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{{version|Their Finest Hour}}
 
{{version|Their Finest Hour}}
In [[Hearts of Iron 3]] it is one of the [[major powers]]. Germany is the leader of the [[Axis]], has a prime location, and a strong [[economy]]. 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 themselves before progressing onto more difficult nations.  
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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 experience themselves before progressing onto more difficult nations.  
  
 
==Technology==
 
==Technology==
 
While Germany can devote a considerable amount of leadership to research early in the game, it is not possible for Germany to research ''everything.''  
 
While Germany can devote a considerable amount of leadership to research early in the game, it is not possible for Germany to research ''everything.''  
  
# '''Infantry, Armor & Land Doctrines:''' An obvious priority for Germany, including regular Infantry as well as Light, Medium and Heavy armor. Nearly every land doctrine is worthy of research for Germany.
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# '''Infantry, Armor & Land Doctrines:''' An obvious priority for Germany is its land forces, which should be largely motorised/mechanised as well as plenty of Light and Medium Armour with Artillery and AT support. Doctrine wise, Germany should focus on Blitzkrieg/Schwerpunkt Armour upgrades as well as Infantry + Motorised doctrines. Combined Arms doctrine is a must.
# '''Industry:''' An essential focal point of Research, with just about every technology (excluding rockets) being a priority.  
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# '''Industry:''' An essential focal point of Research, with just about every technology being a priority.  
# '''Aircraft:''' Fighter airpower is essential to Germany's success, particularly in defense against Allied strategic bombing.  
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# '''Aircraft:''' Fighter airpower is essential to Germany's success, particularly in defense against Allied strategic bombing. Researching Close Air Support is advised as it shares the Light Aircraft practical with Interceptors. Medium bombers are also useful, although large aircraft are a heavy investment, some research may be required if the player desires to use Paratroopers.
# '''Naval technology:'''  Germany is fairly weak in naval technology, advanced players tend to go with Battleships & Destroyers if they wish to threaten the UK. Regular players can avoid naval technology entirely and have a perfectly challenging game.
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# '''Naval technology:'''  Germany is fairly weak in naval technology, advanced players tend to go with Battleships & Destroyers if they wish to threaten the UK. Otherwise, submarines are useful to threaten British shipping without engaging in direct naval combat with the significantly superior Royal Navy.
  
 
==Diplomacy==
 
==Diplomacy==
 
===Alliances===
 
===Alliances===
 
'''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:
 
'''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)
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* 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)
 
* Hungary (Early 1939)
 
* Romania (1940 after Bessarabia)
 
* Romania (1940 after Bessarabia)
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===Decisions===
 
===Decisions===
* '''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, England -5, Belgium -10, Holland -5. Threat to France will increase by 3. The re-occupation is required if you wish to do the Anschluss of Austria before 1938.
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* '''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.
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* '''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.
 
* '''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.
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* '''The First Vienna Award:''' Available in October 1938. This causes 5 dissent and increases Germany's threat by 20 for the world. This allows Germany to annex Czechoslovakia without a single shot fired. 13 total base IC is gained along with resources, and 1.6 leadership. Slovakia will become a puppet nation in the Axis, and if allied with Hungary they will get Ruthenia.
 
* '''The First Vienna Award:''' Available in October 1938. This causes 5 dissent and increases Germany's threat by 20 for the world. This allows Germany to annex Czechoslovakia without a single shot fired. 13 total base IC is gained along with resources, and 1.6 leadership. Slovakia will become a puppet nation in the Axis, and if allied with Hungary they will get Ruthenia.
  
* '''Claims on Memel:'''Available in January, 1939. Lithuania must not be in the Axis. Germany gains the port of Memel and 1 base IC.
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* '''Claims on Memel:'''Available in January, 1939. Lithuania must not be in the Axis. Germany gains the port of Memel and 1 base IC or more depending on how much the Lithuanian AI invests in Memel's industry.
  
 
* '''The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:''' Available in January, 1939. This decision will help prevent a preemptive Soviet attack. The game sets a threshold such that the Germany player must have more brigades on the border with the Soviet Union than they do to be able to declare war, according to the following time-table:
 
* '''The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:''' Available in January, 1939. This decision will help prevent a preemptive Soviet attack. The game sets a threshold such that the Germany player must have more brigades on the border with the Soviet Union than they do to be able to declare war, according to the following time-table:
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* '''Independent Croatia:''' Croatia will be created but the provinces it controls blocks Germany's access to the Mediterranean.
 
* '''Independent Croatia:''' Croatia will be created but the provinces it controls blocks Germany's access to the Mediterranean.
  
*'''Destiny:'''
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*'''Destiny:''' Available if you are at war with the Soviets. Gives similar effects to Blitzkrieg.
  
*'''Defense:'''
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*'''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 ===
 
=== Events ===
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===Industrial Production===
 
===Industrial Production===
Early in the game it is important to build up Germany's practicals.  The player should build a little of everything for their first few production runs.  For example, at a minimum: 1 interceptor, 1 tactical bomber, 1 infantry division, 1 armored division, 1 battleship, 1 destroyer or light cruiser, and some IC.  Extra IC is always useful for Germany and can be spent in a number of ways even if it is low on manpower.
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Early in the game it is important to build up Germany's practicals.  The player should build a little of everything for their first few production runs.  For example, at a minimum: 1 interceptor, 1 tactical bomber, 1 infantry division, 1 armoured division, 1 battleship, 1 destroyer or light cruiser, and some Industrial Capacity.  Extra IC is always useful for Germany and can be spent in a number of ways even if it is low on manpower.
  
 
==Military==
 
==Military==
 
Re-organizing the German military is particularly important to get the full benefit from Germany's great commanders. For player's who enjoy building a historical Order of Battle (OOB), see the [[Germany OOB guide]].  The German armed forces in 1936 start off with an insufficient command structure as historically some Army's and Army group's were not established yet.
 
Re-organizing the German military is particularly important to get the full benefit from Germany's great commanders. For player's who enjoy building a historical Order of Battle (OOB), see the [[Germany OOB guide]].  The German armed forces in 1936 start off with an insufficient command structure as historically some Army's and Army group's were not established yet.
 
===Army===
 
===Army===
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Germany should focus on modernising its existing army by upgrading all its infantry to motorised and by completing at least one armoured corps (Panzerkorps) before the invasion of Poland. The German advantage is speed: its army should focus around armoured spearheads, self-propelled artillery or rocket artillery, engineers and tank destroyers as these are all fast moving units which can encircle and destroy the old/slow armies of Europe. Special forces, particularly Paratroopers and Mountain divisions will be useful to strike at difficult to reach places including the Balkans and Scandinavia. After Poland falls, it is useful to try to upgrade all existing Light Armour units to Medium Armour before attacking France.
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Germany begins the 1936 campaign with its best Panzer leaders primarily assigned to I. Armeekorps, IV. Armeekorps. These are Germany's most valuable commanders and should be removed for future use in Panzer divisions. Germany has a large number of Old Guard commanders, some of who are quite valuable (considering traits, starting skill, and max skill potential), including: Hänicke, Bader, Dollman, von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels, von Berendt, Halm, Fischer H., Fleck, and Köstring.  Visit the complete listing of [[Germany military leaders]] for more details.
 
Germany begins the 1936 campaign with its best Panzer leaders primarily assigned to I. Armeekorps, IV. Armeekorps. These are Germany's most valuable commanders and should be removed for future use in Panzer divisions. Germany has a large number of Old Guard commanders, some of who are quite valuable (considering traits, starting skill, and max skill potential), including: Hänicke, Bader, Dollman, von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels, von Berendt, Halm, Fischer H., Fleck, and Köstring.  Visit the complete listing of [[Germany military leaders]] for more details.
  
If the player needs a guide for what to build leading up to the war, load the 39 scenario and build what Germany starts with.  The player should have no trouble building the 39 scenario’s army even while building your airforce, navy, and some IC.  This will use most of Germany's manpower and the player probably will not be able to start the war in May if they build that many units.  Just be sure to save enough manpower to mobilize (around a 100 with 3 year draft).  
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Be sure to save enough manpower to mobilize (around a 100 with 3 year draft).
  
 
===Navy===
 
===Navy===
 
Does Germany need a Navy?
 
Does Germany need a Navy?
  
# If the player's goal is to conquer all of Europe and the Soviet Union, then Germany does not need a Navy of any kind. In this approach, Germany can choose to build a very limited Navy with only submarines. The intention here would be solely to harass UK supply lines.  
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# If the player's goal is to conquer mainland Europe and the Soviet Union, then Germany does not need a Navy of any kind. Using this approach, Germany can choose to build a very limited Navy consisting only of submarines. The intention here would be solely to harass UK supply lines.  
# If the player's goal is to conquer the UK and the world beyond Europe, a powerful Navy is essential. Surface Area Groups (SAG) are the best fleet for Germany: a mix of Battleships with Destroyers for screens. A Germany that chooses this route should immediately research naval technologies and begin ship building from the beginning of the game (start with 2 to 3 Battlecruisers to gain practical). A successful naval engagement with the Royal Navy will require no less than 12 modern capital ships (3 BB and 9 DD is a good mix).  Ships do not upgrade their main armament, engines, or armor: thus it can be timed so that Battleship technology research is completed once the first set of Battlecruisers is done, which in turn raises practicals for Battleship construction. Dominance over the Royal Navy is a difficult but possible goal:
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# If the player's goal is to conquer the UK and the world beyond Europe, a powerful Navy is essential. Surface Area Groups (SAG) are the best type of fleet for Germany: a mix of Battleships with Destroyers for screens. A Germany that chooses this route should immediately research naval technologies and begin ship building from the beginning of the game (start with 2 to 3 Battlecruisers to gain practical). A successful naval engagement with the Royal Navy will require no less than 12 modern capital ships (3 BB and 9 DD is a good mix).  Ships do not upgrade their main armament, engines, or armor: thus it can be timed so that Battleship technology research is completed once the first set of Battlecruisers is done, which in turn raises practicals for Battleship construction. Dominance over the Royal Navy is a difficult but possible goal:
 
## Be patient in engaging the Royal Navy: it takes time to develop a strong Kriegsmarine even with the best planning
 
## Be patient in engaging the Royal Navy: it takes time to develop a strong Kriegsmarine even with the best planning
## Multiple fleets is essential, because any engagement will damage German ships, at which point immediate relief can be sent via a fleet on standby. This second fleet will typically end up sinking more Royal Navy ships than the first fleet could have done.
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## Multiple fleets are essential, because any engagement will damage German ships, at which point immediate relief can be sent via a fleet on standby. This second fleet will typically end up sinking more Royal Navy ships than the first fleet could have done.
 
## A Reserve fleet of Destroyers is essential: they tend to take heavy damage so rotating them out for fresh ships allows the fleet to get back into the battle much quicker.
 
## A Reserve fleet of Destroyers is essential: they tend to take heavy damage so rotating them out for fresh ships allows the fleet to get back into the battle much quicker.
 
## Air superiority is mandatory to prevent CAGs from ripping the German fleet to shreds.
 
## Air superiority is mandatory to prevent CAGs from ripping the German fleet to shreds.
 
## Lots of research, preferably at least 1 year ahead of time.
 
## Lots of research, preferably at least 1 year ahead of time.
 
## Try to find a fleet in port in range of your Naval and TAC bombers and Port Strike their naval base to sink the ships that were damaged by the Kriegsmarine.
 
## Try to find a fleet in port in range of your Naval and TAC bombers and Port Strike their naval base to sink the ships that were damaged by the Kriegsmarine.
## The Royal Navy is large, but doesn't have that many up-to-date naval vessels. Their outdated BB's will be easy prey for your more modern fleet, but their CV's are dangerous, and sinking them sets the RN back seriously.
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## The Royal Navy is large, but doesn't have that many up-to-date naval vessels. Their outdated BB's will be easy prey for your more modern fleet, but their CV's are dangerous, and sinking them sets the Royal Navy back seriously.
  
 
The best fleet leaders are: Raeder, Saalwächter, Warzecha, Guse, Densch, Förste, Marschall, Böhm, Carls. The best submarine leaders are: Dönitz, von Stosch, von Friedeburg, Wolf, Niemand, and Sobe.
 
The best fleet leaders are: Raeder, Saalwächter, Warzecha, Guse, Densch, Förste, Marschall, Böhm, Carls. The best submarine leaders are: Dönitz, von Stosch, von Friedeburg, Wolf, Niemand, and Sobe.
  
 
===Air Force===
 
===Air Force===
Since most players will use stacks of three aircraft, the players goal should be to have no less than 12 interceptor wings at the start of the war.  The player will need 3 stacks to intercept bombers from the UK and 1 stack to use for air supremacy in Poland.  This is minimum amount needed at the start of the war and the player should be building more when the war starts.  Since Germany starts the game with a fairly large amount of tactical bombers, it shouldn’t need a whole lot more.
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Since most players will use stacks of three aircraft, the players goal should be to have no less than 12 interceptor wings at the start of the war.  The player will need 3 stacks to intercept bombers from the UK and 1 stack to use for air supremacy in Poland.  This is the minimum amount needed at the start of the war and the player should be building more when the war starts.  Since Germany starts the game with a fairly large amount of tactical bombers, it shouldn’t need a whole lot more. Close Air Support should therefore be the next priority in construction.
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==War with the Allies==
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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 seizing their colonial assets, and to defeat the Soviet Union by 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.
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==Invasion of Poland 1939==
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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 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.
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===The Siegfried Line===
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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.
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==Western Theatre 1940-1941==
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===Denmark/Norway===
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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 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.
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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 seize Iceland + Greenland. There's little you can do about this without naval superiority in the North Sea.
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===Invasion of the Low Countries===
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To get to France, it is physically inevitable that the player will declare war on The Netherlands and Belgium. This also grants Germany a series of Ports and Airfields from which to strike at the UK.
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The Netherlands can be conquered in a matter of days. By now you should have left a small force guarding the Soviet border, and moved your Panzer units over to the West. Spearhead for the victory points with your armour and mop up with any remaining infantry. All your air units should be used to a) gain air superiority and b) strike at Dutch airbases/ground troops. You should also invade Luxembourg at around this point. Capture it with a single corps.
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For Belgium, rinse and repeat. Keep your armour close to the coast where the ground is flat, while your infantry move into the forested region of Liege. French troops will probably move into Belgium, so it's important to cross the Meuse river as soon as possible. With air superiority and tank superiority you should quickly push them back.
  
==War==
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===Invasion of France===
Historically, leading war is an essential part of Nazi German foreign politics. While you could lower your neutrality low enough to go to war as early as the end of '37, you should consider waiting not only to 1939, but to 1940. In 1940, the democratic powers outside the allies (mainly the United States) have an election. If you hold back aggression, support the German-American Bund via spies long enough and diplomatically influence the US, this industrial super power could join the Axis, practically granting you victory as no one is there to stop Japan and the allies miss important troops on D-Day, on the Invasion of Italy or in the North African war. The following strategies will, if not stated otherwise, an allied USA from 1941 onwards. Note the US could join a bit sooner, a bit later or not at all. This mainly depends on Japan.
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Hitler anticipated that he would lose 1 million soldiers in the invasion of France. In reality, the French army were vastly underprepared for an armoured assault on multiple fronts.  
===War in Europe===
 
====Albania====
 
====Austria====
 
Just annex Austria. There is nearly no way around it. War with Austria to take what you could get for free makes no sense and just wastes both men and time.
 
====Belgium====
 
As always, Belgium is just the helpless victim that gets overrolled for the sake of it by Germany. Belgium, either as an ally or a war target, is the best way for land troops into France, especially since it is a lot closer to Paris than the direct border to France. Note that you should attack them with a Blitzkrieg and prevent them from joining the allies prior via diplomatic means (it is actually very easy to establish the National Socialists as government via espionage, but you could also just influence them if you do not want to wait for the 1940 elections), because if they do, there is a chance that France or even the UK will garrison troops there.
 
====Bulgaria====
 
====Czechoslovakia====
 
What applies for Austria applies for Czechoslovakia. But here, timing of the events that trigger the step by step taking of the country is decisive. Watch yourself, or the Allies will declare war on YOU.
 
====Denmark====
 
Denmark is the connection between Scandinavia (specifically Sweden) and Europe (primarily you). Also it has the region that is used to block off the Baltic Sea-North Sea connection. It is tactically a high value target. It blocks Britain to deliver naval help to Poland, it blocks the Soviet Union's Baltic Fleet from leaving the Baltic Sea. Also, the fact that several waterways split the islands and the peninsula from each other makes the country easier to defend (also bear that in mind when invading Denmark). Denmark is a so unnecessary target from bounty standards that just inviting the country into the Axis will make no difference at all.
 
====Estonia====
 
====Finland====
 
You should not go to war with Finland at all, because they can be valuable partners against the USSR. But if you want to go there anyway, first invade Sweden and/or Norway, then go for a land invasion. Supplies into Finland are not the nicest of things, but should be offpullable if coming via Scandinavian neighbours. An invasion from the USSR is of course also possible, but that would require a very interesting order of targets to say the least.
 
====France====
 
France, always allied member, is the first one you would want to eliminate from the game. If you reach Paris, this will mostly make France surrender and you can not only take most of northern France without even going there once, but also create Vichy France in the south of the country. Vichy France, because of its extensive parts of formerly French colonies, is an interesting Axis Power to consider.
 
France has one problem: Their in comparison to the rest of Europe very good defenses. Running into the Maginot Line, the French army stacks along the French-German border, will prove high ineffective. Invading the country over Belgium is the best option. If you do not want to that (there is near to no reason not to), you could try to decimate the French with air strikes before crossing the border. Avoid attacking at provinces with border rivers. They are nearly impossible to take.
 
====Greece====
 
====Hungary====
 
====Ireland====
 
====Italy====
 
It is getting real now. Betraying your de facto always ally can only happen if you decline them entrance into the Axis Powers always. Italy has a pretty strong army (note it will be weaker if they are at war with Britain in their colonies). Attacking over Yugoslavia or Vichy France with armor divisions to avoid mountains could be a good call. Your infantry can move over Switzerland and Austria. Cutting the north western part of Italy off supplies from Rome will give you quick advance into the peninsula itself from France. The Italian-Yugoslav border is better protected, so try to only put distraction or the least possible guards there. Note that Italy has islands off the Greek and Turkish coast, as well as Sardinia, Sicily and its colonies, South Etruria, Eritrea and Libya. It also is nearly guaranteed to either own Ethiopia or have a puppet regime there.
 
====Latvia====
 
====Lithuania====
 
====Luxembourg====
 
====Nationalist Spain====
 
Spain has mountains in the north and the south, so avoid armor divisions there. Just rush for important cities, as their colonies will not matter enough for them not to surrender mostly.
 
====Netherlands====
 
The Netherlands could be used as an allied bridgehead if you make it stay neutral.  Occupying it or not makes barely a difference.
 
====Norway====
 
The invasion of Norway is pretty simple as it has nearly no military force. Just invade a naval base first. And keep the supply road for eventual new troops safe from the British. If time does not matter to you, invading Norway via Sweden is the much better and much safer idea while the UK still exists.
 
====Poland====
 
War with Poland is pretty easy. Move onward, move onward and move onward some more. There is nearly nothing you have to watch here, except maybe that the Poles will be fairly aggressive with your pocket east of Danzig, so you may want to send some additional men there before the invasion begins. You may want to secure the Danzig corridor first to keep this pocket supplied.  
 
  
When invading Poland, mass your tanks, motorized infantry and perhaps even cavalry and practice Blitzkrieg tactics here. Any lessons you learn will come in handy in France and the Soviet Union. Just push through, advance down the open plains, and take victory points as fast as you can. Be careful so your units aren't cut off or run out of supply, though this is unlikely given how superior you are to the Poles and how fast the war is most likely going to be won.
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Once you've conquered Belgium, you should deploy your armour near the sea and amass plenty of motorised infantry near the border with Luxembourg. Use your armour to breakthrough towards Dunkerque and Calais to prevent a British counter-attack, while at the same time attacking towards Sedan through the Ardennes. Use the planning screen to highlight VPs and the quickest routes to them. Paris is your key objective.  
====Portugal====
 
A Poland-style war again. Just crush it from all sides (maybe except a naval invasion, that just wastes troops) and go to Lissabon If Spain is neutral or allied/comintern, you have no choice but to invade by sea. If so, try to pull off two different invasion points because that will pull the already small Portuguese forces apart.
 
====Republican Spain====
 
Spain has mountains in the north and the south, so avoid armor divisions there. Just rush for important cities, as their colonies will not matter enough for them not to surrender mostly.
 
====Romania====
 
====Sweden====
 
Sweden is vast and has few divisions, but the AI may train and position them well for winter combat. Both an invasion from Norway and Denmark (as well as by sea and Finland, of course) are possible. Try a small naval invasion to break the defenses at the waterstreet to Denmark from behind, then move your troops in from Denmark.
 
====Switzerland====
 
Also a pretty easy war, Switzerland has the special trait of its mountains. Use no armor (Just garrison armor troops there afterwards to rush into Vichy France to cut off the Italians (see Vichy France), prefer Infantry.
 
====United Kingdom====
 
====Union of Socialist Soviet Republics====
 
The clash of totalitarian ideologies that is the Germany-Soviet Union war is the defining event of most HoI3 games. These nations are both geared for total war with the support of the best laws, will fight to the death because of game rules, and by 1939 have a direct, broad land connection. Defeating the USSR is also a matter of national survival for Germany, as peace can rarely be maintained beyond 1942.
 
  
There are several points the German player must be aware of before attempting to purge bolshevism from the continent:
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Use the Luftwaffe to strike at French airfields and deny them the air, while striking at logistics around the Maginot line; this will prevent those armies moving to support the Northern front. The key is to overwhelm the French defences before they get time to react. As soon as you've taken Calais, prepare a Level 10 Radar construction there to spy on the British. After Paris falls the Vichy France event will trigger. Now you can utilise the bases secured in France to strike against the UK.
  
# While backward technologically with poor Leadership for its size, the USSR is entirely resource self-sufficient and the overwhelming majority of these stores are located far from the European border. The USSR can and will fuel an enormous amount of Industrial Capacity if left alone, and will even begin to break early trade agreements with Germany to do so. Also, the Soviets cannot run out of manpower in normal game play.
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===The Battle of Britain===
# When Germany attacks, the USSR will receive a number of progressive large bonuses to its manpower and other aspects of its war machine. Great Patriotic War in particular confers +2000.0 manpower, which is more than Germany starts the war with.
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The Battle of Britain, fought in 1940, was basically a fight for air supremacy in preparation of a naval invasion of Britain. Germany lost the Battle of Britain and didn't have a navy capable of the crossing even if they had have won. But in Hearts of Iron the player has a chance to change history. Winning the "Battle" will require a lot of interceptor fighters and naval bombers as well as a semi-decent navy. Your goal is to secure the Channel by establishing air superiority and driving the Royal Navy back to ports for repairs. This can be done by the following:
# The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (non-agression Pact) trades roughly 18 months of (mostly) guaranteed non-aggression for being several hundred miles further from Moscow. You can opt to not offer it, but most players consider this to be an exploit as a USSR attack is not guaranteed if you do not seal the Pact. That said, extremely low or non-existent 1940 Soviet neutrality will risk war.
 
# Failure to adequately garrison the polish border after the non-agression pact can lead to a declaration of war from the Soviet Union declaring while you are in the middle of Fall Gelb. To avoid this disastrous outcome, you need to garrison the German-Russian border in 1940 with at least 50% of the number of brigades the soviets have deployed across the border. This drops towards parity in 1941, but by then you had better be preparing for war yourself.
 
# Whether by the non-agression pact decay, german success against Great Britain, or the general loss of neutrality and extreme threat imposed on the USSR by Germany and Japan's actions, the Soviet Union will eventually launch its own invasion of the Reich, most likely some time in 1942. Take care of business on Eurasia before pursuing wars in the Atlantic.  
 
# Be advised that there is a particular series of events that can make the USSR far more dangerous in Their Finest Hour. The USSR draws threat from both Germany and Japan, as it "borders" both in close proximity. If Japanese declarations of war and German events move on an aggressive schedule, the USSR can lose enough neutrality to be able to declare its own local wars as early as mid-1939. A human USSR player in MP will almost certainly do this. If an AI UK then decides to play world policeman and declare war on the USSR, that will put the USSR on a PERMANENT total war footing versus the Allies, as much as two years before Barbarossa. Unfortunately, the enraged bear will still want to fight you eventually...
 
  
The actual war against the USSR must be pursued on the historical Blitzkrieg idea: End it swiftly. German resources, manpower and fuel stocks will eventually be ground down and the Soviets (who have none of those problems) will break you. Winning quickly involves three principles:
+
#Have a large force of interceptors set to air superiority mission over Britain itself
 +
#Use any bomber forces to hit runways in south England and Port Strike missions
 +
#Use Naval Bombers (NAV) to strike at the Royal Navy and defeat it in battle
  
# Prioritize the huge Stalinist military machine that's next door. All your frontline forces must be sent to the Eastern Front, save perhaps an Afrika Korps and a mobile reserve behind Garrison troops in France. Fighting other wars now is a mistake, garrisoning the Reich with useful forces is a mistake. Either you beat the USSR swiftly or you die, it's just a matter of date.
+
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.
# Envelop and destroy the Red Army. The only way to cause the Soviet war machine significant pain is if you destroy units entirely. This both requires complete unit rebuilds instead of just drawing on the bottomless USSR reinforcement pool, and clears the road to the important cities of the Soviet Union. Encircle, destroy, repeat.
 
# Use your tech advantage and bonuses to push for the 3 big targets. Between your better starting tech, greater Leadership and game bonuses, you will never be stronger versus the Soviets than in that first summer of 1941. Own the skies, crush the outmatched first generation of soviet divisions and take Leningrad, Moscow and the caspian oilfields. Losing focus on objective was the main reason for the fail of the historic Barbarossa, both in 1941 and Case Blue (Stalingrad). Plot out your advance lines and force distributions and stick to them.
 
====Vichy France====
 
On the other hand, Vichy France could join the allies. This makes no sense, both in historical as in military sense, as you will just overroll them. Note that, if you are allied to Italy (which mostly will be the case), they will take the South East of the country. The only naval base on the southern French coast is Marseilles. You should rush Armor divisions there to secure that position. If you took Switzerland and have troops garrisoned there, this will be no problem. Important cities you can take from Vichy France are Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseilles, but it is nearly impossible to trigger war with them on your own.
 
====Yugoslavia====
 
Yugoslavia is an easy call, but an important land bridge. It can connect you to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, mostly Italian-occupied Albania and Greece, making Yugoslavia an important crossroads in South Europe. Victory over Yugoslavia will grant you the ability to create a puppet in Croatia. The war style is nearly the same as Poland, you are fighting an inferior army with nearly no troop restrictions on your own side. You even have no Danzig corridor to protect. Just make sure Yugoslavia does not stay neutral. It could be deadly to an Axis Power Italy, Hungary or even you in the late game.
 
  
===War in Africa===
+
====Operation Sealion====
====Ethiopia====
+
The invasion of Britain will require control of the Channel via the means described above. Landings can be made virtually anywhere, although the AI usually leaves Wales quite unattended. Land with Marines and/or Paratroopers and then have plenty of armoured divisions ready to transport into the newly captured Port(s). Alternatively, invade Ireland and use it as a stepping-stone.
====European Assets in Africa====
 
=====Belgian Assets=====
 
======The Congo======
 
The Congo (modern-day Zaïre) is a fairly simple area to conquer. The entire area will be what is left of Belgium after its fall in Europe. It has 3 Victory Points in 3 territories: Boma (which contains a port and airfield), Léopoldville, and Élisabethville. The airfield in Boma is very useful for launching more attacks in Africa. The port is useful for pulling in supplies to local forces in Africa. But the chief reason to take the Congo is the Uranium in Élisabethville which gives a bonus of 40% to Nuclear Research.
 
  
Dropping in garrisons to hold Buma and Élisabethville would be a very smart strategy to prevent Allied South Africa from claiming the Uranium.
+
Defeating the British Army will require perseverance especially as they tend to get holed up in difficult territory up in Scotland. Keep a vigilant look out for transports bringing troops from Africa or India - these will need to be sunk before they get a chance to land. If you have enough bombers you should be able to sink a lot of British warships. But bear in mind this will have crippled your IC to the point where you may have only the starting army to invade with and Barbarossa will be nigh impossible for at least a year or two. It will also be nigh inevitable as capturing London automatically triggers a declaration of war by the USSR.
=====French/Vichy Assets=====
 
France/Vichy owns a large portion of Africa, most of which is impassable. There are very few resources and no strategic resources owned by France/Vichy. The most valuable reason to invade French/Vichy Africa is the strategic value and the chance to draw in the UK and US into traps.
 
======North Africa======
 
The northern coast of Africa in what is now Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco is some of the only territory that has a passable infrastructure. In fact, Tan Tan, which borders Spanish Morocco, is impassable. The stretch from Zarzis (Tunisia) to Goulimine (Morocco) is owned entirely by France (and then Vichy, post-Fall of France). Historically, the Americans invaded in Casablanca. This can occur in the game as the Allies sometimes declare war on Vichy, or if you conquer Vichy. The instinctive reaction would be to push them back to the Atlantic, however, you should let them make their way to near Oran before taking back Casablanca. Then, no matter how many troops they have, they can be easily defeated as long as you hold Oran, Casablanca, and Tamanar as you will cut off supply. Then push through and encircle them with Mountain Infantry and Anti-Tank Weapons.
 
  
There is a little bit of Metal and Rare Minerals, but it's nothing to write home about and, unless every single mineral and steel beam is imperative to your war effort, it's not worth invading for the resources. The only valuable reason to take North Africa is to draw the US and UK into a trap (as mentioned in the previous paragraph).
+
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.
======Sub-Saharan Africa======
 
  
====Liberia====
+
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.
====South Africa====
 
  
===War in Asia===
+
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.
====Afghanistan====
 
====Bhutan====
 
====Communist China====
 
====European Assets in Asia====
 
====Guangxi Clique====
 
====Iraq====
 
====Japan====
 
====Manchukuo====
 
====Mongolia====
 
====Nationalist China====
 
====Nepal====
 
====Oman====
 
====Persia====
 
====Philippines====
 
====Saudi Arabia====
 
====Shanxi====
 
====Siam====
 
====Sinkiang====
 
====Tannu Tuva====
 
====Tibet====
 
====Turkey====
 
====Xibei San Ma====
 
====Yemen====
 
====Yunnan====
 
  
===War in North America===
+
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.
====Canada====
 
====Costa Rica====
 
====Cuba====
 
====Dominican Republic====
 
====El Salvador====
 
====Guatemala====
 
====Haiti====
 
====Honduras====
 
====Mexico====
 
====Nicaragua====
 
====Panama====
 
====United States of America====
 
  
===War in South America===
+
==Barbarossa 1941-1943==
Every country in South America has its independence guarunteed by the United States. A declaration of war against any of them will bring the USA into the war. Delay attacking any of these nations until the USA is already in the war.
+
Operation Barbarossa, or the invasion of the USSR, is by far what the German industrial effort is gearing up for and started historically in late 1941. The invasion was split into three distinct army groups each with an objective to capture: Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad respectively. The war claimed millions of lives on both sides as the huge Soviet army fought to defend on a front from Finland to the Caucasus against overwhelming German air power and armoured divisions. The attack was ultimately repulsed only miles from each of the key objectives, so with a little more cunning the player should be able to force a "bitter peace".
  
====Argentina====
+
For advice on a German OOB see here.
====Bolivia====
 
====Brazil====
 
====Chile====
 
====Colombia====
 
====Ecuador====
 
====Paraguay====
 
====Peru====
 
====Uruguay====
 
====Venezuela====
 
  
===War in Oceania and the Pacific===
+
===North Army Group===
====Australia====
+
North Army Group is tasked with the siege and capture of Leningrad after seizing the Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia + Lithuania).
{| class="wikitable floatright" | style="font-size: 85%;"
 
! Territory
 
! VPs
 
! Port
 
! Airfield
 
|-
 
| Perth
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Adelaide
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Melbourne
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Canberra
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Sydney
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 3
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Newcastle
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Brisbane
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Townsville
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Darwin
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Port Moresby
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Lae
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Rabaul
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Buin
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Guadalcanal
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 2
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
! Total
 
! style="text-align:right;" | 22
 
!
 
 
|}
 
If your goal is to defeat Australia, the trick is to do it quickly. Japan, if left unopposed by the United Kingdom, will roll in and obliterate Australia quickly. Considering timelines and how difficult it would be to conquer the Mediterranean, Middle East, and India before the Japanese land in Australia and cut you off from complete domination of Australia, it would be best to accomplish this goal using Airborne.
 
  
There are 22 victory points contained in 14 territories (as noted in the table to the right). In order to minimize supply losses, it's best to capture territories with a port.
+
===Central Army Group===
 +
Central Army Group will advance through Minsk and Smolensk with its objective to capture Moscow, the Soviet capital.
  
First, capture Port Moresby, Lae, Rabaul, Buin, and Guadalcanal. These territories are not connected to mainland Australia so they will be easier to capture and then abandon with minimal chance of recapture by Australia.
+
===South Army Group===
 +
South Army Group's objective is the oil fields of Baku in Azerbaijan. To do this it will need to advance through Ukraine and the Crimea and defeat Russian forces at Stalingrad.
  
Next, use Port Moresby as a launching point. If you've managed to sneak a transport to the Pacific, you can use it to transport airborne troops to cities that have a port and an airfield so that you can push more paratroopers into victory points.
+
==Minor Theatres==
 +
===Baltics===
  
Australia starts with a national unity of 80%. If Australia raises it's National Unity and somehow manages to avoid a Fractured government, you can expect to face a National Unity of about 85%. This means that in order to force a surrender, you'll need to capture 85% of the Victory Points. If the National Unity is lower, you can capture fewer VPs. At 85%, you need 19 VPs. The most difficult VPs to capture using the Airborne method would be Perth and Adelaide. Those total 3 VPs, the 3 you won't need to defeat Australia given an 85% National Unity.
+
The Baltic states contain the nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The player may choose to invade the Baltic States shortly after the capture of Poland, or they can wait until Operation Barbarossa. Controlling the Baltic States will give Germany access to several ports and even a few airbases which can aid in the attack on Moscow.
  
The Australian Army isn't very advanced. German Airborne will be no match for Australian Infantry. If Australia has any Armor (or Light Armor), surround and encircle them.
+
===North Africa===
 +
While this front isn't as important, it should be noted that unless you help the Italians fight the Brits and win at El Alamein, their southern flank is open and could cause a number of problems later on. Attempt to take some African Colonies for yourself, possibly Sudan or Egypt.
  
Defeating Australia isn't difficult. The difficult part of Australia is keeping Australia as conquered territory. Uprisings are a real pain and given the size, it's very inconvenient in keeping Australia free of uprisings as well as keeping France and Poland free of uprisings. If you choose to conquer Australia, maintain four airborne divisions: 1 in Perth, 1 in Geelong, 1 in Brisbane, and 1 in Darwin. You only need one transport plane and simply move it around to airborne into any uprisings.
+
===Middle East===
  
Given that Australia has a decent navy (that you should avoid when they are your enemy), your Airborne divisions are better used to disrupt Soviet supply lines, and that you gain almost nothing by conquering Australia, it would be best to puppet Australia. The Australian Navy can sink unescorted Allied and Soviet convoys nearby. Australia as a puppet alleviates Japan of attacking Australia so it can focus on the United States and Soviet Union, creates an excellent launch point to defeat New Zealand, and creates an extra distraction for the United States once it joins the war.
+
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.
====European Assets in Oceania and the Pacific====
 
====New Zealand====
 
{| class="wikitable floatright" | style="font-size: 85%;"
 
! Territory
 
! VPs
 
! Port
 
! Airfield
 
|-
 
| Auckland
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Wellington
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
|-
 
| Christchurch
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
| Dunedin
 
| style="text-align:right;" | 1
 
| style="text-align:center;" | Yes
 
| style="text-align:center;" | No
 
|-
 
! Total
 
! style="text-align:right;" | 4
 
!
 
 
|}
 
The defeat of New Zealand is easily accomplished once you've defeated Australia. Whatever strategy you used in Australia will be effective in New Zealand. In fact it'll be easier. Airborne invade Auckland and Wellington at the same time. Wellington has an airfield and can be used airborne assault Christchurch. Without an airfield in Christchurch and the lack of infrastructure in Timaru, you will either need to build an airfield in Christchurch or naval invade Dunedin. The airfield method is far simpler.
 
  
There are only 4 victory points shown in the table on the right. New Zealand starts with a National Unity of 80%. Odds are, their National Unity cannot be lowered to below 75% in time for the invasion, so you will need to capture all 4 victory points.
+
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.
  
Puppet New Zealand. Do not conquer. New Zealand has nothing to offer and can only be a thorn in your side in terms or preventing uprisings.
+
===Battle of the Atlantic===
  
 
==Gaming the System==
 
==Gaming the System==
'''Start war late:'''
+
'''Starting War Later:'''
if you do not use the first vienna award, the other countries won't do any national decisions. this allows you to attack later and even conquer poland and then the USSR without any attack from the Allies.
+
If you do not use the First Vienna Award, the other countries won't do any national decisions. This allows you to attack later and even conquer Poland and then the USSR without any attack from the Allies.
  
 +
'''USA Ally:'''
 +
Historically, aggressive war is an essential part of German foreign politics, but you should consider waiting until 1940 for the US election. If you hold back aggression, support the German-American Bund via spies and diplomatically influence the US, it is possible for them to join the Axis, practically granting you victory as no one is there to stop Japan and the Allies miss important troops on D-Day, during the Invasion of Italy and in the North African war.
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==

Latest revision as of 21:04, 6 April 2017

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 experience themselves before progressing onto more difficult nations.

Technology

While Germany can devote a considerable amount of leadership to research early in the game, it is not possible for Germany to research everything.

  1. Infantry, Armor & Land Doctrines: An obvious priority for Germany is its land forces, which should be largely motorised/mechanised as well as plenty of Light and Medium Armour with Artillery and AT support. Doctrine wise, Germany should focus on Blitzkrieg/Schwerpunkt Armour upgrades as well as Infantry + Motorised doctrines. Combined Arms doctrine is a must.
  2. Industry: An essential focal point of Research, with just about every technology being a priority.
  3. Aircraft: Fighter airpower is essential to Germany's success, particularly in defense against Allied strategic bombing. Researching Close Air Support is advised as it shares the Light Aircraft practical with Interceptors. Medium bombers are also useful, although large aircraft are a heavy investment, some research may be required if the player desires to use Paratroopers.
  4. Naval technology: Germany is fairly weak in naval technology, advanced players tend to go with Battleships & Destroyers if they wish to threaten the UK. Otherwise, submarines are useful to threaten British shipping without engaging in direct naval combat with the significantly superior Royal Navy.

Diplomacy

Alliances

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)
  • Finland (1940 after Winter War)
  • Bulgaria (1940 after Constanta)
  • Siam (after the "Fate of France" event)
  • Guangxi Clique & Yunnan (Shortly after Japan defeats China)

Notable possible Allies, when using influence and raising threat on the Allies include:

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Persia
  • Afghanistan
  • Nationalist Spain
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Yugoslavia (High neutrality makes this unlikely: can join during war against the USSR when threat is high enough)
  • Argentina (High neutrality makes this unlikely)
  • Chile (High neutrality makes this unlikely)

Nations that will not join without specific factors:

  • Switzerland (Never)
  • Sweden (After the defeat of the USSR)
  • Portugal (requires Nationalist Spain to be in the Axis)
  • Vichy (Requires Allied DOW)
  • Turkey (Requires German ownership of Soviet border provinces and high USSR threat)

Decisions

  • 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.
  • Treaty of Munich: Available in January 1938. This causes 5 dissent and a large 15 threat gain for Germany. While this does not result in any immediate gains for Germany (only 3 base IC and minor resource and leadership gains), it paves the way for the eventual annexation of Czechoslovakia.
  • The First Vienna Award: Available in October 1938. This causes 5 dissent and increases Germany's threat by 20 for the world. This allows Germany to annex Czechoslovakia without a single shot fired. 13 total base IC is gained along with resources, and 1.6 leadership. Slovakia will become a puppet nation in the Axis, and if allied with Hungary they will get Ruthenia.
  • Claims on Memel:Available in January, 1939. Lithuania must not be in the Axis. Germany gains the port of Memel and 1 base IC or more depending on how much the Lithuanian AI invests in Memel's industry.
  • The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Available in January, 1939. This decision will help prevent a preemptive Soviet attack. The game sets a threshold such that the Germany player must have more brigades on the border with the Soviet Union than they do to be able to declare war, according to the following time-table:
    • June 1940 to December 1940: 200% needed (e.g. Germany must have two times as many brigades as the Soviet Union on the border)
    • January 1941 to June 1941: 100% needed
    • July 1941 - December 1942: 50% needed
    • January 1942: Can break at any time

Furthermore, this event provides significant benefit to the Soviet Union by triggering the Soviet ability to run the decision of the Winter War against Finland, and the annexation of the Baltic states.

  • Danzig or War: Available in May, 1939. This decision will begin WW2. This event will not fire if you are at war.
  • Blitzkrieg: Improves unit speed and re-organization gain rate.
  • 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

  • The Vienna Dictate: Occurs in June, 1940, Germany has two options:
    • Force Romanian acceptance: Lose 5 neutrality. Hungary becomes significantly more powerful. Romania's relation with the Axis severely worsen if Hungary is in the Axis.
    • Deny the Hungarian Request: Apparently no in-game effect aside from slight improvement in Relations with Romania.

Ministers

  • Armaments minister Hjalmar Schacht provides a useful +10% IC bonus.
  • Ministers of Security offers several good choices, starting with the Man of the People (Goebbels: +5% leadership), or the Crime Fighter (Diels, +10% counter espionage).
  • Head of Intelligence Wilhelm Frick provides a +5% espionage bonus as Head of Intelligence (thus Germany can have a +10% bonus with Hitler).
  • Chief of Staff is unimportant in 1936, but should be revisited in 1939.
  • Chief of the Army has Werner von Blomberg, saving -10% on supply consumption.

Intelligence

The primary goal in internal espionage for Germany is to build up the internal spy system. As Germany's threat level increases the player will get increasing research penalties from enemy spies. To avoid this have at least 10 spies in place and counter espionage selected.

There is no requirement for Germany to have spies abroad, however several benefits can be gained from doing so.

  • Spies in England and France can be used to increase their threat which in turn will delay Allied nations joining their side too early in the war (e.g. an unattended Belgium and Netherlands may join the Allies shortly after war with Poland). Alternatively, lowering the national unity of France will cause it to collapse more quickly, which has the net effect of saving German manpower.
  • Spies in the USA can be used to "support our party", which if done as early as 1936, will have the effect of bringing the American-Deutsch bund into power in USA in the 1940 elections. Coupled with diplomatic influence starting in 1936, an Axis USA, or at least a neutral USA, is possible.

Economy

Trading

From 1936 on Germany can get crude oil from the United States, Persia, and Venezuela, if the player feels the need to trade for it. The Soviet Union and the United States are excellent suppliers of metals and rares. It is best to pick one main supplier and get all of Germany's trade goods from them. This way the player gets the best prices. The United States can be effectively kept out of the war just by improving relations by trading with them. Supplies can be sold to the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and France. Just make sure to cancel any trade deals that expose Germany's convoys before the war starts unless the player wants to continually rebuild them. Huge stockpiles of resources are generally not needed because once the war starts Germany can get everything it needs from Europe.

Industrial Production

Early in the game it is important to build up Germany's practicals. The player should build a little of everything for their first few production runs. For example, at a minimum: 1 interceptor, 1 tactical bomber, 1 infantry division, 1 armoured division, 1 battleship, 1 destroyer or light cruiser, and some Industrial Capacity. Extra IC is always useful for Germany and can be spent in a number of ways even if it is low on manpower.

Military

Re-organizing the German military is particularly important to get the full benefit from Germany's great commanders. For player's who enjoy building a historical Order of Battle (OOB), see the Germany OOB guide. The German armed forces in 1936 start off with an insufficient command structure as historically some Army's and Army group's were not established yet.

Army

Germany should focus on modernising its existing army by upgrading all its infantry to motorised and by completing at least one armoured corps (Panzerkorps) before the invasion of Poland. The German advantage is speed: its army should focus around armoured spearheads, self-propelled artillery or rocket artillery, engineers and tank destroyers as these are all fast moving units which can encircle and destroy the old/slow armies of Europe. Special forces, particularly Paratroopers and Mountain divisions will be useful to strike at difficult to reach places including the Balkans and Scandinavia. After Poland falls, it is useful to try to upgrade all existing Light Armour units to Medium Armour before attacking France.

Germany begins the 1936 campaign with its best Panzer leaders primarily assigned to I. Armeekorps, IV. Armeekorps. These are Germany's most valuable commanders and should be removed for future use in Panzer divisions. Germany has a large number of Old Guard commanders, some of who are quite valuable (considering traits, starting skill, and max skill potential), including: Hänicke, Bader, Dollman, von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels, von Berendt, Halm, Fischer H., Fleck, and Köstring. Visit the complete listing of Germany military leaders for more details.

Be sure to save enough manpower to mobilize (around a 100 with 3 year draft).

Navy

Does Germany need a Navy?

  1. If the player's goal is to conquer mainland Europe and the Soviet Union, then Germany does not need a Navy of any kind. Using this approach, Germany can choose to build a very limited Navy consisting only of submarines. The intention here would be solely to harass UK supply lines.
  2. If the player's goal is to conquer the UK and the world beyond Europe, a powerful Navy is essential. Surface Area Groups (SAG) are the best type of fleet for Germany: a mix of Battleships with Destroyers for screens. A Germany that chooses this route should immediately research naval technologies and begin ship building from the beginning of the game (start with 2 to 3 Battlecruisers to gain practical). A successful naval engagement with the Royal Navy will require no less than 12 modern capital ships (3 BB and 9 DD is a good mix). Ships do not upgrade their main armament, engines, or armor: thus it can be timed so that Battleship technology research is completed once the first set of Battlecruisers is done, which in turn raises practicals for Battleship construction. Dominance over the Royal Navy is a difficult but possible goal:
    1. Be patient in engaging the Royal Navy: it takes time to develop a strong Kriegsmarine even with the best planning
    2. Multiple fleets are essential, because any engagement will damage German ships, at which point immediate relief can be sent via a fleet on standby. This second fleet will typically end up sinking more Royal Navy ships than the first fleet could have done.
    3. A Reserve fleet of Destroyers is essential: they tend to take heavy damage so rotating them out for fresh ships allows the fleet to get back into the battle much quicker.
    4. Air superiority is mandatory to prevent CAGs from ripping the German fleet to shreds.
    5. Lots of research, preferably at least 1 year ahead of time.
    6. Try to find a fleet in port in range of your Naval and TAC bombers and Port Strike their naval base to sink the ships that were damaged by the Kriegsmarine.
    7. The Royal Navy is large, but doesn't have that many up-to-date naval vessels. Their outdated BB's will be easy prey for your more modern fleet, but their CV's are dangerous, and sinking them sets the Royal Navy back seriously.

The best fleet leaders are: Raeder, Saalwächter, Warzecha, Guse, Densch, Förste, Marschall, Böhm, Carls. The best submarine leaders are: Dönitz, von Stosch, von Friedeburg, Wolf, Niemand, and Sobe.

Air Force

Since most players will use stacks of three aircraft, the players goal should be to have no less than 12 interceptor wings at the start of the war. The player will need 3 stacks to intercept bombers from the UK and 1 stack to use for air supremacy in Poland. This is the minimum amount needed at the start of the war and the player should be building more when the war starts. Since Germany starts the game with a fairly large amount of tactical bombers, it shouldn’t need a whole lot more. Close Air Support should therefore be the next priority in construction.

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 seizing their colonial assets, and to defeat the Soviet Union by 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 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/Norway

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 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 seize Iceland + Greenland. There's little you can do about this without naval superiority in the North Sea.

Invasion of the Low Countries

To get to France, it is physically inevitable that the player will declare war on The Netherlands and Belgium. This also grants Germany a series of Ports and Airfields from which to strike at the UK.

The Netherlands can be conquered in a matter of days. By now you should have left a small force guarding the Soviet border, and moved your Panzer units over to the West. Spearhead for the victory points with your armour and mop up with any remaining infantry. All your air units should be used to a) gain air superiority and b) strike at Dutch airbases/ground troops. You should also invade Luxembourg at around this point. Capture it with a single corps.

For Belgium, rinse and repeat. Keep your armour close to the coast where the ground is flat, while your infantry move into the forested region of Liege. French troops will probably move into Belgium, so it's important to cross the Meuse river as soon as possible. With air superiority and tank superiority you should quickly push them back.

Invasion of France

Hitler anticipated that he would lose 1 million soldiers in the invasion of France. In reality, the French army were vastly underprepared for an armoured assault on multiple fronts.

Once you've conquered Belgium, you should deploy your armour near the sea and amass plenty of motorised infantry near the border with Luxembourg. Use your armour to breakthrough towards Dunkerque and Calais to prevent a British counter-attack, while at the same time attacking towards Sedan through the Ardennes. Use the planning screen to highlight VPs and the quickest routes to them. Paris is your key objective.

Use the Luftwaffe to strike at French airfields and deny them the air, while striking at logistics around the Maginot line; this will prevent those armies moving to support the Northern front. The key is to overwhelm the French defences before they get time to react. As soon as you've taken Calais, prepare a Level 10 Radar construction there to spy on the British. After Paris falls the Vichy France event will trigger. Now you can utilise the bases secured in France to strike against the UK.

The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain, fought in 1940, was basically a fight for air supremacy in preparation of a naval invasion of Britain. Germany lost the Battle of Britain and didn't have a navy capable of the crossing even if they had have won. But in Hearts of Iron the player has a chance to change history. Winning the "Battle" will require a lot of interceptor fighters and naval bombers as well as a semi-decent navy. Your goal is to secure the Channel by establishing air superiority and driving the Royal Navy back to ports for repairs. This can be done by the following:

  1. Have a large force of interceptors set to air superiority mission over Britain itself
  2. Use any bomber forces to hit runways in south England and Port Strike missions
  3. 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

The invasion of Britain will require control of the Channel via the means described above. Landings can be made virtually anywhere, although the AI usually leaves Wales quite unattended. Land with Marines and/or Paratroopers and then have plenty of armoured divisions ready to transport into the newly captured Port(s). Alternatively, invade Ireland and use it as a stepping-stone.

Defeating the British Army will require perseverance especially as they tend to get holed up in difficult territory up in Scotland. Keep a vigilant look out for transports bringing troops from Africa or India - these will need to be sunk before they get a chance to land. If you have enough bombers you should be able to sink a lot of British warships. But bear in mind this will have crippled your IC to the point where you may have only the starting army to invade with and Barbarossa will be nigh impossible for at least a year or two. It will also be nigh inevitable as capturing London automatically triggers a declaration of war by the USSR.

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

Operation Barbarossa, or the invasion of the USSR, is by far what the German industrial effort is gearing up for and started historically in late 1941. The invasion was split into three distinct army groups each with an objective to capture: Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad respectively. The war claimed millions of lives on both sides as the huge Soviet army fought to defend on a front from Finland to the Caucasus against overwhelming German air power and armoured divisions. The attack was ultimately repulsed only miles from each of the key objectives, so with a little more cunning the player should be able to force a "bitter peace".

For advice on a German OOB see here.

North Army Group

North Army Group is tasked with the siege and capture of Leningrad after seizing the Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia + Lithuania).

Central Army Group

Central Army Group will advance through Minsk and Smolensk with its objective to capture Moscow, the Soviet capital.

South Army Group

South Army Group's objective is the oil fields of Baku in Azerbaijan. To do this it will need to advance through Ukraine and the Crimea and defeat Russian forces at Stalingrad.

Minor Theatres

Baltics

The Baltic states contain the nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The player may choose to invade the Baltic States shortly after the capture of Poland, or they can wait until Operation Barbarossa. Controlling the Baltic States will give Germany access to several ports and even a few airbases which can aid in the attack on Moscow.

North Africa

While this front isn't as important, it should be noted that unless you help the Italians fight the Brits and win at El Alamein, their southern flank is open and could cause a number of problems later on. Attempt to take some African Colonies for yourself, possibly Sudan or Egypt.

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 allows you to attack later and even conquer Poland and then the USSR without any attack from the Allies.

USA Ally: Historically, aggressive war is an essential part of German foreign politics, but you should consider waiting until 1940 for the US election. If you hold back aggression, support the German-American Bund via spies and diplomatically influence the US, it is possible for them to join the Axis, practically granting you victory as no one is there to stop Japan and the Allies miss important troops on D-Day, during the Invasion of Italy and in the North African war.

See also

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