Prepare for War

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Period political cartoon depicting the inability of the United States to function effectively in the League of Nations.

In Hearts of Iron 3 the Prepare for War decision applies a neutrality lowering modifier to whichever nation initiates it.


The Great Depression was a difficult time for the world. Billions of dollars of assets were lost and millions were left homeless after the collapse of the world markets due to rampant stock speculation. The Treaty of Versailles signed 28 June 1919 stripped Germany of 25,000 square miles of territory, 7,000,000 people, and the territorial claim of its 22 territorial colonies. War reparations were imposed on all nations of the Central Powers, but particularly strong reparations were imposed on Germany. By the end of 1932, Germany had paid nearly 5 billion dollars in gold. Germany required loans international loans (primarily from the USA, UK, Switzerland, and Denmark) to maintain a stable economy, but after the stock market crash of 1929, the international loans dried up and Germany's economy was devastated, thereby opening the door to the rise of National Socialism and Fascism in Europe. To invigorate an economy, money must circulate, and many nations discovered that producing a military was a way to generate revenue. A robust economy is dependent on the laws of supply and demand and war is the mother of economic demand.


The decision is made by any country that has an IC of less than 30. It lasts for 300 days and reduces neutrality by 0.20 every day (for a final total of -60 neutrality delta).

This can prove problematic for nations that start with an IC level greater than 30. As counterintuitive as it may seem, in order to make your nation prosper, you must first make it suffer. IC is reduced by increasing dissent. This can be done either by having foreign control of core territory (which is very difficult if you aren't at war), or by reducing consumer goods. Whenever you do not have enough consumer goods, your dissent increases. The higher differential between the need and the supply of consumer goods, the higher the increase of dissent. Once the available IC of the nation drops below 30, you will be given the option to Prepare for War. After you can prepare for war, it is imperative that you max out consumer good production to reduce your dissent as quickly as possible so your war machine can produce as much as possible before you conquer your neighbors.