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Invasion of Poland 1939
{{version|Their Finest Hour}}
In [[Hearts of Iron 3]] Germany is one of the [[major powers]] and the key antagonist of the war. Germany is the leader of the [[Axis]], has a prime location for land invasion, and a strong [[economy]] and technological capacity rivalled only by the USA. Furthermore, it has the largest number of diplomatic [[decisions]] and [[events]] of any nation in the game. As a result, it allows the player to pursue a wide variety of strategic and tactical challenges. Germany, while potentially daunting, can serve as a great starting point for new players. It allows the player to jump right into the action, and with its focus on the land combat and a somewhat forgiving nature it allows the player to bloody experience themselves before progressing onto more difficult nations.
'''Axis:''' Through the regular course of gameplay with no player intervention, the following nations will offer to join the Axis assuming the game follows a historical path:
* Italy & Japan (Summer, 1937; Italy can join the Axis as early as 1936 if they had finished their war with Ethiopia and the Spanish Civil War had begun)
* Hungary (Early 1939)
* Romania (1940 after Bessarabia)
* '''Re-occupation of the Rhineland:''' This can be achieved in January 1936 by simply occupying the provinces indicated in the decision. This decision provides a loss in 3 neutrality for Germany and a 2% decrease in Dissent, plus a gain to income of $500, as well an increase of 2 to unity. Relations will be decreased; France -15, UK -5, Belgium -10, Netherlands -5. Threat to France will increase by 3. The re-occupation is required if you wish to do the Anschluss of Austria before 1938.
* '''Spanish Civil War - Intervention''' This event will become available sometime during 1936. This decision increases relationship with [[Nationalist Spain]] by +20 and reduces relationship with [[Republican Spain]] by -15.
* '''Anschluss of Austria:''' This event can be trigged by May, 1937, if Germany fills Austria with spies on the mission "support our party" from the start of the game. It is also fairly easy to achieve by waiting: early in 1938 Austria will have the "political crisis" event, after which time the conditions for the anschluss are met. This decision is very valuable for Germany as it provides 1 additional leadership, 19 additional ''base IC'' (a great deal more effective IC with modifiers of course), a -5 loss in neutrality, and additional manpower. Conversely, Germany gains 5 dissent, 20 threat, poor relations, and provides France and the UK with lost neutrality.
* '''Independent Croatia:''' Croatia will be created but the provinces it controls blocks Germany's access to the Mediterranean.
*'''Destiny:'''Available if you are at war with the Soviets. Gives similar effects to Blitzkrieg.
*'''Defense:'''Available if it's 1943, and you are at war with both the Soviets, and American's, gives supply throughput, and manpower modifiers.
=== Events ===
==War with the Allies==
If the player follows a historic route, Germany will typically go to war with Poland and the Western Allies, including the USA after 1941, and with the Soviet Union following 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). German strategic objectives are to gain lebensraum (living space) in the East, reverse the Treaty of Versailles humiliation by invading France and the United Kingdom and siezing seizing their colonial assets, and to defeat the Soviet Union by siezing seizing Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad in Western Russia. Later, Germany may end up in a "Cold War" with the United States if it develops nuclear weapons or alternatively invading it directly with Japan.
==Invasion of Poland 1939==
The invasion of Poland is quite easy and gives players a chance to try out techniques for later use against France and the Low Countries. Capture the Danzig corridor with Marines (if you have them) for a quick strategic bonus. Use your armoured spearhead units to blitz quickly towards Warsaw and Kracow Krakow while backing those up with (mot) infantry. If you have any standard infantry units, keep them for the hills/forest terrains and use your fast units on the plains (the terrain map is useful here). Use your air units to gain air superiority and ground attack units; do not bomb infastructure as this will only slow your own forces down. Invading Poland should take about 1 month for novice players but can be achieved in a week or two if quick movements to victory points are executed. If you have a Navy, use it to blockade the Polish ports and cut supplies.
===The Siegfried Line===
Defending the line with France should be done with a ghost force of any unupgraded infantry; it is important not to leave the border empty or France may invade early! The key thing in the West is to defend from incoming bombers. Set your fighters to air superiority missions around Essen, Kiel, Munich etc., and if you have any Naval Bombers use them to harass the Royal Navy in the Skaggerak region.
==Western Theatre 1940-1941==
Denmark can be quickly invaded by a single or two motorised divisions to capture the mainland victory point; Marines or other forces can capture Copenhagen to speed the Danish defeat but this is ultimately depending on waiting for a an opportunity to cross the strait. If the British Navy is patrolling here this can take a while, so hassle them with submarines or naval bombers or keep attempting to move your infantry across until they succeed.
Conquering Norway requires the capture of Oslo and Narvik. Both can be captured by a single corps; it is the marine crossing which poses a difficulty. It may be worth using your limited navy to create a diversion while you ship troops across to Norway. Shortly after Norway surrenders, Britain will move to sieze seize Iceland + Greenland. There's little you can do about this without naval superiority in the North Sea.
===Invasion of the Low Countries===
#Use Naval Bombers (NAV) to strike at the Royal Navy and defeat it in battle
Because of the advantages of Britain in the sea, this may take a few years and Operation Barbarossa may need to be put on hold. Meanwhile , your submarines should be employed to annihilate UK shipping.
====Operation Sealion====
Once the entire British mainland is captured, there is a small chance that the government will surrender. Otherwise, you will need to capture territory overseas to really finish the UK off.
It's important to note that the Soviets will object to the player invading Britain and will, at some point during the invasion, declare war on Germany. The player should either prepare for this and use minimal forces to invade, or ensure that the non-aggression pact can't yet be broken by the Soviets.
Or, stack your Interceptors and Tactical, (Nav's if you have them) in the Low Countries along with every canoe you can confiscate. You do not have to beat the Royal Navy, just force a landing with a superior will to absorb losses. Typically you will lose most of your fleet and a few transports (possibly a couple Inf divisions sunk) but you will have Wehrmacht on the shore. Use your 30 day supply to smash a port and ferry more troops as needed. Once you have a port GB's fate is sealed.
You can game the auto Soviet DoW by surrounding London with a single Corps without taking it. You will starve the Empire too of supplies. Call Italy to Arms and watch them steamroll Africa & ME solo while you finish putting Europe into a German headlock & prep to fight the Bear.
==Barbarossa 1941-1943==
===North Army Group===
North Army Group is tasked with the siege and capture of Leningrad after siezing seizing the Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia + Lithuania).
===Central Army Group===
===Middle East===
A German player may consider deploying their Afrika Korps to Iraq, Kuwait, and the Arabian Peninsula after achieving victory with Italy in Egypt. You can capture this region for Italy by attacking out of their existing territory in North Africa or for Germany by invading enemy territory from the sea. Be wary that infrastructure here is terribly low and capturing ports along the Mediterranean will be essential to keeping supplies flowing to your troops. Even so, the British will likely hound your convoys relentlessly so careful supply management is a necessity.
The reward for this territory alone is not incredibly high, save a couple oil resources, and the inevitable partisans will demand you provide a small garrison. That aside, further incursions (or alliances) with Turkey and/or Persia will open a path straight to the southern border of the USSR, a mere stone's throw away from the Baku oil fields.
===Battle of the Atlantic===
==Gaming the System==
'''Starting War Later:'''
If you do not use the First Vienna Award, the other countries won't do any national decisions. this This allows you to attack later and even conquer Poland and then the USSR without any attack from the Allies.
'''USA Ally:'''
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