player to use more IC for other things, such as developing the military.
- Janusz Radziwiłł (Leadership Modifier: +5%) as the Minister of Security, he will increase the player's total amount of leadership points.
- Waclaw Stachowicz (Attack Reinforce Chance: +10%) as the Chief of Staff, he will help the player's reserve brigades come into combat faster.
- Edward Rydz-Śmigły (Artillery Practical Decay: -25%) as the Chief of the Army, he will reduce the speed of decay of the player's artillery practical value.
Choosing best available laws will be an optimal decision. Especially Specialist training. It will really pay off when fighting skilled German war machine. German generals will give 3-4 times better bonuses than the Polish ones and a lot of their divisions will get the Combined Arms bonus. Every point of attack/defence efficiency for Polish troops will matter.
The player could use internal spies to lower polish neutrality as much as possible. This will allow the player to enact Three-Years Draft law on the second day of the game, which gives a boost to officer education and manpower creation. Lowering neutrality will also reduce Poland's consumer goods demanded and gives the player more options if they decide to continue the war.
Repression and State Press will help Poland locate and destroy enemy spies.
The other law that should be considered is “Consumer Product Orientation”. This will greatly reduce the amount of consumer goods demanded. The trade off is that it reduces Polands's production efficiency by 5%.
Poland starts out as a Social Conservatism with the next election being on November 6th 1938. In 1936 the party in power is OZN (paternal autocrats) with 0.00 organization. Other groups are PSL(Social Conservatives) with 50.00 organization, ZLN(Market Liberals) with 32.10 organization and PPS(Social Democrats) with 17.80 organization.
Generally the intelligence system can be ignored. The player should use internal spies to raise national unity. If player decides to send spies to any country, he should send them to France or United Kingdom and set max piority for Tech Stealing.
Base Industrial Capacity(IC) in 1936 is 47. IC should only be produced if the player is planning on continuing the game after the defeat of Germany. Poland's construction practical will erode over time so it will need to produce IC in runs of at least 4 or 5. IC production should not be started until around the time that Germany attacks.
Poland has reasonably adequate raw materials. It has a base income of 158 energy, 38 metals, 15 rare metals and 2 units of oil; manpower is likely to remain chronically scarce. Poland starts with 253 manpower reserves but needs 324,4 to fully mobilize. So you should set your focus towards rare metals and manpower.
For Poland it is important to trade only for what it really needs. Don’t trade for oil/fuel or build any large stockpiles. The only thing Poland really needs is rare materials and it is best to get them from the Soviet Union so the player doesn’t have to worry about convoys. Sell some supplies to get the money needed to sustain Poland's trades.
Players will have few years to prepare for a war with Germany. Player should spend some IC into building forts especially in Warszawa, Danzig, Jarosław, Tczew and Laskowice.
Mobilize three weeks before the war with Germany, to minimize cost of supporting reinforced divisions
Investments in research will cause a need for upgrades to existing divisions. It is a better strategy to upgrade existing divisions rather than to disband everything and build new ones.
Your starting army consists of 13 cavalry brigades, 111 infantry brigades and 6 mountain infantry brigades.
Naval development should be avoided. Ships will not help Poland in defending its vast land territory. Starting navy consists of one destroyer and one submarine.
Air Force development should be avoided. It requires massive investments to compete with the Luftwaffe and that is practically impossible for Poland. Polish air force at the beginning boasts two interceptors and one tactical bomber.
Poland starts with a national unity of 70 which should be plenty. The player can set spies to bolster unity in order to enable Heavy Industry Emphasis policy, when war starts. It will be probably lowered after German invasion, but you will keep the policy until you change it. Although most of Poland’s generals are relatively poor (when compared to Germany) it actually has a large amount of them, including a fair lot of Logistic Wizards, and Defensive trait generals. Poland has very poor infrastructure on its eastern border. This really is not a concern early in the game because there is no reason to station troops there.
War with Germany
Germany will take the Danzig or War Decision starting the war around September 1, 1939. The player should have completed their preparations for war by then (if he does not wish to comply with German demands). Do not count on France and the United Kingdom coming to Poland's rescue if it gets into trouble. You can set the ally objective on Danzig for UK and they should send an expeditionary force as soon as the war starts.
Player should form the defensive line behind the Vistula and San river. The only exceptions should be: Warszawa, Danzig, Jarosław, Tczew and Laskowice. Placing one or two divisions per province behind the river should stop Germans.
Player's first objective will be taking out Prussia as soon as possible. It can be done by launching two attacks: first one towards Konigsberg(which can be attacked from every side) and the second one towards Memel. After taking Memel player can move troops from it towards Konigsberg. Taking whole Prussia should take about a month.
After Prussia is taken, player will have plenty of free units. He should launch three attacks:
First attack has to be started from Danzig and its neighbor provinces and end at: Stettin, Stargard, Kustrin, Landsberg, Kreuz, Wronki, Rogozno and Bydgoszcz. If player has lost Danzig, Tczew and Laskowice he should not try to break the river, but he should start the second attack.
Second attack should be started from Warszawa and end at Warta river(Player should control provinces like Gniezno, Kolo, Sieradz and Dzialoszyn) and Vistula river(Player should control provinces like Kraków and Katowice).
Third attack should be started from Jaroslaw and end somewhere in Slovakia(Player can retake Cesky Tesin and form defensive line here).
If the first attack was failed and next two were successful it's a good time to try again. This time from provinces which were taken during second attack.
After completion of all three attacks Player should have very much free divisions. He should launch an attack towards Reppen from Katowice to form next Defensive line behind the Odra river. Now player should have stable situation on the north and can launch a massive offensive towards Praga and Breslau. Then he can try to take Berlin from the south. If player would make that far progress, Germans should take their troops away from the western border, which should allow France to start an offensive. If not the player can establish next defensive line, this time behind the Laba river and try to push to Austria and then, form next line behind the Danube river. Then he can try to take Stuttgart and some provinces from the Siegfried line. This will clear way for French offensive, which will be very helpful. The rest of the war will be taking last German VP's to force it to surrender.
War with Italy
Once Germany is out of the way Italy should be easy pickings. The Italian AI will not build enough land divisions to put up much of a fight. France and the UK are also much more willing to attack Italy, and will probably grab some provinces for themselves. Poland should not really need any ships to defeat Italy (anyway, UK usually destroys the Regia Marina easily in this situation). All of their provinces in Africa are pretty worthless and should not be bothered with.
|Major Powers||France · Germany · Italy · Japan · United Kingdom · United States of America · Soviet Union|
|Regional Powers||Argentina · Australia · Belgium · Brazil · Bulgaria · Czechoslovakia · Guangxi Clique · Hungary · Manchukuo · Nationalist China · Nationalist Spain · Netherlands · Poland · Republican Spain · Romania · Sweden · Turkey · Yugoslavia|
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