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An Empire Under the Sun. But the sun is fading. And so is the Empire.
Great Britain has a large empire over the whole world, including powerhouse India. It is an advantage as long as the UK can hold it and it is the worst nightmare as soon as the UK loses its colonies. Without them, the UK is far less powerful. Fortunately in this game the player can even expand the empire.
As an island nation the UK will not get any manpower from overseas territory when at war, so the manpower growth will shrink considerably as soon as the war starts. Considerably? Yes, India is national territory and so nearly half the peace manpower growth comes from there.
Another important restriction is the peace-time IC penalty. At the start of the game the UK has -50% IC. If the road to war develops historically that penalty is lowered to zero due to events when the war finally starts.
The United Kingdom is the leader of the Allies and has several diplomatic options.
- Industrial: try to get industry research as high as possible (especially the ones with + manpower, + IC, + IC efficiency, faster production time and + research efficiency). It is a good idea to watch the research of France carefully as they have a very high priority here. Maybe it is worth to wait a few months to research some of those techs so you can do it with French blueprints.
- Infantry/tanks: Again, France will often research the ´39 infantry very, very early, so maybe you wait for the blueprint. Wait for the tank blueprints as well if you do not plan to start building them early.
- Air: The UK will be fighting in every theatre of the war: and will need a massive air force if they are to be successful.The United Kingdom can afford and benefit from researching and building both fighters and interceptors. The benefit would be "cheap" home defence and powerful fighters for the Med, India and the Pacific. CAS are a bad idea: their range is an issue and if you don´t build them you save yourself some doctrine research. Doctrines should be kept up to date if one aspires to a world-class air force.
- Navy: carriers and destroyers are your best friends. Make sure to research and produce them. Very important are escort carriers as they improve the British Battleship fleets considerably.
As the leader of the Allies the UK has a lot of options.
The UK can ally with many countries when at peace. Some of those alliances are considered gamey, especially the alliance with Republican Spain.
As UK, you may want to focus on increasing the defense lobby slider. Move it to max hawk although be aware that a lot of events prior to 1941 can modify your lobby and move it toward hawk as well, so you may instead want to advance the slider toward standing army. Interventionism is useful in reducing the amount of consumer goods required. However, you do not need the bonus it gives on belligerence required for declaring war until Germany is defeated since Germany will declare on you.
You need one move towards hawk if all other events happen historically. For the manpower (UK needs it!) that would be a natural first move. Then move towards full free market and then move political right. What? Yes, become social conservative. Market Liberal governments tend to loose full free market due to events, social conservatives can´t reach it, but also won´t get the event that reduces free market. Of course this can be considered gamey.
In January your HoS dies and is replaced by a -10% IC one. Fortunately this one is replaced by a better one in December of the same year. With that one you stick to the end. Also the HoG, Stanley Baldwin, will retire in late ´36 and will be replaced by Neville Chamberlain. Later (´40) there will be an event that replaces N. Chamberlain with Winston Churchill.
The other ministers are:
- Foreign Minister: Anthony Eden as ideological crusader is available from the beginning. You may lose him in an event 1938. Choose the option that you keep him, he is the only ideological crusader until ´45!
- Armaments Ministers: Sir John Simon gives +5% IC and +10% industry research and is available from 1937 on.
- Minister of Security: Viscount Templewood is a man of the people and available from 37 on and can replace Baldwin (also a man of the people), who´s often lost due an event.
- Head of Intelligence: William Gallacher from the start or one year later Lord Cecil of Chelwood, both industrial specialists.
- Chief of Staff: That´s the player´s choice, until Sir Alan Brooke and his +25% manpower bonus becomes available in ´40.
- Chief of Army: Again, player´s choice. Sir Alan Brooke becomes available in ´41 and offers Decisive Battle Doctrine, not the worst choice. Elastic Defence from Sir John Dill is definitely another good option.
- Chief of Navy: From ´37 on you have Sir Dudley Pound, he offers Decisive Battle and that´s most likely the best choice for the Battleship-heavy Royal Navy.
- Chief of Air: There is a great variety of ministers available. Most naturally Air Superiority seems a good option, but it has penalties for both strategic and naval bombers, so it might be a good idea to change to someone else if the RAF will build those planes. When the UK starts to build a wider variety of planes, maybe a Carpet Bombing Doctrine minister fits better, as that doctrine gives only a bonus for the most expensive planes and not a penalty for anything else.
Intelligence does cost much and you have very good research teams already. So the potential benefit is arguably not so great.
You are self sufficient and as such, you do not need to get more resources. However you may want to trade for money and supplies. In peacetime, trade the UK's plentiful Energy and Metal resources for the Soviet Union's Supplies. The more IC the UK can free from supplies by trading, the stronger the armed forces can become. Aim for the Supplies / IC slider to read 0.00. You also need to supply your allies with resources they are lacking. To check how much resource they have, go to diplomacy screen and open negotiations with them. You can check in the slider on their current stockpile. To see if they produce a specific resource, just look in the diplomacy screen in Allied section.
IC production is useful for any nation. But it depends very much on your strategy how much you build. If you will try to hold France and defeat Germany early you need a bigger army than if you decide to stay relatively passive at first. One thing is a must have by 40 at the latest: 16 fighters/interceptors against the Germans and Italians. So don´t build too much IC.
At first you need troops so build infantry. But as your manpower is far from infinite and you want to defeat Axis you should switch to build tanks/motorized/mechanized units not too late. It is a good idea to start one serial of tanks in ´39/40 and one of motorized for some Combined Arms corps and keep it running a long time. If navy and air force are not your main investments even more. Marines are a very good idea, and Great Britain can also profit from mountaineers.
The RN has lots of ships at the start, the priority should be to improving the existing navy. Skip Battleships, the RN has 12 already and that should be enough for the whole game. Do not build too many carriers, Germany and Italy are easy enough to defeat. Against Japan you can either go the "more carrier" route or just send your Battleships. With Fleet In Being the last is definitely a good choice.
So, what does the RN need? Screens! Lots of them, an awful lot. For the Battleships, for the carriers and for your cruisers and (in Armageddon) to form some cruizerg fleets is an option for all the level II CA´s GB starts with. Modern destroyers in your fleets are essential to hunt the German subs.
The RAF will be the sharpest knife of the United Kingdom, if used correctly, see Effective Use of Airpower. At first to gain air superiority and then to destroy the enemy. Invest heavily here. Players with experience in naval warfare may consider to skip naval bombers as TAC´s are good enough and your navy will rule. More TAC´s is very nice to have. The UK can´t have enough of them. But never neglect fighters/interceptors, GB has to fight the Italian and German bombers/fighters nearly alone and can´t rely on the USAF against Japan.
Spanish Civil War - UK intervention
As soon as the Spanish Civil war brakes out in July 1936 the UK has the option to intervene or not.
- Don´t support causes
- +2 dissent
- +1 isolationism
- Support causes
- -200 money
- -10 manpower
- - x supplies. x = 10 times the number of your maximum daily production.
- +4 dissent
- +1 interventionism
- +1 political left
If the UK helped and the Republicans won the UK gets
- +5 manpower
- -1 dissent
- one random blueprint
In all those events the minor influences on relations to several nations are missing, but all are really minor changes.
UK gears up for war
This event will fire five times in an historical road to war. It´s always triggered by German events:
- Reoccupation of the Rhineland in the first months of ´36
- Anschluß of Austria in Spring ´38
- Sudetenland in Autumn ´38
- Treaty of Munich in Spring ´39
- Molotov-Ribbentrob Pact in August ´39
The effects are:
- 10% peacetime IC penalty removed
- one move towards hawk lobby
- +15 manpower
Guarantee Independence of Poland
If the treaty of Munich happens historically the UK offers Poland an alliance shortly after that. Historically, the treaty contained secret clauses that specifically stated that Britain and France only had to fulfil their obligations to Poland if specifically Germany invaded. This was done to keep the Allies from having to declare war on the Soviet Union. The two option are:
- Offer alliance
- relations to France and Poland
- relations to Germany suffer
- +1 interventionism
- Don´t offer alliance
- +15 dissent
- relations to France and Poland become worse
- relations to Germany improve
- +2 isolationism
From September ´39 on there is a chance the Altmark incident will happen.
If the UK decides to intervene:
- +1 manpower
- -1 dissent
- +1 hawk lobby
- +1 manpower
- -1 dissent
- +1 dove lobby
Destroyers for bases
If Paris is in Axis hands there is a 15% chance every 20 days that the USA offer destroyers to the UK
- +1 Hawk lobby
- +10 relations with USA
- -5 manpower
- +50 escorts in convoy pool
- Military access for USA
Lend and Lease Shipment
If Germany is at war with the Allies and GB owns the home islands there is a good chance that the USA send Lend and Lease shipments to the Britain. The first shipment arrives usually shortly after the Vichy event fired and has the following effects for GB:
- supplies +5000
- oil +2500
- metal +2500
- +6 base IC in six different cities.
Every following shipment delivers
- 3000 supplies
- 1000 oil
- 1000 metal
- +6 base IC in the same cities.
Independence of India
If Germany does not exist there is a 8% chance every month from November ´45 on that India declares their independence from GB.
No matter what option the player chooses, the UK cores are removed from Pakistan, India and Burma.
- They cannot be hold back releases Pakistan and India as free nations, not in your alliance.
- This must not be allowed causes +20 dissent.
Basic Tactical Situation
- Natural ability to strike anywhere in the world, which could allow for a multitude of different play styles, from historical play-through to global conquest.
- Generally in good shape resource wise making it easy to manage any deficiencies that show up.
- Once "Lend-Lease" is triggered they received numerous boosts of IC.
- Large starting navy.
- Hardest nation in the world to be annexed.
- AI normally will not (and won't at all on lower levels) invade england.
- Far flung worldwide territories are difficult to defend, which is compounded with small defense forces in each general area.
- Long Dangerous supply convoys.
- Transporting units to a hot zone often takes a long time, and it's very dangerous.
There are numerous options for the war in Europe when playing UK. Some of them are:
- Send all infantry divisions to France. If you array them properly, you can stall Germany indefinitely.
- Wait until Germany declares war on USSR and perform D-Day without the help of USA.
- Let France falls and after Italy joins Axis, invade North Africa and then mainland Italy. In HoI2 and Doomsday there is the Sicily Problem (see gamey tactics below).
As UK you can try to hold Norway easily with the RN only. With air superiority over the sea around Denmark the RN should be able to intercept all German transports. The day Germany DoW´s Denmark and Norway the United Kingdom should buy the Danish and Norwegian tactical bomber wings. Otherwise the Danish ones are lost in the capitulation event and the Norwegian ones will very soon do suicidal missions.
Holding Germany in Ardennes
If you choose the first option, you should build as many infantry divisions and aircrafts during peace time as possible. Consider attaching them with engineer brigade or artillery to increase their strength.
Before and during the war, keep piling up the troops in northern France. Do not send them to France as expeditionary troops! The AI will waste them. Since sometimes the AI France will try to counterattack Germany even leaving their provinces weakly defended, you need to move the defenders around to make sure that there will be no weak point.
After stalling Germany indefinitely, start to make landing in North West Germany with marines. It will disrupt their offense and let you claim those territories for yourself instead of giving them to France.
Waiting for USSR
This is a simple strategy. Let Germany declare war on USSR and then once you are ready, land your troops in France. Germany will have a big problem since it has to fight on two fronts. It is absolutely the player´s choice where to land, the Balkans or Italy are also good choice after Axis troops moved east a while.
After the Vichy regime is established and British forces cleared Africa there is no need to stop. Invading and taking Italy should not be that difficult and with enough bombers any German troops moving south should be destroyed before they can cause trouble. Doing this early in game will need much more effort than waiting until Axis is at war with the Soviets, so British troops may lack in India/Asia. you can also land in northern Italy and take the north and create a puppet state up their so you can deal with the other Italians who in the end will regain their rightful provinces. this is a good way to keep Italy from becoming to strong.
No matter how the UK deals with Europe, from late ´41 on it is likely that Japan DoW´s the USA and the UK. If the USA are not yet part of the Allies invite them into your alliance asap. No matter how the situation in Europe is, many of your troops are likely to be stalled there, either against Axis or at the border to the Soviet Union. You have the RAF and the RN and should have several divisions in Burma. Let all your mobile troops stay in Europe (and continue to build them), but move enough infantry, the marines and, if available, the mountaineers to Asia. Also bring some "air field guards" to Asia, either militia or garrison troops.
Fighting in Burma can take long time. Marching through Burma is even worse. GB has three air fields in that area and should definitely use them. Counter-attack enemy advances and let your bombers do the work. This way GB should be able to hold Burma easily. If, finally, British troops are on the offence make sure to take out Siam´s last VP´s at the same time so Britain can annex them rather than the capitulation event.
If there are enough troops you can try to hold every base/island you have, but especially in the first months of the war the strong IJN and enemy naval bombers will make it difficult to fight like you want. Defending all colonies needs far more divisions than Britain probably has there. So let Japan land where they want, there is not much you can do against it. Hit their convoy routes, use your bombers against the troops if possible and retake the islands you or your allies lost against less opposition after Japan removed parts of the invasion forces. This way you destroy a lot of enemy troops with very few casualties.
Most interesting is the naval war. Use all your battleships in Asia and have your carrier fleet(s) ready. There should be no reason to hold strong units back at home as the navies of Germany and Italy should be long beaten by now. The RAF has to provide air cover for your fleets or the RN risks some very unpleasant surprises. With the best leader(s) the British Battleships should be able to take out many Japanese ships. If the Japanese fleet does not use one large carrier fleet the RN should be able to take out every CTF separately relatively easy. Wait for the latest carrier warfare doctrines until you try a carrier vs carrier engagement, and even then make sure there are more British than Japanese carriers.
If, finally, the IJN is crippled and all Japanese conquests are retaken, Britain should take Taiwan and go for Japan mainland. Without manpower reserves the remaining Japanese troops still own China (most likely), but fighting against them should become easier. Thinking about World War III Britain it is very important that the USA get a (strong) foothold in China/Korea, so don´t take all for Britain.
World War III
After Japan is defeated UK is at peace. (Un)fortunately only until either the SU or the USA decide that the "Cold War gets hot", then the UK is at war once again. As GB is most likely low on manpower it should rely heavily on air power, let the bombers do the work. Use the mobile corps to keep the enemy moving and destroy everything with the RAF. Don´t forget the fronts at Norway, Persia and perhaps India. Especially from Persia the UK can take some high IC good provinces.
A landing in the backyard of the SU (Archangelsk) is a good move to divert enemy troops from the main frontline in Europe and to keep them moving for your bombers.
If needed help the USA in China/Korea with bombers, it´s far better to help there early than to find out the hard way that the Red Army managed to reach Burma.
Last but most important: Watch the manpower!!! If necessary the UK troops should retreat from every fight and attack carefully (perhaps even with mobile corps only).
Britain is a powerful country, but problematically it has to fight multiple other powerful countries all at once. In real life this diluted Britain's resources so much that it could only just hold on in multiple theatres until the Americans arrived. In HoI2, armed with superior strategy and a little fore-knowledge, you can easily change this outcome. The key principle is: apply overwhelming force to the decisive points quickly, and then move on. You will have a number of battles to fight, in order:
- 1940 - Save Norway
- 1940/1 - Drive Italy out of North Africa
- 1941/2 - Defeat Japan and protect your Far Eastern possessions
- 1943- - Rescue Europe from German domination
If you get bogged down trying to fight Italy, Japan and Germany all at once you will not be able to defeat any of them. Instead, try to end each of these confrontations before the next one starts, allowing you to deploy all of your forces against each in turn. Thanks to Britain's powerful navy you have the ability to do this. In the course of the game you will need to build at least five squadrons (each 4 units) of FTR to defend Britain and your navy, a strong force of TACs and at least 4-8 CVs by 1942. After this invest in your ground forces. Don't be afraid to buy expensive formations like ARM, MAR and MOT. Your IC may seem tight at first, but you will run out of MP long before the war ends.
When Germany invades Norway deploy your fleet and 10-12 INF to defend it. Make sure that whenever you send your fleet in range of an enemy coast you cover it with FTR, or you will start taking heavy losses to enemy bombers. Norway should be fairly easy to hold. Move at least a squadron of TACs there and start bombing Kiel with your fleet stationed outside under the protection of your FTR. You want to destroy the Kriegsmarine so you can redeploy all your naval strength to the East later. When Italy enters the war, with the bulk of your army in North Africa you should be able to quickly overrun them. MAR and ARM-MOT will help greatly here as you can encircle the Italians. From Libya you can bomb Taranto and destroy the Regia Marina too. DO NOT invade Sicily, even though you can easily hold it with your navy, until after Germany declares war on USSR. Otherwise it can spook them into defending Italy rather than attacking the Soviets, and this will hurt you greatly later.
Italy should be finished in 1940. As soon as you destroy the axis fleets spend 1941 bombing Germany if you like, while moving your army and navy to the Far East. Deploy your INF to Burma and Malaya, but take your ARM-MOT too. When Japan declares war you need at least one and ideally two strong carrier task forces to immediately advance into the South China Sea. Again make sure to keep FTR cover. The war in Burma will be extremely slow and both sides will find it difficult to advance. But this is Britskrieg! With the Japanese Navy destroyed or forced into port, take the Chinese islands, then Okinawa, and finally launch an assault on the Japanese mainland with all your mobile forces. Problematically it is unlikely that Japan will surrender even after you take almost all of its cores, but they're no longer directly a threat. Code a surrender event if you like, or try to peace with them via the game's diplomacy system. White peace should be fairly easy, but puppetting them is preferable and that can be problematic. You can simply leave large INF stacks in a 3/4 province border in India and leave them to it, but bear in mind that China will likely spam a lot of INF for Japan which can become problematic over time.
However you mop up the situation, Japan is now finished, and you want to move all your forces back to Europe. By 1943/44, Sovs will have been fighting Germany for some time and hopefully should have them on the ropes. You want to invade just before the high ebb of Nazi conquests, so as much of it as possible goes to you rather than the Soviet Empire. You can try for Italy first which will be easy and provide a reasonably strong ally, but Italy doesn't provide a good way into Central and Eastern Europe. Alternatively you can invade Germany itself around Kiel and try to grab a border with the Soviets as far East as possible. At that point, the world should be Britain's. Japan is likely to be a puppet, as is most of Europe except France and Benelux which are returned by event. Destroy the Soviets, return America to the Crown, or just sit back and enjoy your new Germanic colonies.
Gaming the System
The Spanish Civil War
In ’36, Britain is crippled by the restrictions of its leadership and peace-time economy. While the monarchy sorts itself out, start influencing Republican Spain as actively as you can, all the way up to 200. - Trade with the Netherlands and Belgium for cash, if you have to. Once the Spanish civil war hits, ask them to your alliance until they accept. Congratulations, you are now at war. Take military control of both Republican Spain and France, and if you haven’t already, pull British troops from India and Egypt back to your island. Keep a French guard on their borders, and then … let the Nationalists win. The goal is to gain more territory for Britain, so once Republican Spain has been annexed, start landing your own troops. If you’re British troops are having trouble beating the Nationalists, take the territories bordering France. Then, French troops can move across British territory to help the fight, giving all newly conquered territory to the British. Destroy the Nationalists, but don’t annex! Keep the phony war going until the Germans declare war on Poland in ’39.
With the additional resources from your war-time economy, you will be in a position to destroy Germany. Focus on a strong Army. Unless you want German to annex Poland, you must move quickly. Germany will leave its northern shores almost completely defenceless. Land in bulk, take Berlin, and crush Germany as you please. You can repeat the French tactic if you want, hugging the western border all the way down to France and letting their tanks roll across your territory and then the rest of Germany.
Once Germany is annexed, the next war will be fought against Japan. Prepare by building up Hong Kong and India. You’ll be fighting a land war in Asia and a hard Navy battle in the Pacific, so you’ll need a well-rounded fighting force. Be careful – by the time Japan declares war, it will have many state-of-the-art CV´s to throw at you. The quickest way to win this war is to take the island of Japan and then make landings all across the Chinese coast, but the enterprise is risky with the Japanese fleet in action. Make sure your CV tech, naval doctrine, and fighter doctrines are prioritized. If the Japanese fleet is giving you trouble, invade China from the west while building your navy up to strength.
Taking China will take years, but once that’s done, you’ll now have a long border across the south of Russia. If Poland was annexed earlier by Germany, you may want to liberate it and ban it from the alliance, to create a buffer between British-Germany and Russia. Be prepared for an epic ground war broken by long winters. Take your time and build a large army, and maybe a few nukes, before attempting. Afterwards, the world is yours, congratulations!
Another exploitive course of action (in HoI2 and Doomsday) is the following: Let France fall. Place most of your troops in North Africa. Once Italy joins the Axis, overrun them so you will conquer most of North Africa. This will allow you to land in Sicily island, as well as providing naval and air bases.
After France falls and before Germany declares war on USSR, you need to invade Sicily. Have your fleet perform shore bombardments, fighters on air superiority and bombers on interdiction. Land 3 marines in the weakest beachhead in Sicily (the island south of Italian peninsula). If you lose the battle, use other marines and try to land again. Keep trying until you gain a province. Land enough troops there to take out the other province.
Once you secured Sicily, the AI Germany will become anxious and send most of its troops to the southern tip of the peninsula trying to cross it and invade Sicily. There are two options that allow you to hold Sicily indefinitely:
- Place a fleet between Italian mainland and Sicily.
- Garrison enough troops to defend against AI invasion.
If you decide to place a fleet to guard Sicily, be very careful with Italian naval bombers. Return damaged ships to port to avoid being sunk.
With the bulk of German army in Italy, you can run wild in other parts of Europe. Land the troops in France and make your way to annex Germany.
Avoid the German Surrender event
The German surrender event may not be the best choice when British troops liberated mainland Germany but not all conquests as (in Armageddon) most territories go to the Soviets. In this situation encircle Berlin before the Red Army arrives. It will cut off the rest of Germany from supplies, but in that situation this exploit should not play an important role.
Playing with a mod (such as HSR)
If you are playing with a mod such as Historical Stony Road, Germany becomes a very powerful opponent and your only strategy when the war starts seems to desperately try to hold on to what you already have. In most cases, Germans will have enough ground forces to cut through any French (and your) defense and trigger Vichy France event. With that said, a player should concentrate on maintaining NAVY superiority, building tons of destroyers and carriers, as well as a lot of RAF fighter planes to suppress those annoying naval bombers. The first priority for ground attack is securing your position in Mediterranean and taking Africa. The second, I would say is annexing Siam since Japan will join the war shortly, and proceeding further north, help Nat China with their little Japanese problem. D-Day without US in most cases becomes a wishful thinking. You can hope for your soviet friends to help you take Germany, but you will not win the game that way, Comintern will have a lot more points by the end. So step by step, here is what one should do if playing with HSR:
- Build tons of carriers/destroyers
- Marines and infantry should be your other specialization
- Don't bother with armor before early 1943; armor in the desert/jungles does not help much
- With enough troops (15 should be more than enough) prepare for a full scale African assault when Germany and Italy DOW you
- Have at least two major fleets with carriers floating in the Mediterranean, making sure no German on Italian fleet goes through
- Secure the English Channel with lots of destroyers
- Put some more destroyers around Gibraltar and to the west of it, even to the west of Africa - this is where your convoys are usually attacked by German subs
- Expect a lot of air support, especially naval bombers, so make fighters and place them accordingly
- Send about 20+ troops, some with artillery and heavy division attachments, to India to secure Sino-Indian border and commence an attack on Siam (from Indonesia and India on two fronts)
- Take and annex Siam ASAP and advance into Chinese mainland if Japanese has already taken it
- Continue to push them for as long as you can/want.
- You will lose many islands in the Pacific, but don't bother taking them back; US will do that for you later
- D-day requires a lot of planning and units. When you think you're ready and have enough US support (should be around 1943-1944), make a lot of infantry/mechanized/armored divisions and with all your remaining marines, land on any part of the beach and then proceed to establishing a beachhead/new front.
- I recommend taking control of US armies at this point, the D-Day in HSR proved to be a very difficult thing mostly due to highly advanced German forces and their determination to kick you back to where you came from
- Rush toward Berlin and try to take it before the Russkies
- If you manage, you'll win this game; if not....try again later.
Additional Tips for 1936 Scenario - multiplayer
Your priorities should be as follows:
- 1) Maintaining naval supremacy -
In the North Sea you can keep the German player bottled up from the beginning and not allow his transports to seize Iceland (for example, as this is not a naval base you want him to have) or much worse, attempt a SeaLion. Same goes for the English channel, you don't want the Hun's hordes crossing your channel and landing in England, and the best way to insure this is to 1) not start work on the 'chunnel' just yet, and 2) maintain naval supremacy in the channel Almost as importantly is keeping superiority in the mediterranean. Believe it or not, you are in a good position to do this, Malta can be as much of a pain in the Axis neck in the game as it was historically. Your goal here is to keep the Italians/Germans from getting reinforcements to Africa, it is essential to keep the Suez open - if you control the med this shouldn't be a problem.
- 2) Air supremacy - In order to accomplish item one, you're going to need a lot of planes. Naval bombers are your most dreaded nightmare, and since they can wreck your fleet in almost no time (and when this happens the game can go south very very quickly), so to address this you're going to need to build some fighters, the 3 interceptors you start the game with will not cut it I'm afraid.
If you succeed in these two endeavors, you should be able to hold the Suez open (especially critical as most German players will plow through Spain and capture Gibraltar), keep the Germans off your island and generally be a continued annoyance to the German player, even in your darkest days of fighting them almost single-handedly.