Germany

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Revision as of 20:18, 18 May 2014 by 83.108.78.247 (talk) (Poland)
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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.

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, including regular Infantry as well as Light, Medium and Heavy armor. Nearly every land doctrine is worthy of research for Germany.
  2. Industry: An essential focal point of Research, with just about every technology (excluding rockets) being a priority.
  3. Aircraft: Fighter airpower is essential to Germany's success, particularly in defense against Allied strategic bombing.
  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. Regular players can avoid naval technology entirely and have a perfectly challenging game.

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)
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • Defense:

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 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.

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 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).

Navy

Does Germany need a Navy?

  1. 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.
  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 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 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.
    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 RN 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 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.

War

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.

War in Europe

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.

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.

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.

The Netherlands and Luxembourg

The both secondary targets in the Benelux countries. The Netherlands could be used as an allied bridgehead if you make it stay neutral, and Luxembourg is a one-province-country. Occupying it or not makes barely a difference. But note that ignoring Luxembourg while on a far away front could cause desastrous losses in the Ruhr Territoy, in Belgium and in Alsace-Lorraine.

Denmark

Denmark is the connection between Scandinavia (spefically Sweden) and Europe (spefically 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Bulgaria

Romania

Hungary

Greece

Albania

War with the Soviet Union

The clash of totalitarian ideologies that is the Germany-USSR 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 have a direct, broad land connection. Defeating the USSR is also a matter of national survival for Germany, as peace can rarely be maintained much beyond 1942.

There are several points the German player must be aware of before attempting to purge Bolshevism from the continent:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (M-R 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.

4. Failure to adequately garrison the Polish border after the M-R Pact can lead to the Soviet Union declaring war on you when you are in the midst of invading France. 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.

5. Whether by M-R Pact decay, German success against 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 war against the Axis, most likely some time in 1942. Take care of business on Eurasia before pursuing wars in the Atlantic.

6. 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:

1. 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.

2. 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, encircle, encircle.

3. Use your tech advantage and bonuses to push for the Big 3. 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 infantry and take Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad. Losing focus on objective drives was one of the principle failings of the historic Barbarossa, both in 1941 and Case Blue (Stalingrad). Plot out your advance lines and force distributions and stick to them.

War in Africa

Liberia

South Africa

Ethiopia

War in Asia

War in North America

Canada

Mexico

War in South America

Brazil

Argentina

Others

War with the United States

War in Oceania

Australia

New Zealand

Gaming the System

Start war late: 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.

See also

Country Navigation
Major Powers France · Germany · Italy · Japan · United Kingdom · United States of America · Soviet Union
Regional Powers Argentina · Australia · Belgium · Brazil · Bulgaria · Czechoslovakia · Guangxi Clique · Hungary · Manchukuo · Nationalist China · Nationalist Spain · Netherlands · Poland · Republican Spain · Romania · Sweden · Turkey · Yugoslavia
Minor Powers Austria · Canada · Chile · Colombia · Denmark · Finland · Greece · Ireland · Mexico · Norway · Peru · Portugal · Shanxi · South Africa · Switzerland
Micro Powers Afghanistan · Albania · Bhutan · Bolivia · Communist China · Costa Rica · Cuba · Dominican Republic · Ecuador · El Salvador · Estonia · Ethiopia · Guatemala · Haiti · Honduras · Iraq · Latvia · Liberia · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Mongolia · Nepal · New Zealand · Nicaragua · Oman · Panama · Paraguay · Persia · Philippines · Saudi Arabia · Siam · Sinkiang · Tannu Tuva · Tibet · Uruguay · Venezuela · Xibei San Ma · Yemen · Yunnan