When playing Germany in HoI4 you have the industrial capacity to completely outproduce any enemy if you play right. The German focus tree provides massive bonuses to your industry giving you research bonuses and civilian factories. The biggest shortcoming of Germany is its lack of Oil, Rubber, and Tungsten. You will rely on minor countries or the USSR for Oil until you attack the USSR and take Baku most likely. By building and researching refineries you can combat the rubber deficiency by the time the war begins. Alternatively you can wait until you end the war with the Allies after which there will be no rubber shortage.
By using this strategy you will be able to capitulate Poland, France, and the UK before you go to war with the USSR. By the time you declare war on the USSR your industry will be very formidable and the war with the USSR will be extremely easy. To show you just how powerful you are as Germany I will not ally Italy or any other country, nor will I take any volunteers, you do not need to do this in your own game, if you are new it is a good idea to ally Italy to create a second front against France.
Note: Not all HoI4 games will follow the same path, so I encourage you to modify this walkthrough to best suit your game.
Political Power Purchases
- Army Innovations
- Treaty with the USSR
- Four Year Plan
- Herman Goring-Werke
- Extra Research Slot
- Reassert Eastern Claims
- Army Innovations II
- Demand Sudentenland
- First Vienna Award
- Fate of Czechoslovakia
- German War Economy
- Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
- Danzig or War
- Around Maginot
- Operation Weserubung
- Coal Liquidisation
- Improve National Spirit
- Anti-Comintern Pact
- Naval Rearmament
- Naval Effort
- U-Boat Effort
- War with the USSR
- Martin Bormann – Silent Workhorse
- Free Trade
- Joseph Goebbels – Fascist Demagogue (better but risky choice is to send an attache to Nationalist Spain, this is risky because if the Spanish Civil War ends quickly you will get the demobilization event which will start strikes)
- War Economy
- Hjalmar Schacht – Captain of Industry
- MAN – Medium Tank Designer
- Krupp – Industrial Concern
- Messerschmitt – Light Aircraft Designer
- Improve Worker Conditions
- Heinz Huderian – Blitzkrieg Theorist
- Walther Funk – War Industrialist
- Blohm & Voss – Raiding Fleet Designer
- Limited Exports
- Extensive Conscription
- Erwin Rommel – Armor
- Franz Halder – Army Offense
- Export Focus (Only after you get a peace conference with Allies)
- Herman Goring – Ground Support
- Werner von Fritsch – Army Logistics
- Mauser – Infantry Equipment Designer
- Ferdinant Schorner – Infantry
- Erich Raeder – Decisive Battle
- Heinrich Himmler – Prince of Terror
- Electronic Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanical Computing
- Medium Tank I
- Medium Tank II
- Medium Tank III
- Logistics Company I
- Logistics Company II
- Engineer Company II
- Recon Company II
- Panzerfaust 30
- MP 43
- Support Weapons IV
- Basic Machine Tools
- Dispersed Industry I
- Dispersed Industry II
- Dispersed Industry III
- Dispersed Industry IV
- Excavation I
- Decryption I
- Improved Computing Machine
- Decryption II
- Assembly Line Production
- Improved Infantry Equipment II
- Advanced Computing Machine
- Decryption III
- Nuclear Reactor
- Construction I
- Construction II
- Mobile Defense
- Computing Machine
- Improved Machine Tools
- Construction III
- Advanced Machine Tools
- Improved Infantry Equipment I
- MP 38
- Atomic Research
- Support Weapons I
- Support Weapons II
- Support Weapons III
- Fuel Refining II
- Fuel Refining III
- Superior Firepower
- Paratroopers I
- Integrated Support
- Regimental Combat Teams
- Mechanized Offensive
- Concentrated Fire PLans
- Combined Arms
- Tactical Control
- Airland Battle
- Fighter III
- Fighter II
- Rubber Processing
- Improved Rubber Processing
- Excavation II
- Excavation III
- Construction IV
- Excavation IV
- Dive Bombing
- Direct Ground Support
- Formation Flying
- Hunt and Destroy
As Germany your production is focused on Fighters and Medium Tanks. For most of the pre-war you will have a deficit of Infantry Equipment. Once you annex Austria and Czechoslovakia, and capitulate Poland you will have more than enough from the massive amounts you get from capitulating the AI.
The following table shows how many military factories are assigned to each item at certain intervals throughout the game. Keep in mind depending on how the AI plays and how strong your economy is this will vary slightly for you
|Start||Medium Tank Researched||After Anschluss||Building Military Factories||Pre-Soviet*|
|Close Air Support||5||3||5||5||15|
At the start of the game you want to build civilian factories in the highest infrastructure areas that are NOT any of the ones built up by Reichsautobahn focus (Brandenburg, Hannover, Thuringen, Franken)
Once you finish the focus Demand Sudetenland you will lose the advisor Hjlamar Schacht – Captain of Industry. After this you want to build around 40 military factories. Make sure to not fill up all the building slots in the highest infrastructure provinces in order to leave space for refineries.
After build refineries until you have enough to cover your rubber need.
Once you have capitulated the Allies you want to build military factories and improve infrastructure in resource areas to cover the large amount of steel and tungsten you will need.
For this guide you will be using 40 width Medium Tank divisions to do most of your attacking. 20 width Infantry will be used to fill and hold the front line. All relevant division templates can be found on the Division Templates page. I will post pictures of them here anyway for your ease.
A consistent naval strategy for Germany is to spam submarines to allow you to move your troops over the English Channel into the UK. Submarines are cheap so you can create a large fleet before the war starts. At the start of the game train your navy momentarily to get enough naval XP to create the following template. The right picture shows the queue of ships you finish that are already somewhat constructed at the start of the game. After the queue is finished start building submarines.
Start of game
At the start of the game you want to delete all but 7 of your infantry divisions. Make these 7 infantry divisions train until you have 5 army XP. Use the army XP to create a two width infantry division template. Now you want to train and instantly deploy 120 of these divisions. Because they are so small you can train 101 of them in one batch and then 19 for a total of 120. The reason you make 120 divisions is so that you can send seven volunteers to Nationalist Spain once their civil war starts. If the war starts before the second batch of 19 infantry deploys send 6 volunteers and then the seventh one later.
Spanish Civil War
Once the Spanish Civil War starts send your 7 infantry divisions as volunteers and send 200 bombers as air volunteers. I recommend assigning Erich von Manstein as your general and promoting Heinz Guderian to be field marshal. To get extra army XP send a lend lease to Nationalist Spain consisting of 1000 Infantry Equipment once and 1 Support Equipment once a month.
Your goal for the war is to prolong it as long as possible in order to farm as much army XP as possible. If you follow the Panzer Leader Guide you will be able to get the important general trait. You need to get around 100 army XP to be able to make your tank division template. If you are unable to get the necessary army XP before the war ends consider either volunteers or lend-lease during the Japanese-Chinese war.
When the civil war ends keep your seven infantry divisions as you will convert them one by one to tank divisions once you have enough tanks.
In order to do the Anschluss focus you need to 550,000 manpower in the field and in order to do the Danzig or War focus you need 950,000. To achieve this you need to convert your 120 two-width divisions into your 20 width infantry divisions. This will achieve the manpower requirements even though you troops will severely lack equipment. This is alright though because by absorbing other countries and capitulating Poland you will end up with more than enough equipment.
Poland can be capitulated within a few weeks if you use your tanks to take the victory points. Depending on how strong your industry turns out, you should be able to have four fully equip tanks by the time you declare war. If you end up with fewer tanks do not fret, I have managed to do this quite easily with as few as two tanks.
Distribute your infantry so that you have five armies each with 24 divisions. One on the Maginot, one bordering the Netherlands and the other three on the Polish border, one of which is in East Prussia.
Distribute three tanks along the Polish border to take Danzig, Warsaw, and Krakow. The fourth tank can be on the Dutch border.
Spread your fighters so they cover all the areas where you will get bombed. Put more fighters above Poland and put your CAS over Poland too.
After starting the war micro your tanks to take the victory points, you can enable an attack order on the north and west armies. It is not necessary to attack with the southern army as you will fight in the mountains sustaining unnecessary losses.
To defeat France you will first declare war on the Netherlands and then on Belgium by using the Around Maginot focus. Make sure to capitulate the Netherlands before declaring war on Belgium to prevent the British and French reinforcing the Benelux countries.
Use your tanks and one army to capitulate the Netherlands as soon as the Around Maginot focus is completed. Before you declare war on Belgium position your tanks on the two most westerly tiles of the Netherlands. This will allow them to take Brussels quickly, but more importantly it will allow you enter France before there is any resistance.
Before Belgium has capitulated two tanks have entered France while the majority of the French army is still on the Maginot. These two tanks can take Paris and capitulate France before there can be any serious redeployment. By killing France before they redeploy you will suffer virtually no casualties.
In order to get a peace conference for the war you will have to capitulate the UK. This can be easy or it can be hard depending on how quick you capitulate France. If you are able to kill France and launch an invasion within a month or two you will encounter very little resistance on the British mainland. A late invasion will complicate the matter as you there will be many more divisions on the British mainland.
In this guide I will be using paratroopers which allows me to land on all ports in southern England. In my game some of the ports were garrisoned while others weren’t. If you need help in how you should paradrop look at the Paradrop Guide. You can create a backup naval invasion too if you want in case the paradrop fails. If you want to naval invade I recommend 40 width infantry. You can naval invade with tanks, however only on tiles adjacent to a port as they probably will not have any enemy divisions. If you naval invade with a tank on a port you will suffer a large attack penalty.
Remember once any division is on the British mainland you need to take ports to allow for supply to enter, as well as reinforcements.
This is my invasion plan. My paratroopers are all in Calais which has an airport with fighters and transport planes, I have tanks on the adjacent port to send over once a port is taken. Send your tanks straight away once you have taken a port, don’t send an army of infantry until you have enough supply to sustain them. If you attrition your tanks in England they will become practically useless.
In order to give the tanks safe passage across the English channel you will split your submarines into multiple fleets and set them to convoy raiding. Your non-submarine fleet can be set to convoy escort. Most importantly though put fighters and all your naval bombers over the English Channel, this will destroy any Allied fleet in the Channel as long as you have Air superiority. Your goal is not to destroy the Allied fleets but to keep them occupied while your convoys transit.
Here is my air view for the invasion. Make sure to not put any planes over southern England until you click the paradrop command, this is so that the AI does not send planes to fight your planes. By doing this you will not have a problem getting the 70% air superiority that is required to paradrop.
This is the immediate result of my invasion. I was able to take the port to the east of London from which I could then send my four tanks over. With the tanks I prioritise taking ports, then radar, then airports. I have noticed the radar can seriously hamper your ability to attack
At this stage there will be enough supply in the region to send over one army of 24 infantry to hold the front line. Use your tanks to take the victory points going north and you will capitulate the UK. I recommend declaring war on Denmark, Norway, and Luxembourg before you capitulate the UK so that you can annex them in the peace conference.
Allied Peace Conference
The most important thing to remember for the peace conference is to first look if you can annex Malaya, India, or the Dutch East Indies. If you cannot, which will most likely be the case, you can satellite them from Britain and the Netherlands respectively. This is important as all the tungsten and rubber you need will come from these countries. If you do not do this they will just become independent. You may be able to annex some British dominions depending on whether you fought them directly in the war. In my case I was able to annex Canada, if you can annex Canada it will be very useful should you want to go to war with the USA later on. Here is the world before 1940 after the peace conference. India, Malaya, and Indonesia are my satellites.
If you have defeated the allies the USSR will be extremely easy to kill, keep in mind though that it can be a long process as often you have to make it all the way too the Ural Mountains before they capitulate. By the time you declare war on the USSR you can have two full armies of 40 width tanks. If you want you can micro them, but I myself just give them an attack command and as they completely destroy the Soviet army regardless. With my five infantry armies I use the Field Marshall to create one large front line to fill in the gaps. You want to concentrate your tanks and often manually micro a few to create large encirclements. Make sure to use plenty of fighters and CAS as you will sustain many more casualties without air superiority. With the large amount of planes and tanks you now have you might need to import oil from America until you take Baku and get all the Soviet oil. Here is my screen directly before I declare war after waiting about one year to produce more tanks and for the non-aggression pact to expire.
You might be worried by the higher number of divisions that the USSR has. Keep in mind at the stage you will have around three times the industry of the USSR. You have so many tanks that the USSR will lose almost every battle against them. The affect of all the tanks can be seen in the number of casualties sustained. As you can see in the image below, right before the capitulation of the USSR they have sustained more than 5.5 million casualties, compared to Germany’s 182,000. Once the Soviet army is completely destroyed it is simpler to create a large front line attack for all your infantry so they advance into the uncontested territory. I did this after taking the three major cities of Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad. By this point the Soviet army had been reduced from over 300 divisions to about 70.
At this point you will have have killed 3/6 other major powers. You might be pulled into a war with Japan trying to take your possessions in South East Asia, if you wish to avoid this you can sign the Tripartite Pact. You will also have free rein in Europe. I recommend building up Canada should you want to attack the USA. At this point in the game you can also build your navy should you want to.
I hope this guide is clear despite its length. Should you want any help or wish to inquire about anything see how to contact me here.
Finally, here is the world at the end of my game.