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HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV): Complete Germany Guide

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Complete Germany Guide

Hearts of Iron IV (HOI4) is a grand strategy game made by Paradox Interactive and set in the Second World War. As the player, you must pick a single nation and lead it towards world dominance, and what better nation to play than Germany, the aggressor during the Second World War? In this HOI4 guide, we’ll go through the starting situation of Germany in 1936 and how you could do better than the Third Reich in their goals and perhaps even radically alter Germany’s fate and its place in history.

Related: HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV): Division Template Guide (Best Options)

The (Better) Historical Path for Germany in HOI4

Best Factory Distribution at the Start

The military production Germany has in HOI4 gives a lot of possibilities, and here, we’ll try to replicate the German Army’s historical path, as their tactics were the best during the early start of the war. Assign the following number of factories here:

  • 10 – Infantry Equipment
  • 3 – Support Equipment
  • 3 – Artillery Equipment
  • 2 – Motorized
  • 3 – Light Tank Chassis
  • 1 – Civilian Train
  • 3 – Fighter Planes
  • 3 – CAS Planes

Naval production-wise, you can cancel out any outdated production and keep your focus on destroyers and submarines. We’re not going to be competing with the Royal Navy with our own navy but rather with our air force.

What to Do with Political Power

When you have enough political power, justify a war goal against Poland with only a single province. We’re going to take them out of the game before the Allies provide any guarantees. Keep the MEFO bills going for as long as possible.

If you still have enough political power later, add either Martin Bormann and/or Rudolf Hess to your cabinet so that we can get more political power.

While Germany can easily take out the Polish Army with our current forces in HOI4, it’s crucial to continue training infantry, motorized, and armored divisions to prepare us for the wars against them. Leave at least 400k manpower behind in case of emergencies.

During the justification period, build an army group and two armies (20 divisions and 10 divisions, respectively). Personally, we would retrain the cavalry units to be motorized units instead.

Assign your existing air squadrons to the two armies, and be sure to keep enough planes in reserve to immediately replace any lost. Likewise, keep on assigning planes to any future armies so that they’ll all have an advantage in ground support when compared to the foe.

For your national focus, take the Rhineland focus, then either the Four Year Focus Plan or Army Primacy; the choice is yours since the former will give us another research slot and the latter will allow us to build medium tanks right away.

As for civilian production, ensure your resource needs are met so that your production line will not slow down. You can change the trade laws to allow free trade so that your bonus will be much higher. I’d recommend building more civilian factories, then military factories, and then any other preferences like infrastructure, naval dockyards, or refineries.

Poland and the Soviet Union

Back to Poland: once the justification is complete, we only need to attack, and they’ll be vulnerable. Be sure not to share any territory with the Soviet Union, as we’ll be justifying against them next. Once again, justify against any single state in the Soviet Union.

How to Defeat the Comintern in HOI4 as Germany

By this time, Stalin’s paranoia should be in full swing, so the Soviet Union should be experiencing massive debuffs. Do note that they will only get stronger in the future, so it’s best if we attack them right away. Before doing so, make sure your armies are close to 1 million in manpower, as we need all hands on deck against the Soviet giant.

Before the war, be sure to deck out your military high command. Germany has some amazing generals in HOI4, but you need to choose the right ones. We would recommend assigning Gunther von Kluge as your main army group leader, giving him the charismatic trait, and giving him the Army Offense (Chief of Army) trait once he’s level four.

Since he’s going to be on the frontlines all the time, he’ll continue to build up his XP and grant us some better bonuses. For the rest, follow this train of thought:

  • Chief of Navy – Karl Donitz because we’re more focused on trade interdiction.
  • Chief of Airforce – Hermann Goring’s bonus will give extra attack to our CAS planes.
  • Military High Command – Gerd von Rundstedt, Ferdinand Schorner, Erwin Rommel, and Werner von Fristch. Pick three of these four army-focused officers.

For military theorists, get either Manstein or Guderian; both will give the same bonus anyway.

Tactics to Get to Moscow

Back to the war with the Soviet Union, you’ll want to use your armored and motorized units to encircle enemy forces and create isolated pockets. Use your infantry to keep them bogged down while your faster troops roll across their rear and cut off their supplies.

The goal for Germany HOI4 players now is to take out as many Soviet divisions as possible, which will give us a greater numerical advantage as we drive to Moscow.

With enough troops and sufficient air support, the Soviet Union should be much more doable, but the best solution to finishing the Soviets is to strike at them early and not give them any room to bring their manpower to bear on us.

Be sure to micromanage at some points and isolate as many Soviet units as possible so that their front lines will be stretched thin.

How to Defeat the Allies in HOI4 as Germany

1st to Go Down: France

Once the Soviet Union is conquered, Germany can go along the HOI4 historical paths with the Anschluss and the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Be sure to redeploy your units from the Eastern Front to the West now with troops assigned against France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Once the Around Maginot Line focus is completed, push your troops through the lowlands and take on the French army in that army. Leave the Maginot line alone, as the fort level is not worth the casualties you’ll take.

Once France and the surrounding countries have surrendered, we need to take on the British. Here, you have two options: launch an airborne assault against the port cities in the south of the Isles or launch a quick naval invasion from the Pas-de-Calais against Dover.

Next Comes England

Either route requires air dominance, so be sure to assign your fighters and bombers to both southern England and the English Channel until 75% dominance is achieved. In the latter case, use your naval forces (not including submarines) on naval invasion support duty in the English Channel so that we’ll be able to add to our dominance in that area.

If we’re able to land troops in both the port and the areas surrounding it, we can bring in the rest of the units. Should the port be contested and the surrounding areas the opposite, we can look to push our forward units to the next port and restart our plans from there.

As soon as an army or two is already on the British Isles, we will have already won, as the British Army should be much weaker than ours at this point. Take as much territory as you can in the subsequent peace negotiations, and by this point, the world is your canvas.

With the Soviet Union and the Allies gone, there should be no other country capable of challenging your might. Even the mighty United States is easy pickings, as the now-occupied Canada gives you land access to the US from the north.


And that is all you need to know about how to play and win as Germany in HOI4. Check out other interesting guides and articles:

Based in Santa Rosa, Philippines, Jonathan Ledesma is a Freelance Writer for Raider King.
Jonathan Ledesma
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