A guide to mastering the German Reich in HoI4

mastering Germany

Have you ever thought about what would have happened if instead of the Allies winning the war, the Axis were the ones to proclaim victory?

At first, it may sound horrifying, as we all have watched movies or at least played computer games (the most famous of them being “Wolfenstein”, in which this exact scenario is portrayed), but it could also be really interesting to know what would the world look like in such a different universe. In particular, how would the Axis victory reflect on the shape of the political borders of the different countries not only in Europe, but in the world in general.

In Hearts of Iron 4 you may try and see for yourself in the article below or view it on my YouTube channel.

That is what this guide is all about and today I am going to be showing you, how to build a strong and powerful Germany in practically no time and also how to conquer the western powers in mid-1937 and later take over the Soviet Union if you choose so.

Just to let you know, if you are interested in the guide I wrote about the German empire, be sure to follow the link below to find out how to form the Holy Roman Empire, as well as the European Union.

Now let us begin with the actual preparations.

Germany starts off with approximately 30 divisions, 24 of them being full infantry with support companies, which are already trained to the highest possible level. For the time being I recommend grouping them into one full army and putting them on the border with France, as they will be useful later on to hold the frontline against the French attackers, when we go to war with them. With the remaining 6 divisions, 3 of which are fully equipped tank regiments, you shall make a naval invasion order from Hamburg directly to Dunkirk and Calais. Do not forget to convert the three non-tank divisions into tanks, because you will need their breakthrough capabilities later on.hoi4 germany guide

At the start of the game Germany possesses the largest military production capacity out of all the European countries (28 Military Factories to be precise). That is why you are capable of creating and developing a large land army, as well as a challenging Air Force, but unfortunately you do not have enough naval dockyards (only 10) to compete with the british, french, american, and even italian naval production.

Ultimately, when it comes to military production in general, you want to assign all your factories like so:

  • 10 on guns
  • 4 on support equipment
  • 3 on artillery, as for this strategy we want need them that much
  • 7 on light tanks
  • 2 on motorized
  • 1 on fighters
  • 1 on close air support (later in the guide I might be referring to this type of aircraft as simply “CAS”)

It is up to you if you want to continue the naval production as it is, but in my opinion, it is better to cancel the outdated models, continue the construction of the Panzerschiff and then focus entirely on the production of submarines.

Why, you may ask?

Well because they are very cheap and thus their construction costs way less than for example building cruisers or even destroyers. You need to aim for the highest possible number of subs that you could get from expanding your dockyard facilities before the war with France. Have in mind that it is not that important the quality of the submarine by itself, but how many of them you can produce, because what you want to achieve is naval superiority in the English channel and the Eastern North sea for not more than 10-15 seconds, so that you could launch your already prepared naval invasion from Germany to Calais and Dunkirk.

The way the game mechanics work, is that, it is more important to have a larger number of vessels in a certain aquatorial region than your enemy, in order to achieve naval superiority in the short term. Quantity over quality. Bear in mind, that you should use this strategy only with France, because even though they have a larger navy, you still might be able to complete your naval missions like convoy raiding or supporting your naval invasions, but Britain possesses far larger and better equipped navy then both you and France combined, so this trick would not work with them, as they will annihilate your navy in a matter of days. But don’t worry about them, we have another trick up our sleeve, that is going to help us out and for the time being all you have to do is concentrate on keeping the production mainly focused on subs and you should be totally fine.

Till know we have already discussed the production and the army preparations, so let us talk a little about the construction. Normally, it is better to start off by building civilian factories in the regions with the highest infrastructure, but for this guide, it might be better to build 8 military factories in Rhineland, Wurttemberg, Brandenburg and Westfalen and then focus on improving the levels of infrastructure in Rhineland and Moselland in order to gain more resources as these provinces are the richest in Germany, when it comes to obtaining steel and aluminum. These are the most important things in the beginning and further in the game you can focus on whatever you think is important and useful.

Another thing I forgot to mention regarding the air force and navy, be sure to group them up and exercise them, since all of the aircraft’s levels are ‘unexperienced’ and they would perform far more sufficient in combat, when their experience reaches the second or the third level. The same goes for the ships as well. When grouping your navy however I recommend assigning admiral Karl Donitz, because he has great starting stats and he will lead the Kriegsmarine to victory over the French navy.

As for research, it is simple just follow the list below and feel free to change the order of the things being researched if you choose so.

Last, but not least we got to the point, when we have to talk about the importance of the focuses, so fear not, I have prepared a list for them as well. Unlike the situation with the research, where you may choose what to prioritize, here it is essential a certain order to be followed, in order to boost your industry and gain some bonuses for your armed forces as early as possible.

With all of the things being said, if you have followed the guide correctly, you should be prepared for the start, but there is one more thing to be done before unpausing the game.

You need to go to the units training section at the top left corner and put on training 48 horse units from the basic cavalry template (two full armies). You would need those as frontline fillers and it is better not to wait them, until they become fully trained. Instead, you should assign them to a certain order as quickly as possible so the minute they reach level of trainig-20%, hit the button and assign them to a general on the field. As for the general it is entirely up to you.

These are all the preparations and for the time being consider saving your political power, since it is vital, that you start justifying a war goal, immediately after finishing your first focus (you will have 50 pp by then). You will find out why in the following part of the guide, where I briefly explain the overall strategy.

When it comes to political or military advisors, you should hire Erwin Rommel (panzer-leading genius), army offence expert and infantry expert. If you have the ability to switch to partial mobilization or war economy during the war with France, then do it. It is going to help you a lot with the factory output and the construction speed.

Now after finishing the first focus is when the fun begins. We start off by justifying a war goal on Yugoslavia and then wait for it to finish. By that point, you would have your 48 cavalry units already trained, so put them on the frontline with Czechoslovakia. I know that you’re thinking why do we want to go to war with Yugoslavia, instead of Czechoslovakia in the first place. Well, Yugoslavia’s independence is guaranteed by both France and Czechoslovakia and it is easier for us to go to war with them via Yugoslavia, than using a war goal against the Czechs, because Czechoslovakia is also guaranteed by Romania, and we don’t want to go to war with them just know. We can puppet them later via the focus „Integrate war economies.hoi4 german empire guide

Remember the naval invasion order, we set up back then?

Now we can use the 6 tank divisions, which are also fully equipped, because we prioritized the production of light tanks from the start of the game, and make a brand-new frontline order on the last tile that is on the corner of the border between Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland.  The naval invasion order won’t be removed and we can assign them back later after we are done with Czechoslovakia.

This is the only tile from the entire german-czech border, that hasn’t got a fort in it. It is perfect for your tank divisions to push in and blitz through the nation and split it in half. Then you take, for example 15, horse divisions and simple flood into Czechoslovakia. The only thing you need to be aware of is micromanaging the tank divisions, but that is easy and you could do it without major issues.

Now, because the world tension would be below 25%, when you declare war on Yugoslavia and then France and Czechoslovakia join them against you, nobody would join the allies and Britain won’t intervene in the war. Also, if you place on historical Ai turned on, France won’t create a faction and because of that, when Czechoslovakia capitulates, you can annex them immediately via peace conference.

Do not worry about Yugoslavia, because Croatia will spawn and if you are willing to allow them in your faction, then ok, but I personally do not bother, because after you capitulate the Frenches your war with Yugoslavia may or in some cases may not cancel. Either way they aren’t in any way a threat, so you might as well let the war on and then naval invade them separately or make Anschluss and then fight them through Slovakia. It is entirely up to you.

After you’re done with Czechoslovakia you move your tanks to Hamburg and your cavalry units to the French border. Then you take the infantry divisions, who were, till that moment, guarding your border and put them on a fallback line near Wilhelmshaven, so that when your tanks land in Calais, you can immediately send the infantry to the French port and thus reinforce the tanks. As for the cavalry, they serve no purpose no more, except to defend your land border with France and you can later delete them for the manpower and equipment.

Before launching the invasion, take your navy and put them on convoy escort in the Eastern North Sea and the English Channel. It is really important to put them on convoy escort, otherwise it may not work. If you somehow struggle with achieving naval superiority, then put your navy on convoy raiding. Next you have to select your bombers and your CAS and put them on naval strike, so that you can hit a couple of the enemy vessels and help cleaning the path for your naval invasion. Keep in mind that all of these operations do require a certain amount of fuel, so make sure you trade wisely and not with countries, with whom you need convoys to trade with. A perfect trading partners for fuel are Romania or the Netherlands.

Do not worry, if your naval invasion does not start right away. You might have to wait a couple of days, weeks or even a month or two. This is completely normal. Keep spamming subs and reinforce your navy. After you land in France with your tanks, just micromanage them to take nearby cities and even Paris. You should also send your 24 infantry units that are waiting in Germany to easily capitulate France, because they are never ready for such a massive invasion. Paris and a couple of cities and they are gone.

And there you have it. After the capitulation of France, you have an already really buffed Germany and you can take on the UK with ease. If you like, you can even create a strong French puppet state, not only for the free divisions that puppet states tend to produce, but also for the sizable navy, that you will later inherit.

In order to make a successful Sea Lion operation, just use the paratroopers and reduce their template a little, so that you can train more of them. When you are finished with the preparations (justify war goal on British Malaya, because the world tension changes with only 2%), drop the paratroopers at various British ports and especially Dover, where they have either none or maximum one division. After that just transport your entire army to Britain and they do not stand a chance, because before 1939 they are pretty weak. It is worth mentioning the fact, that during the war with France, you shall prioritize the production of fighters, so that you can later compete with the RAF. Just take some factories from those, which were put on producing light tanks or support equipment and you should be fine.

After the fall of Britain, the world is your oyster. You can do whatever you desire, for example you can take on the USA through Canada (your puppet) or you can attack the communists. Either way there is no doubt that you would be the most powerful nation and nobody could challenge your might.

I hope you found this guide useful and if you like to see more of these, just follow the link below.