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For strategic guidance for playing Germany, see the Germany Strategy Guide.
Germany begins with a dominant territorial position in Central Europe.
- Capital: Berlin
Germany is strong in most resources with a couple of notable exceptions.
Natural resources are plentiful, with sizeable surplus level of energy (from Germany's huge coal reserves). Oil is however almost non-existant, although during peacetime at least, Germany should be able to trade for whatever she needs and maintain growing stockpiles in all areas.
Due to Germany's hungry industrial base, rare materials are in short supply despite production. Prolonged wars will eventually starve the industry if trade can not be maintained for rares.
Germany has a large population which should be able to maintain most military building strategies well into a war, but heavy casualties will eventually drain her. Germany does well to build units which economize on manpower as main combatants, as the need for infantry and garrisons to fill in behind advances will require large amounts later.
Germany has a powerful industrial base, although it is concentrated in a few vulnerable areas of the country. Once Germany expands beyond her borders these will be harder for enemies to target, but will still need to be protected against strategic attack. As long as it is well fed, Germany's industry should be able to maintain healthy production of supplies and new units to support offensives, but if it falters, Germany will feel the pinch quickly. A side benefit is the large transportation capacity resulting from her IC level, although this will be necessary once Germany's empire expands and occupation of territory bleeds the TC level.
Germany's basic infrastructure is superb, at 100% over nearly her entire territory (only Oppeln is at 80%). This allows rapid movement between east and west front.
Airbases are maintained throughout the country, although the number of full size airbases leaves room for growth. Besides Berlin, Breslau and Konigsberg are the only two airbases in the east, although both are level 10. Kassel and Munich are the only two other full size airbases. Six level 4 bases exist, with Rostock, Kiel, and Wilhelmshafen covering the north while Essen, Frankfurt-am-Main, and Stuttgart watch the west. Germany can look forward to peaceful acquisition of Vienna, a level 10 airbase, as well as Innsbruck (level 4), Prague (level 3) and Memel (level 1).
Naval facilities are quite good for such limited coastline, with two full size ports facing the North Sea at Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, and two further full size harbors at Rostock and Konigsberg on the Baltic Sea.
Germany has a capable military in 1936. It is only of moderate size, with little advanced equipment, but all infantry are to current standard, and organization levels are very high for the period. The navy is incapable of substantial operations at this stage, but the air force is ready to begin supporting the army.
German static defenses are inadequate to provide much help against ground or air units. Germany should be on the offensive however, so the weak ground fortifications won't be greatly needed. The West Wall gives Germany a level one land fort in Aachen, Cologne, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart, and Freiburg. This won't stop anyone, but for the thin line left to face France while German forces mount attacks elsewhere, it is at least some help.
Antiaircraft defenses are scattered throughout the country, with more to the west. These will need to be beefed up if the Allies begin any kind of strategic air campaign. Major flak centers are Konigsberg (4), Essen (3), and Frankfurt-am-Main (3). Smaller flak nests (level 2) are stationed in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Saarbrucken, Dortmund, Kassel, Magdeburg, Breslau, Rostock, Hamburg, and Wilhelmshafen. Level one defenses are found in Kiel, Lubeck, Leipzig, and Nuremburg.
Germany's army is of moderate size (#8 in the world), but very good quality. The heart of the army is its infantry, with 36 divisions (#3 in the world) of infantry divided amongst a dozen corps spread through the country. These are bolstered by a mix of brigades (4 artillery brigades, 3 antitank brigades, 2 engineer brigades and an antiaircraft brigade). while Germany's industry provides a strong engine for steady growth, high organization levels give German units good capabilities early.
Germany's armored force is small but not bad compared to some competitors (#3 in the world). Its three type I light divisions are not very capable in 1936, but are the basis for Germany's future panzer juggernauts, and should be gaining experience, as they can be upgraded to regular armor later.
A single headquarters (type I) is located in Berlin to begin with in 1936, and Germany will undoubtedly need more.
Germany has a strong stable of land commanders to begin with. See Generals of Germany for more info.
Germany's air force is designed for tactical support of the land forces. Thus it begins 1936 with a force of 8 tactical bomber units and 3 interceptors for the job. All of these units are type I, but both types may be upgraded immediately.
Germany's navy is of limited combat value outside of the Baltic Sea. It is led by two battlecruisers, but both are Great War vintage, as are the three destroyer flotillas that accompany them in the Baltic Fleet. A more modern cruiser force is at hand, with two improved heavy cruisers and an improved light cruiser in the fleet as well as four basic light cruisers. One early light cruiser and a flotilla of early destroyers round out the surface fleet.
Germany also has the seeds of a submarine force, although the boats it begins with are limited. Two short-range flotillas and a single dive boat flotilla are in service to begin with.
Underway production will add another improved heavy cruiser, an early destroyer flotilla, and a short-range submarine flotilla to the fleet within the first three months of 1936.
Germany has some strengths technologically, and has great research teams to give it the edge in other areas. The money to pay for the teams should be available in most circumstances as long as things don't turn to badly against Germany.
Germany's infantry tech is moderately advanced, with the early infantry division and semi-motorized cavalry division already discovered. Logistics are ahead of the game with rear area supply dumps and Germany has also the ability to build early mountain divisions. Germany is poised to develop the basic motorized division and early marine division.
Germany is at a basic level in armor tech, possessing the early tank, but ready to develop the basic light tank, basic heavy tank, and early tank destroyer. Early field artillery is in service, as are early antitank artillery and early static antiaircraft artillery. Germany also has the capacity for basic antiaircraft brigades and basic armored cars.
Germany has an advanced level of naval technology in surface combatants, already possessing improved technology for the light cruisers, heavy cruisers, battlecruisers, and battleships. She is on par with the medium range submarine, but lags with only an early destroyer and Great War aircraft carrier design.
Germany has a balanced contemporary aircraft technology, with both early bombers and early fighters available, as well as a basic air transport design. Germany can branch out in any direction desired for aviation.
Industrial technology in Germany is well-rounded, with mechanized agriculture, census tabulating, basic oil refining, and improved construction engineering. She lags however, needing basic machine tools. Advanced sciences are poised for development, as Germany has both a faculty for nuclear research and a rocket test and research facility capability.
German operational doctrines are very well advanced for all branches, compared to other nations, giving Germany a strong early advantage. German land doctrine is well advanced along the spearhead doctrine, with delay doctrine, elastic defense doctrine, and schwerpunkt doctrine all developed. Naval doctrine is also well advanced along the lines of sealane interdiction doctrine, with raider patrol doctrine and unrestricted submarine warfare doctrine developed. Air doctrine has been developed along the lines of battlefield destruction and operational destruction, with dive bombing doctrine developed as well.
For information of research teams, see research teams of Germany
Germany is not in a strong position diplomatically. As leader of the Axis, she is currently alone, with even like-minded nations such as Italy not wanting to ally. Meanwhile, most of her actions will sour relations with the western powers and possibly the Soviets as well if she is not careful. Germany has only minor diplomatic agreements in place in 1936:
- Non-agression pacts: Soviet Union, Poland, Austria, Turkey
- Independence guarantees to: Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland
- Territorial claims on: France, Luxembourg
- Trade agreements:
Germany begins with a mixed bag of leaders, but with its political sliders set for hawkish authoritarian rule.
The head of state is Adolf Hitler, a power-hungry demagogue. He is able to assuage the western powers as long as all out war doesn't break out, and will help gather the likes of Italy and Hungary into the Axis alliance. Head of government Rudolf Hess, a silent workhorse, is nice for the IC bonus, but makes diplomacy a good bit more expensive.
Foreign minister Constantin von Neurath, a great compromiser, is not very helpful early on, as Germany will have few allies to cajole, and has little need for independence guarantees. Armaments minister Werner von Blomberg is an infantry proponent, and good to have while advancing infantry tech. Rudolf Hess will only help if building a strategic bomber force, so is unlikely to be a good choice. Administrative genius Hjalmar Schacht will give a big IC bonus, but three resource industrialists are also available (Johann Schwerin von Krosigk, Franz Xavier-Schwarz, and Konstantin Hierl), which will give an IC bonus as well as assist industrial research. Military entrepreneur Franz Seldte may help later when supply demands grow excessive. Laissez-faire capitalist Fritz Thyssen can keep consumer goods demand down, but this is usually not a great problem for Germany. Finally, Franz Xavier Ritter von Epp is a carbon copy of von Blomberg.
Security is in the hands of Wilhelm Frick, a prince of terror which will help extract increased IC from foreign lands. The similar Kurt Daluege is also available for the Minister of Security job, as is the silent lawyer Franz Gurtner, who will alleviate consumer goods demand. Head of intelligence is Wilhelm Canaris, a dismal enigma, who will help on intelligence across the board, but has no specialty.(Historically Canaris secretly opposed Hitler.) Carl von Schubert, a logistics specialist, will boost army intelligence, while political specialist Oskar von Hindenburg offers improved diplomatic chances during peacetime.
The military is led by chief of staff Ludwig Beck, a believer in strategic manoeuvre, allowing German units to move faster. Fritz Bayerlein, of the school of small-unit leadership, giving units great ability to regain organization losses. Finally, with a vision for strategic depth, is Wilhelm Gruner, able to give all units a bonus when defending. Chief of the army is Werner von Fritsch, who employs the armored spearhead doctrine. Walter von Luttwitz, with his decisive battle doctrine, and Erich Ludendorff, with an elastic defense doctrine are available replacements.
The navy is under the command of Erich Raeder, employing decisive naval battle doctrine as chief of the navy. Potential replacement Ludwig Fulda is of similar doctrine, but Alfred Saalwachter instead offers an open seas doctrine. Chief of the air force is Hermann Goring, who employs the air force as army support. Replacement Karl Koller employs similar doctrine, but Carl Friedrich von Siemens and Ulrich Grauert would instead employ an air superiority doctrine.