France is a major power in 1936, one of the winners of the Great War, and in control of a globe-spanning empire. Their heartland in Europe is rich; almost half of Africa is under their control, and they have colonies in Indochina, Syria and Guyana, not to mention direct control of islands in all the oceans of the world. However, their government is divided, with Communist influences threatening to weaken it further.
The memory of the Great War is also very much alive, and the people of France are reluctant to fight another major war in Europe. Should an aggressive adversary like Germany threaten its heartland, France is unlikely to be willing to sustain defensive efforts that could see the entire country devastated. On top of that, the French military leadership is made up of old guards who are inexperienced with modern warfare and dangerously complacent regarding the intentions of their enemies.
That being said, if a player takes control of France and is able to iron out all of the country's internal problems and strengthen the military-industrial complex enough before war breaks out, they are in a good position to repulse and defeat both Germany and Italy and annex both countries, thus ending those threats for good.
If played correctly, the Second World War (and any other conflicts before 1948) could very well see France reborn and reshaped and emerge from the crucible of war as the far bigger and stronger European Union. If allied with the United Kingdom (which can annex all of its dominions and even the United States to form the Imperial Federation), these two titans can easily become the dominant superpowers of the post-war world order. If invaded and puppeted or freed by German Reich or Italy, it will turn into Free France.
Geography[edit | edit source]
France is located in Western Europe. It consists of mainland France and the island of Corsica. France also controls a large number of overseas territories and colonies including, Algeria, Syria, Madagascar, and resource-rich Indochina. France is dominated by flat, arable land in the Northwest and forest and highland in the center. France borders Belgium to the north, with the Ardenne forest making natural bulwark. To the Northeast in the region of Alsace-Lorraine lies the small Vosges mountain range and the huge river Rhine, which makes up the natural border with German Reich. To the south lies the Pyrenees mountains which separate France from Spain. To the east lies Switzerland and Italy lies to the Southeast separated by the huge Alps mountain range. Significant rivers include the river Rhine between France and German Reich, Le Rhône to the southeast, La Seine to the northwest, La Loire which runs through the center, and La Garonne which runs in the southwest.
France both borders the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the English channel to the Northwest and the Bay of Biscay to the west.
Historical background[edit | edit source]
France, along with the United Kingdom, guaranteed the independence of Poland prior to its invasion by Germany. Feeling secured by the Maginot Line in the Eastern provinces of Alsace-Lorraine, France declared war against Germany with the United Kingdom in 1939 after Germany's invasion of Poland. However, around a year later, in 1940, when actual combat ensued between all three powers, the Allied armies were defeated in just six weeks during the Battle of France against Germany and Italy, in contrast to the years-long campaign expectation by both sides. Thinking their chances poor regardless, Germany gambled on a decisive victory by sending Panzer divisions through Luxembourg and the Ardennes' forested hills, terrain which the French supreme commander Gamelin thought unable to sustain tank movements. The Panzers then drove—without waiting for infantry to secure their supply lines—through France to the English Channel, surrounding the bulk of the Allied forces which had been sent to Belgium's border with Germany aiming to deny them room for mobile warfare and overconfident that their main thrust would be through Belgium as in WWI's Schlieffen Plan.
Threatened with annihilation, the British evacuated their expeditionary forces and what Allied units they could until Dunkirk fell. Soon thereafter, the French front collapsed and Germany begun an offensive southwards capturing Paris completely unopposed on the 14th of June and occupying the northern half of France (with the frontline going from Bordeaux to Grenoble) by the 24th of June. The French military completely disintegrated and the French government agreed to an armistice on the 25th of June—effectively surrendering the whole country—in a defeat which caused great astonishment to the rest of the world, as up until that point, France was a leading world power (both economically and militarily) that only 20 years earlier had won the Great War.
After the crushing and humiliating defeat, Germany and Italy annexed territories of eastern France (equivalent to the states of Alsace-Lorraine, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Savoy, Nice and Corsica in-game) while the rest of metropolitan France was placed under the jurisdiction of Vichy France, a German client state led by Marshal Philippe Pétain with its de facto capital in the French town of Vichy. France's colonial empire on the other hand, was either occupied by the United Kingdom and the Free French forces under general Charles de Gaulle in the small mountainous country of Andorra or conquered by the Axis powers (Primarily Italy and Japan).
Events[edit | edit source]
- Main article: French events
National focus[edit | edit source]
- Main article: French national focus tree
France, as one of the seven major powers, got a unique national focus tree.
The French national focus tree can be divided into 5 branches and 7 sub-branches:
- Devalue the Franc Branch
- This branch offers the possibility to develop Metropolitan France and the overseas colonies, as well as add two more research slots.
- Begin Rearmament Branch
- This branch focuses either on defensive or offensive expansion of the military. The defensive focuses give army and fortification bonuses while the offensive focuses give army and air bonuses. They end with the shared focus Army Reform which removes the starting national spirit Victors of the Great War.
- Form the Popular Front/Revive the National Bloc Branch
- This branch develops French industry. The left side of the branch adds factories to various states, completely removes Inefficient Economy and leads to the communist sub-branch. The right side of the branch develops construction speed, manipulates party popularity, and leads to the fascist and monarchist sub-branch. Both sides lead to the historical democratic sub-branch of the focus tree and Intervention in Spain decisions.
- Invite Communist Ministers Sub-branch
- This sub-branch allows France to become Communist, gain manpower and political power. The Reconciliation section gives stability and political power. It leads to the Anti-Fascist coalition section which allies with neighboring or Balkan Communist and Democratic nations and manpower. The Revolution to the Utmost gives war support and a civil war. It leads to the Loyalty to the Cause section which gives war goals against the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Italy. Both the Reconciliation and the Revolution to the Utmost leads to the Loyalty to Moscow section which allows France to join the Comintern. This section and the Anti-Fascist coalition section leads to a focus that gives war goals against all neighboring Fascist nation.
- Leftist Rhetoric Sub-branch
- This sub-branch is only available if the La Résistance DLC is not enabled. This allows France to become Communist.
- The Blum-Viollette Proposal Sub-branch
- This sub-branch allows France to core Algeria, gain non-core manpower and compliance or lose the national spirit Full Employment. Depending on the choice of the colonies, the French Union focus allows France to annex and core its colonies or increase resistance.
- Review Foreign Policy Sub-branch
- This sub-branch allows France to either create the Little Entente with Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania or Poland, support Finland in their war, join the Allies or create the Stresa Front with the United Kingdom and Italy.
- Utilize the Leagues Sub-branch
- This sub-branch allows France to become Fascist, gain claims on various nations and make alliances with other European nations. The Latin Entente section allows France to ally with Spain, Portugal and Italy for French Somaliland, gain claims on Greece and war goals on Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Towards a New Europe section allows France to join the Axis, gain claims and war goals on Belgium and Canada. Both sections lead to war goals claims and subjugation on the Middle East.
- The Council of Rambouillet Sub-branch
- This sub-branch restores the French monarchy from either the House of Orléans (Orléaniste), Bourbon (Légitimistes) or Bonaparte (Bonapartiste). The Orléanist section gives war goals against Germany and Italy. The Légitimist section gives an alliance, an annexation or wargoal on Spain. The Bonapartist section gives war goals against United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the Soviet Union. It also has a focus to split Germany into 7-9 different countries.
- Right Wing Rhetoric Sub-branch
- This sub-branch is only available if the La Résistance DLC is not enabled. This allows France to become Fascist.
- Naval Rearmament Branch
- This branch includes focuses which grant experience and research bonuses that improve the navy.
- Air Focus Branch
- This branch includes focuses which grant experience and research bonuses that improve the air force.
Technology[edit | edit source]
This is a community maintained wiki. If you spot a mistake then you are welcome to fix it.
France starts with very good tanks, having unlocked 2 levels of the light tanks tree. This is offset by a major penalty to doctrine research, making it extremely time-consuming to develop proper doctrines.
|Without Man the Guns|
France is the only nation to start with Battlecruiser II, a 1940 technology.
Cosmetic names[edit | edit source]
France has a number of unique names and appearances for various technologies and equipment, listed here. Note that generic names are not listed.
|Tech year||Anti-Air||Artillery||Rocket Artillery||Anti-Tank|
|1934||Canon de 75 mle 1897||Canon de 25 mm|
|1936||Hotchkiss 25 mm||37 mm Gun M3|
|1939||Canon de 105 L mle 1936|
|1940||Schneider 37 mm||NA||47mm SA 37|
|1942||155 mm M114|
|1943||Canon de 75 CA modèle 1940||NA||Canon de 76 mm mle 1943|
|Tech year||Close Air Support (Carrier)||Fighter (Carrier)||Naval Bomber (Carrier)||Heavy Fighter||Tactical Bomber||Strategic Bomber||Scout Plane||Transport Plane|
|1933||NiD 62 (D.376)||MB.200|
|1936||Br.693 (Ni.140)||M.S.406 (D.510)||298 (298B)||Potez 630||Amiot 143||F.223||MB-131||MB.220|
|1940||Ln.401 (LN.401)||D.520 (D.790)||CAO.600 (312C)||Bre 690||LeO 451||MB.162||CAO-700|
|1944||Noreclair (SO.800 Narval)||MB.157 (D.525)||D.750 (D.750P)||Bre 700 C2||MB.174||Bre 482|
|Jet Engine Technology|
Politics[edit | edit source]
National spirits[edit | edit source]
- Recruitable Population Factor: -25%
With the Man the Guns expansion enabled, France starts with an additional national spirit:
Victors of the Great War can be removed by completing the Army Reform focus at the bottom of the Begin Rearmament branch.
Disjointed Government, Political Violence and Inefficient Economy can possibly be removed by completing National Focuses in the Popular Front/National Bloc branch.
Changing conscription laws will make Full Employment worse but can be removed with the National focus.
Political parties[edit | edit source]
Diplomacy[edit | edit source]
France starts outside of the Allies at the start of 1936, but has options to join later. They also have focuses to form their own faction with Czechoslovakia and invite Yugoslavia and Romania to form the Little Entente - if they do form the Little Entente, they can also take additional focuses to invite the United Kingdom and Poland to the Entente.
France has a focus to unlock decisions concerning whether to intervene in the Spanish Civil War, or encourage non-interference by other parties. If they opt to encourage non-interference, success will give them a stability boost. If they opt to interfere, however, they will unlock a series of decisions - said decisions will boost war support; after getting war support to a certain level, France can opt to intervene directly in the Spanish Civil War. By default, they can only intervene on the side of the Republicans, but should they change ideologies, France can instead opt to intervene on the side of the Nationalists, the Carlists, the Falangists, or the Communists. Interestingly, the way these decisions are coded make it entirely possible for a Fascist France to intervene on the side of Republican Spain and also drag the Axis in.
If Germany goes down it's historic tree, France can opt to mobilize in response to the remilitarization of the Rhineland (taking this decision has a steep cost in political power and stability; note that they can only object if Germany completes the Focus Rhineland; if Germany remilitarizes the Rhineland by going to war, France cannot object). If the UK supports France, France (and any puppets France has at the time) will join the Allies, and if the Germans refuse to back down, when France goes to war, a civil war will break out. If the UK refuses to back up France, however, France can either opt to oppose Germany itself (which will also trigger a civil war) or it can back down. If Germany does back down in response to either instance, not only will the Rhineland remain demilitarized, but it will also give them a negative debuff that will lock off Anschluss for 1 year (additionally, when Germany does go to war, this will mean that the Rhineland will be unprotected by German troops for a while). Similarly, France can act differently in response to German demands for Sudetenland than the UK; if the UK agrees to let Germany have the Sudetenland, the French can either agree with the UK, which will also cancel their guarantee on Yugoslavia, or refuse to go along with the UK and form a faction with Czechoslovakia. However, if the UK refuses to let Germany have Sudetenland, France can either opt to stay out of the conflict (which will cancel their guarantees of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) or they can reaffirm their support (if the UK is not in a faction already but France is in one, the UK is added to France's faction and vice-versa; however, if both France and the UK are in separate factions, then France will guarantee Czechoslovakia). Similarly, if Germany overthrows Hitler and opts to restore the Kaiser, France can raise an objection to the Return of Kaiser Wilhelm II (the AI will usually limit it's response based on how much tension Germany has generated); similar to Rhineland, the UK can opt to support or not support France, and Germany can either choose to continue ahead or compromise and instead install Wilhelm III as Kaiser; this will give them a similar debuff, but unlike the Rhineland Challenge Met debuff, none of Germany's focuses will be blocked.
If France is capitulated by a non-democratic Germany and Germany is still at war with another major in the same faction as France, Germany can opt to set up an unofficial government in France - what government this is will depend on what ideology Germany is at the time. If Germany is Fascist, they will establish Vichy France. However, if Germany has restored the Kaiser, they will instead establish Bourbon France, although unlike what happens if France manually restores the monarchy, this Bourbon France will not have a king in charge (France will also become Bourbon France if they become a puppet of a non-aligned government). Alternatively, if France is Democratic and aligned with the UK (the UK can be any ideology), they can instead propose joining the two countries in the Franco-British Union - this decision will end the game for the French Player if the UK accepts, but in return, the British player will gain all existing French cores (this can include any gained through other methods), all French Units, Ships, Generals, Admirals, and equipment; while the Union can remain afterwards if the British player opts not to let France go independent when the Union is at peace, they will lose all French cores and generals/admirals if they choose to do so.
France can form the European Union if Democratic, and if they have , can also form the Kingdom of Franco-Spain if they go Legitimist and Spain also goes Carlist (on historical, the Carlists will almost never spawn if the player is not in charge of Spain and will only spawn on historical if Franco does not secure the North in time; unlike with Spain, France can form the Kingdom of Franco-Spain even if Spain has a different king) - if Spain was to obtain any other cores, France would also gain said cores (Gibraltar if the UK decolonizes or Spain forms Iberia, and any Portuguese cores gained by Spain as a result of forming Iberia - this can include Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique if Portugal was able to core those territories). Through the focus "The Blum-Violette Proposal", France can gain cores on Northern Algeria. Additionally, through the focus "French Union", France can gain cores on any of their colonies in Africa, the Middle East, or Indochina, although the cores gained will differ as the outcome is always random - interestingly, if Morocco, Algeria, or Tunisia was to form Andalusia, then be re-conquered by France, it can still agree to be cored through French Union, which would result in France gaining all cores that Morocco had (hypothetically, the same would be true for Arabia if Lebanon or Syria were to form the nation, be re-conquered by France, and then agree to be cored through French Union), although this would be slightly redundant if Legitimist France was to do so, as Andalusia requires Spain and Portugal to be formed) - note that the Blum-Violette proposal would not grant France cores on Andalusia if formed this method, as said focus is fixed in regards to what cores it grants.
Diplomatic rules[edit | edit source]
|Rule||Whether it applies||Reason|
|Can declare war on country of the same ideology group without a war goal||No||Democracy|
|Can Guarantee other Ideologies||Yes||Democracy|
|Can create Factions||No||No National Spirit. Requires National Focus|
|Lowers World Tension with Guarantees||Yes||Democracy|
|Can puppet a country||No||Democracy|
|Can justify wargoals against a country that have not generated world tension||No||Democracy|
|Can create collaboration governments||No||Democracy|
Decisions[edit | edit source]
France can form the European Union through a decision if it is democratic and controls the requisite territories (those being all of its own starting core states a well as the starting core states of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Staff and designers[edit | edit source]
These are choices of ministers and design companies for France.
Economy[edit | edit source]
Laws[edit | edit source]
This is a community maintained wiki. If you spot a mistake then you are welcome to fix it.
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Limited Conscription
|| Civilian Economy
|| Export Focus
Industry[edit | edit source]
8 Military Factories
10 Naval Dockyard
33 Civilian Factories
Military production is dwarfed by Germany (20 more factories) and Italy (11 more factories) and only on par with Belgium. The player can also expect production to be crippled by the 1936 strikes. However, the very good civilian production allows for considerable military buildup in the years before the war and France can easily build up its industry to a comparable level once the strikes and other negative modifiers have been removed.
Resources[edit | edit source]
These numbers represent the base available resources, depending on the trade law a certain amount may be traded away.
France has access to huge amounts of Steel and Aluminum. They also control large supplies of Rubber, Chromium and Tungsten from their Asian colonies. They have no access to Oil so they need to import that.
Military[edit | edit source]
This is a community maintained wiki. If you spot a mistake then you are welcome to fix it.
Army[edit | edit source]
France has 74 divisions in 1936, but many of those are colonial divisions with only six infantry battalions, and their armored divisions are basically brigades:
- Six are Division de Cavalerie with 4x cavalry and a cavalry recon detachment.
- Seven are Division d'Infanterie Motorisée with 9x motorized, an engineer company and a motorized recon company.
- Nine are Division Coloniale with 9x infantry and support artillery.
- Four are Division d'Infanterie Alpine with 12x mountaineers and no support.
- One is a Divisione Légère Mécanique with 4x motorized, 2x light tanks, an engineer company and a motorized recon company.
- Five are Brigade de Chars de Combat with 4x light tanks and no support.
- Nineteen are Division d'Infanterie with 9x infantry and support artillery.
- The remaining 23 are Brigade Coloniale with 6x infantry, no support, and low reinforcement priority.
France relies on the heavy fortifications at the border to Germany, the Maginot Line to defend them. With its far-flung and vast colonial possessions, defending them against attack will require a higher concentration of light, fast forces compared to Metropole defense.
In terms of technology, France has a good head start on mechanized, motorized and tank forces with only a little catch-up for infantry weapons. The problem with fielding a modern army will be expanding France's production base, which is both extremely limited and faced with the prospect of crippling manpower shortages in the very near future in 1936.
Examples of alternative division template names for France include:
- Mountaineers - Division d'Infanterie Alpine
- Marines - Division d'Infanterie de Marine
- Paratroopers - Division Aéroportée
- Motorized - Division d'Infanterie Motorisée
- Mechanized - Division d'Infanterie Mécanisée
- Armor - Division Blindée
[edit | edit source]
France has 1 Carrier(CV), 5 Battleships(BB), 7 Heavy Cruisers(CA), 7 Light Cruisers(CL), 52 Destroyers(DD) and 63 Submarines(SS) at the start, and boasts a somewhat modern - if badly understrength - fleet. Whilst the Marine Nationale is strong enough to decisively defeat either the Kriegsmarine or the Regia Marina alone, it would have no chance against a combined Axis fleet. As with her tanks, France begins the game with modern naval technology, such as 1936 BB, DD and SS techs and two unique designs: La Fantasque, a destroyer model with tier 3 (1940) engines, and the Surcouf Class submarine with 3 custom slots. Many of these designs are clearly aimed against an anti-surface role, prioritizing fast, lightly-armored ships with minimal ASW capability and strong scouting capabilities. However, poor naval infrastructure and low shipbuilding priority means that constructing a large modern fleet is not easy, and in fact can often be counter-productive in that it denies vital raw materials from tank and motorized production.
|Bourrasque Class*||Destroyer||26||1922||DD battery I, AA I, 2xTT I|
|Chacal Class*||Destroyer||24||1922||Bourrasque + DC I and Light Engine II|
|La Fantasque Class||Destroyer||2||4||1922||DD battery II, AA I, TT I, TT II, DC I, Light Engine III|
|Mogador Class||Destroyer||1936||2xDD battery II, AA I, TT II, DC I|
|Duguay-Trouin Class*||Light Cruiser||5||1922||2xCL I batteries, TT I, scout plane I, no armor|
|Émile Bertin Class||Minelayer (CL)||1||1922||2xCL II batteries, 2xAA I, mines, no armor|
|La Galissonniére Class||Light Cruiser||1||4||1922||2xAA I, 2xCL II batteries, scout plane I, CL armor I|
|Suffren Class*||Heavy Cruiser||6||1922||2xCA I battery, AA I, TT I, scout plane I, CA Armor I|
|Algérie Class||Heavy Cruiser||1||1922||2xCA I batteries, 2x AA I, scout plane I, CA Armor I|
|Surcouf Class||Submarine||1||1918||2xTT I, scout plane I|
|600 Series*||Submarine||19||1922||TT I|
|630 Series*||Submarine||16||1922||TT I|
|Saphir Class*||Minelayer (SS)||6||1922||TT I, mines|
|Minerve Class||Submarine||4||1922||2xTT I, Submarine Engine II|
|Redoutable Class||Submarine||21||3||1936||2xTT I|
|Dunkerque Class||Battlecruiser||1||1936||2xBB I batteries, 2x AA I, 2xSecondary I, Scout Plane 1, BC Armor II|
|Courbet Class*||Battleship||2||1922||2xBB I batteries, 1xAA I, 3xSecondary I, BB Armor I|
|Bretagne Class||Battleship||3||1922||2xBB I batteries, 2xAA I, 2xSecondary I, BB Armor I|
|Richelieu Class||Battleship||1||1936||2xBB II batteries, 2xAA I, scout plane II, 2xSecondary II, BB Armor II|
|Béarn Class||Aircraft Carrier||1||1922||2xHangar Space, 1xAA I, 1x Secondary I|
|* marks a variant as "obsolescent".|
Air force[edit | edit source]
18 Carrier fighters
24 Naval bombers
18 Carrier naval bombers
204 Tactical bombers
It is a rather good air force, but it will need to be significantly strengthened before the war starts.
18 Carrier fighters
36 Heavy fighters
48 Close air support
18 Carrier close air support
24 Naval bombers
24 Carrier naval bombers
178 Tactical bombers
12 Strategic bombers
France starts 1939 with a small, but modern air force. They have 562 ‘Dewoitine D.520’ fighters which is the most 1940 type fighters of any country in the 1939 start. They also start with a 1940 model tactical bomber, but they do not have quite as much of those.
Military staff[edit | edit source]
These are the Military Staff candidates for appointment in France.
Strategies and guides[edit | edit source]
Super Kingdom of Franco-Spain[edit | edit source]
For the first step, in forming the super Kingdom of Franco-Spain, you must put on non-historical focuses, and restart saves until Portugal does its focus Estado Novo. Once you get the news article detailing that their has been a royal marriage between Brazil and Portugal you can move on. Next step is forming the European Union. Follow the Forming the European Union steps for how to form it, but make sure to not go down any focus tree other than the monarchist branch, as well as making sure that the Carlists win the Spanish civil war and the monarchist Portuguese win their civil war and the Brazilian monarchist civil war (If they Don't fire, don't worry, that just means you don't have to help them through the civil wars). Note that you can still form the Kingdom of Franco-Spain if Carlist Spain did not win, provided that they did spawn (as you can liberate Spain to them in the peace deal), although doing so will lock you out of gaining cores on any Portuguese states.
Note that one can spawn Carlist Spain on Historical if certain conditions are met (while this won't allow you to gain Brazilian Cores, you can still gain cores on all of Iberia if Spain forms that nation) - as soon as the Spanish Civil War begins, start Intervention in the Spanish Civil War and rush the decision for Volunteers. Send Tank Volunteers to Republican Spain, and use them to secure the ports in Asturias; delay for as long as possible (if Nationalist Spain does either a Methodical Approach or Caudillo of Spain after Martyrdom for Primo de Riveria instead of Consolidate the North, you're on the right track). Note that once you go to war with Germany, you'll have to recall those volunteers, so after the Carlists Spawn, delete your existing tank volunteers and immediately send some new ones to Carlist Spain (at the start of the game, France starts with 6 tank Divisions - convert all of these to the template with motorized, and you'll have several good divisions on your hands), and use them to clean up as much of the other factions as possible before going to war with the nations required for the EU.
After forming the EU, you must restore the monarchy through the Légitimistes, continue down the focus tree, but before completing be sure that Spain has formed the Iberian union ( if they did the focus for the Iberian union but Portugal refused, if the save is ironman, immediately alt f4, but if on regular mode, reload to the latest auto save until Portugal accepts), Upon completing Focus to annex Spain, you should have cores on all of western Europe (Spain gets a core on Gibraltar when it forms Iberia) and Brazil (if Portugal was able to integrate Mozambique and Angola, you also gain cores on those states as well).
Forming the European Union[edit | edit source]
France is quite possibly the best candidate to form the European Union as if staying democratic, it can expect to end up in a defensive war against both Germany and Italy, allowing both countries to be annexed in a single peace treaty. The main problem with forming the EU as France is the inability to annex Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg but this can be worked around by going down the French Entente line in the focus tree. Be sure to kick Czechoslovakia out of the faction before Sudetenland as otherwise you will end up in a war with Germany too early. Wait for Germany to capitulate all the minors on the mainland before justifying on an axis member and joining the war.
Once the war starts its important to deny military access to all other belligerents and rack up massive war score on your own. The most straightforward approach would be to first neutralize Italy by launching naval invasions to encircle and destroy their troops before marching on Rome. Start in Sicily and work your way up the peninsula towards Rome. If you have land forts around level 6 or higher then the Axis nations will be very hesitant to assault your positions and you can focus on taking down Italy. Once Italy falls, be sure to quickly capitulate Germany before the Allies are able to do that. You need to have a high war score in order to pull off this strategy.
Once the Axis powers are defeated and the peace treaty commences, annex the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) countries in their entirety and as much of Italy and Germany in the first peace treaty as possible. Try to annex all coastal states as the Allies will not annex any states that they cannot reach. Only Italy's and Germany's starting regions are needed so a German Republic forming in Austria or an Italian Republic forming in Albania (due to Allied demands) is very convenient if you can cut then off and stop them from getting more land in the peace deal.
An alternative (albeit untested) way to form the EU is to allow Hungary to become a major power and then occupy and hold the territories needed before the peace deal.
If playing on multiplayer with a player-controlled Soviet Union, one method is to have them join the war and have them declare on the Benelux countries - as this will drag them into the Axis, they can be taken into the peace deal. Note that doing so may result in the UK guaranteeing them, so it's recommended that either the UK also be player-controlled, or the USSR have caused as little tension as possible (justifying on the Dutch East Indies can also help lower the tension).
Lastly, it is also possible to take advantage of several random events to increase Communist support high enough and flip France to communism, allowing them to manually justify war goals on Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands and annex them, then progress down the Democratic branch of the National Focus tree and drift back to Democracy and form the EU.
Achievements[edit | edit source]