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US Strategy - Fascist US Scenario

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Strategy Guides for the
United States
1939 Scenario
Fascist US Scenario

Paradox Interactive has included an entire alternate history fascist USA scenario, with fascist "elections" and the like, in the Hearts of Iron II game, for those who choose to take the US this route.

In the fascist USA scenario, you will be faced with two enemies -- one, the UK and its Allies, and two, the Soviet Union. If you choose not to align with Germany, you can pick and choose which of these alliances you wish to fight. If you choose to align with Germany (and who wouldn't), you will ultimately come into contact with both.

Contents


Going Fascist (or Communist, for that matter)

The US starts as a left-leaning democracy under Roosevelt. You're goal is to push the authoritarian and the right wing sliders as far over as possible. In doing this, you will find it impossible, in the early game, to move away from Isolationism and Drafted Army, and you will be stuck with Open Markets. Don't worry -- these can change later.

When you start the game, click the Democratic-Authoritarian slider over to the right one move. In the 1936 elections, choose the Alf Landon victory event. Landon is a very moderate "right-winger" and his election won't help you too much, though it will push you towards isolationism and give you increased money.

Click the authoritarian slider over to the right in 1937, and move it to the right each year, right throughy 1941 and 1942. You will start to trigger a number of events, where you will be given the choice as to whether your dictatorship will have a right or a left wing flavor. In particular, you will trigger the following events:

1) Ban the fascist parties. This is the main event pushing you towards either fascism or communism. Don't ban the parties, and you will go right.

2) An event objecting to controls on civil liberties. You will be allowed to ally with socialists, liberals, conservatives or the military. Ally with the military.

Also, as you go right, there will be an event where socialists protest your policies, ally against them.

By 1940 you should be "Paternal Autocrat", and by 1941 you can be fascist. I have not yet pushed things to the "National Socialist", but such an outcome is certainly possible.

Note that each of these events creates a large (5% - 10%) amount of dissent. Further, when your dissent rating is high, Great Britain will try to influence your government, and will try to reverse the gains of national socialism by political pressure. Keep consumer goods high, though, and you will be able to eat up all the dissent within a year of the event occurring, and avoid revolution, a coup, or outside influence.

Also note that the "Gearing Up For War" events will push you towards drafted army, so don't waste points on building a professional army early in the game. Japans acts in East Asia will give you some intervention points, but you will end up mostly isolationist (as the right wingers you install are exactly that).


Starting a Phony War

Because of the peacetime modifier to your IC and resource production, the US is operating at a fraction of its potential for many years. In a normal US strategy, this cannot be avoided, as you will not be going to war before September of '39 at the earliest. However, under this strategy, you can choose to go to war far earlier, as soon as the Authoritarian slider is far enough to the right. Even if you are limited to the annual slider shifts and the standard events, you can be there by early '38. With a lucky break, you might get a random event that moves you even faster.

Once you have the ability to start a war, you can do so, albeit at a hideous cost in dissent. If you choose a nearby and relatively helpless neighbor, like Uruguay or El Salvador, you won't have to worry much about the likelihood of the Allies stepping in (though they might not regardless), but you will have to pay even high dissent costs in getting rid of the non-aggression pact and the guarantee of independence. Be careful not to DoW a puppet of an Allied nation! Nepal might look nice and isolated, but has powerful friends.

In any case, the incredible increase in IC and resource production will make throwing off the extra dissent a snap, as you can maintain your current production and throw a ton of points into CG. You will also emerge absolutely swimming in money, even more than normal with this strategy. Of course, you will lose the benefit of any events that require you to be at peace, but TANSTAAFL.

Obviously, don't let the war end until you are prepared to enter another large rone. Your poor quarry will constantly whimper for a white peace...just say no. You can invade them for their pathetic stockpiles, if you like, but I just let them quiver in terror for a few years.

When you are ready to go to war in earnest, you might want to go ahead and give them the white peace, or they will join the Allies (assuming you allied with the Axis, if you did not, they might not, I haven't tried that). If you wish to use this to your advantage, you could try declaring war on a more significant country, such as Mexico, if you are feeling acquisitive. All those non-aggression pacts and independence gaurantees make your neighbors expensive to attack.

The Fascist Cabinet

Alf Landon will stay President through 1940. In 1940, if you have moved to Paternal Autocrat, you will have the election of Charles Lindbergh. Lindberg is a "pig headed isolationist", which means he will make it hard to declare war and make your economy extremely productive. You don't need to declare war, though, because your alliance with Germany will take you there on your own.

America under fascism produces huge amounts of money -- more than I've seen with any other nation. By 1941, $15,000 - $20,000 in stockpile is not unusual. Of course, given that you need to keep consumer goods production high during the transition to fascism, lots of money is the natural result.

Once you get to a fascist state, you will have an amusing variety of ministers to choose from -- most of whom are better than the liberal or conservative ministers you get under the Roosevelt or Republican administrations.

The biggest loss as minister is Marshall as your Chief of Staff for the military. However, you still have MacArthur and Eisenhower, with MacArthur being my choice.

In exchange though, you get the following setup (1941, government type = fascist, I'm only mentioning the notable ones):

  • Head of Government :
       Robert Wood -- Chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company and member of the America First
       committee (Silent Workhorse -- +5% IC)
  • Minister of State:
       Charles Coughlin -- the radio priest, founder of the National League for Social 
       Justice, etc (Ideological Crusader), or;
       Ezra Pound -- the poet (Biased Intellectual)

  • Minister of Armaments:
       Henry Ford -- President of Ford Motor Company (Administrative Genius -- +10% IC!); or, 
       Francis Townsend -- aide to Charles Coughlin and co-founder of the National League 
       for Social Justice(Resource Industrialist -- +5% IC / +10% Industrial Resource)
  • Minister of Security:
       Fritz Kuhn -- head of the German-American Bund(Prince of Terror); or,
       Samuel Green -- Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan through 1949 (Man of the People); or,
       Gerald Winrod -- head of the Defenders of the Christian Faith (Efficient Sociopath)
  • Head of Intelligence:
       Hiram Evans  -- Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan through 1939 (Naval Intelligence); or, 
       William Donovan -- founder of the US CIA (Political Specialist); or,
       Hoyt Vandenburg -- the actual Deputy Air Commander In Chief durign WW II (Technical Specialist); or, 
       James Colescott -- Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan through 1944 (Political Specialist)
  • Chief of the Army:
       Kenneth Althaus -- a brigadier general who served in Italy (Armored Operations)
  • Chief of the Navy:
       James Colescott -- Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan through 1944 (Open Seas)
  • Chief of the Air Force:
       Nathan B Forrest III -- grandson of the founder of the Ku Klux Klan and US pilot who  
       died in a bombing run over Kiel in 1943 (Army Aviation); or,
       Charles Lindbergh (Air Superiority)

And note there are a lot of minor ministers whose names are not recognizable to me and whose powers aren't that great.

Also note that Charles Lindbergh is available as Chief of the Air Force under most of the more minor Republican administrations.

Given the deadweight that you dump when you go fascist (J Edgar Hoover, Cordell Hull, lots of minors with penalties, etc) and the lack of really good ministers for US domestic policy, at least early in the game, the fascist cabinet really gives the US some power.

Preparing For War With The Allies

If you go fascist, your first war is going to be with Canada, and, by extension, Britain.

As has been noted here, the US starts out with almost no army. Further, the transition towards fascism is going to involves a lot of resources being dedicated to consumer goods and economic development, in order to keep the people happy. Further, the first front in the war is going to be New England and the US east coast -- the place most of your industrial capacity is initially concentrated.

Look into developing industrial capacity and infrastructure in the West, Southwest and Midwest. When Britain attacks, New England and the South will be its preferred targets, and Canada will attempt a march right down the Eastern seaboard through Maine.

You are going to need immediate ground forces to war with Canada, and much of your initial Navy will be eaten up by Britain in short order. You will also need units to protect against naval landings on the East Coast.

I would recommend disbanding your horse-cavalry and lumping your infantry together, then developing three strike units, a coastal defense line, and a defensive line in New Hampshire and Boston. Your goal is to compel Canada's surrender and impose a fascist government there, so you can give Canada Maine -- there are no victory points there.

Have at least three garrison units, or their equivalent, in each of Boston and Concord -- Canada's tanks will destroy anything less -- and have garrisons in each British landing position in the US. Britain will land troops on the Eastern Seaboard with these preferences:

1) Washington 2) Norfolk 3) New York 4) Newark 5) Boston 6) either Atlantic City or the area between Boston and New York 7) Florida (Orlando, Miami, etc) 8) the South (Charleston, Charlottesville, etc)

Keep garrison units, infantry and/or militia in these provinces and you won't have a problem.

You will also want at least two strike forces of three to four divisions of either motorized infantry or armor, plus a force that can attack Canada around Winnipeg.

I try to reinforce most of my divisions with either Engineers or Self-Propelled Artilley brigades, and these brigades do make the difference in one on one infantry combat, like you will have out West.

War With Britain, Canada and the Commonwealth

Your goal is to annex Canada, secure its coasts, and then build a Marine invasion force to eliminate Britain.

Canada

Canada has only a few victory provinces, all of which can be conquered within a month of your launching an offensive, if you have sufficient troops.

Place one of your strike forces in Detroit, and another in Plattsburgh. Send the troops in Detroit through Toronto to Ottawa. Send your troops in Plattsburgh towards Montreal. The Canadians will attack down through Maine, and give Maine to them. Hold them in the mountains of New Hampshire and at Boston.

Send your infantry force north to Winnipeg and capture it. Canada will attempt to recapture it before attacking another point in the Northern US.

Wait for the Canadian forces in Vancouver to invade Juneau, then attack their remaining 1-2 divisions from Seattle.

When Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal are in your hands, annex Canada.

After annexation, I typically liberate conquered nations, because they use their ICs much more efficiently than you do, and they will produce their own military for their defense -- relieving you of the responsibility. You will have the option of liberating either Canada or Quebec, and I would choose liberating the whole thing.

New Zealand / Australia

New Zealand and / or Australia will attempt naval landings in and around Vancouver to try to retake Canada. Keep an appropriate garrison and they will fail. Also, garrison Anchorage, Alaska, because there is a victory point there.

United Kingdom -- North American Defense

Britain will attempt to retake Canada by landings in Newfoundland, in Labrador and across that coastline. They will also attempt landings on the Eastern Seaboard of the US.

The British strategy is to first land in the area of Washington, DC and capture it, if possible. If not, they will attempt to secure New England. Failing that, they will attack Florida and the South. If you have a coastal defence force made up, you should be able to block many of these attacks.

If the British manage to land, they will send their tanks rampaging deep into the country while using infantry to hold and expand a beachhead. Their mobile units will try to encircle your shore garrison, infantry and militia and then destroy them. Often, they will not have enough units to hold every territory they capture, which makes them vulnerable to counter-encirclement.

Ultimately, the British will devote as much as half of their army to their attack on the United States and Canada -- removing units particularly from the African and Indian campaigns to do so. Italy generally has a field day in Egypt, the Sudan and even Iraq with Britain distracted and bogged down in North America.

What Britain offers, through its tactics, is an excellent opportunity to encircle and destroy as much as half of their army before you have to go overseas to get them. Take this opportunity, and wipe them out.

United Kingdom -- North American Counter Offensive

After the Canada campaign, while on the defensive, improve your naval forces and build Marines. Try to build generation IV ships, with carriers at the core of your fleet, and battleships and support vehicles secondary.

Once you have sufficient ships, capture Newfoundland (if you haven't already), the Bermuda, and then the Bahamas. Newfoundland is the base for British attacks on Canada. Bermuda is the base for attacks on your Eastern seaboard. The only other British port within striking distance of the US is the Bahamas, so take that too.

Then, to wrap up the Americas, capture British Honduras, Jamaica, Curacao, the Eastern Carribean Islands, Trinidas and Tobago, Guiana and Surinam. This will be much easier if you build a port in Puerto Rico, since not all of South America is accessible for generation III-IV ships from Miami or the Bahamas. Among those, only French Guiana is worth any points. Don't try capturing a port from a Carribean nation, as there is too much dissent involved in any warmongering activity.

Once you capture the northern parts of South America, liberate the nation of Guiana, and save yourself from having to defend the area. France and the Netherlands will occassionally launch marine invasions of any undefended territory there.

Defending Germany From Bolshevism

The Brits will, potentially, deploy as much as one half to two thirds of their armed forces to liberating Canada and defeating the United States. When you beat them, they will have essentially no army left, except for their home guard, and it may appear like an excellent time to invade their island. However, by the time you beat them, a more dangerous threat will likely have emerged -- the threat of the defeat of Germany by Soviet Bolshevism.

The German-Bolshevik conflict usually plays out this way: Germany invades the Soviet Union in 1941 and runs the Soviets back, roughly, to Leningrad-Moscow-Stalingrad by the end of the year. Around mid-1942, however, the Soviets go on the offensive, and by the end of 1943, Germany has been run back into France.

Your goal is to help Germany before they get run back into France, and you find yourself having to D-Day a Soviet Fortress Europa.

More specifically, your goal is to fight the Soviets to a stalemate on the Eastern front and protect Germany so you can invade the British isles.

Baltic Landing

By the time you've beaten Britain, your Navy should be ruling the Atlantic. As long you've managed to preserve a Type-IV aircraft carrier and have a few modern ships to accompany it, you should be okay.

If the Soviets have already begun over-running the Baltic nations, consider landing some Marines to form a Beachhead. This will give you the advantage of captured territory being blue (yours), rather than gray (German), and will allow you to liberate nations, rather than turn them over the Reich.

Your troops will be of infinitely better quality than the Soviets, and you will easily be able to emulate Germany's feat, and drive the Soviets back -- if not, immediately, quite as far, as it will take time for you to build up the number of divisions you need.

The Soviet Army will generally comprise about 400 divisions before the Germans invade; Germany will likely whittle them down to about 300 when you have to face them. Your job will be the same as it was when you defended against the British -- use your armor to punch holes in Soviet lines, surround their forces, and eliminate their divisions. Given that most of the Soviet forces will be low-quality, slow moving infantry, and you will have motorized, mechanized and armored formations, this should not be so difficult.

As you advance and build a new line in the Northern portion of the Eastern front, the Soviets will launch an offensive against the Southern portion, into Romania, Hungary, and whatever other nations ally with the Reich. It will take the Soviets several months to successfully launch this offensive, and you should be able to build up 60-70 divisions in Europe before the Soviet offensive begins.

The best response to the inevitable collapse of the German-Axis line in the South is to allow the Soviets to advance, then strike through Poland and across Romania-Moldova to the Black Sea, and cut their advance troops in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Southern Germany off from the main body of their nation. Then, encircle them, whittle away at their positions, and annihilate them. By the time this is done, the Soviets should be down under 200 divisions, and you should have about 125-150 divisions on your side (at least).

You will find that the Russian winter runs down your manpower, and the same strategic advice for the Germans fighting on the Eastern front applies to you too. Limit combat during the winter, use your massive advantage in mobility and quality of equipment to inflict disproportionate casualties on the Soviets, and use breakthrough and surround armored spearhead tactics. Your advantage is that Soviet manpower is already critical when you attack them -- its not longer the unlimited sea of men the Germans faced in their offensive.

After you stop the Soviet advance, start rolling the Soviets back until you've captured Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad. When you've done this, you've beaten them. To make them surrender, take Vladivostock, but you'll find that, by the time you manage to get through Japan to do this, the Germans and your forces will have overrun most of the victory points in the Soviet Uniion anyways.

Invade Britain

After fighting the Soviets to a halt, invade Britain. You'll find that, with your defeat of the Brits in North America, they also lost Africa (to Italy) and India (to Japan). They have essentially no soldiers left in the home islands, and overruning them is a cakewalk. Take a few moments to do it, just to clean up the European theater, and then liberate Scotland. When you finish capturing the rest of Britain's Victory Points, liberate Britain and install Oswald Mosley in place of Winston Churchill.

Note that one bar to doing that will be Gibraltar. You cannot invade it by sea, and Nationalist Spain often stays neutral. This may mean you have to go to war with Nationalist Spain to annex Britain. If so, land troops on both coasts and overrun them. They have do usually have a lot of divisions (50-60), decent infantry and terrain, but they cannot stand against the combined military might of the US and Germany.

War With Japan

Yes, Japan will still launch Pearl Harbor, even if you are part of the Axis, as long as they have not officially joined the Axis (which I have never seen them do on their own). Sometimes they wait until 1942 to do this. Don't let that fool you. It is coming.

If you are fighting the Soviet Union when Japan attacks you, don't waste time taking troops to the Pacific theater to respond. You will be in a much better position to defeat Japan in China and Manchuria after you have overrun the Soviet Union, and the Japanese generally do not attempt an invasion of the United States -- they tend to devote most of their land forces to overrunning India and fighting in China, and burn the rest up fighting Australia in New Guinea and the Australian mainland. They will overrun Guam and the Phillipines, but let them -- you can retake them later.

Earlier in the game, right as Japan is about to overrun and annex Nationalist China, it will sign a peace treaty returning the Southern half of China to Nationalist control. This is to your advantage. Nationalist China will attack Tibet and the other Chinese warlords, unite China, and then launch a renewed war on Japan, if peace gives them a chance to.

Your strategy in attacking Japan is immediate and direct conquest of the home islands via Midway, Wake and Tokyo. Japan will not station troops to defend their home islands until after you have invaded. This makes life quite easy. Just set up a ferry for your troops from Western Europe to a naval base in the Carribean to Pearl Harbor to Tokyo. The Japanese have nothing that can match your tanks and mechanized divisions, and you'll wipe them out.

There is a Japan surrenders event once you capture the home islands, but I have never been able to trigger it. Once you've taken the home islands, you are left with the annoying task of island hopping onto every Victory Point Japan has in the Pacific. While doing that, take out Australia and New Zealand. The easiest way to do so is to simultaneously land troops on all their major cities and then annex them before they know what hit them.

When Japan pulls all its troops back to defend the homeland, Nationalist China will declare war and drive the Japanese out of mainland China. If you beat the Soviets before launching your offensive, the Germans will overrun Manchuria and the Korea Penninsula. The AI never seems to liberate anyone, but if you get a chance to take Korea, you can liberate the People's Republic. In the East Indies, you are limited to liberating either Indonesia or Malaysia (in conjunction with the Malay penninsula and Singapore) -- you don't get the same choice of puppet states as the Japanese. Take those, take Southeast Asia, then take India, annex Japan, and that should be the end of things -- all of your enemies are defeated, the war is over and it is you, Germany and your puppet nations, leading the world to a National Socialist future.

Variant for Communist US Scenario

Introduction

As with the Fascist scenario described above, there is also a Communist version. I find this a more powerful strategy than the Fascist because of the possibility of a “phony war” unlocking the full power of the US in early 1938. Interestingly, although it becomes more difficult to ally with Germany as a Communist nation, it is not impossible to do so.

It used to also be trivially possible to turn the US Red through the classic means: revolution. With a dissent above 65%, the US government would collapse and a Communist dictatorship would take over. This event was apparently commented out in 1.2, probably since it's ridiculously easy as the US to drive your dissent up should you so choose.

As of 1.3a, "The Revolution has Come" event is not commented out.

Primary Changes

The most important change is that you must ban the Fascist parties. This will push you left. This way you will be given a radical political event in early ’38 that will allow you to choose an Ultraleftist option that pushes you two clicks towards Authoritarianism. This is sufficient to make you a Dictatorship, and you can then start a Phony War.

Starting a Phony War

Because of the peacetime modifier to your IC and resource production, the US is operating at a fraction of its potential for many years. In a normal US strategy, this cannot be avoided, as you will not be going to war before September of '39 at the earliest. However, under this strategy, you can choose to go to war far earlier, as soon as the Authoritarian slider is far enough to the right. Even if you are limited to the annual slider shifts and the standard events, you can be there by early '38. With a lucky break, you might get a random event that moves you even faster.

Once you have the ability to start a war, you can do so, albeit at a hideous cost in dissent. If you choose a nearby and relatively helpless neighbor, like Uruguay or El Salvador, you won't have to worry much about the likelihood of the Allies stepping in (though they might not regardless), but you will have to pay even high dissent costs in getting rid of the non-aggression pact and the guarantee of independence. Be careful not to DoW a puppet of an Allied nation! Nepal might look nice and isolated, but has powerful friends.

In any case, the incredible increase in IC and resource production will make throwing off the extra dissent a snap, as you can maintain your current production and throw a ton of points into CG. You will also emerge absolutely swimming in money, even more than normal with this strategy. Of course, you will lose the benefit of any events that require you to be at peace, but TANSTAAFL.

Obviously, don't let the war end until you are prepared to enter another larger one. Your poor quarry will constantly whimper for a white peace...just say no. You can invade them for their pathetic stockpiles, if you like, but I just let them quiver in terror for a few years.

When you are ready to go to war in earnest, you might want to go ahead and give them the white peace, or they will join the Allies (assuming you allied with the Axis, if you did not, they might not, I haven't tried that). If you wish to use this to your advantage, you could try declaring war on a more significant country, such as Mexico, if you are feeling acquisitive. All those non-aggression pacts and independence guarantees make your neighbors expensive to attack.

Joining the Axis

As stated previously, it is still possible to join the Axis. You will have to be at +200 relations (of course), and the chance will only be in the low 20s, but four or five attempts should get you in. Even if the odds turn against you, keep at it. You have plenty of money, and nothing else to do with it.


US splinter nations

If the US falls apart because of dissent, there are a number of splinter nations that can emerge. I do not know all of them, but they include a new Confederate States of America, a California Republic, a Texas Republic, and more.

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