Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide

Halt citizen, Hitler's Third Reich requires your service! Are you prepared to faithfully serve the Vaterland and restore Germany back to it's former glory? If so, then read ahead with our Hearts of Iron IV German Reich guide and find out how to dominate the globe as the Führer.

Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide


Most Hearts of Iron IV players will agree that Germany is one of the most thrilling nations to play due to its unique national focus tree and advantages it gets in comparison to neighbouring states. In this guide, you will obtain a basic knowledge on the German Reich of Hearts of Iron IV as well as vital tips that should help you to maximise your gameplay experience and crush your enemies. Please note, this guide is not for the German Empire of Hearts of Iron IV – that is for another guide.

Check out my other nation guides. I’ve also released France Guide, Communist China Guide, The Netherlands Guide, and Soviet Union Guide. Also, let me know what nation you would like to see in my next guide in the pool below.


General Advice 

As with our Soviet Union guide, I will provide some general rules that you should follow even if you decide not to adopt my military tactics. By following these rules below, the chances of securing the fruits of war will dramatically increase and your journey towards global domination will be one step closer.

Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide - Can you lead Germany to glory?

  1. In order to have any chance of defeating the Allies (Britain and France) you must focus on building a formidable navy (Battleships, Destroyers and Submarines) and a air force. With regards to your navy, it is worth doing two separate fleets: a battle fleet with battleships and destroyers in; and a sub fleet. In addition, do the Westwall national focus so you can have fewer troops on the French border allowing you to focus on the Belgian invasion.   
  2. In regards to your air force, you need to focus more so on fighters, close air support and naval bombers (try and have the very minimum 1500 of each). A powerful air force is important as it vital you secure air superiority over France and the English Channel. 
  3. Keep delaying the MEFO Bills as they give you -20% consumer goods factories and allow you to construct certain buildings such as military factories quicker helping you build up your air force and navy. The only downside to this, is that if you decide to go to war early with either the Netherlands/Poland, the MEFO Bills will automatically expire. 
  4. Consider invading the Netherlands first (as soon as you get enough political power after the Rhineland focus is complete). Although you will raise world tension, you can satellite the Dutch East Indies (be sure to pass enough times on the peace conference to get the points) giving you a greater supply of rubber, which is essential for the construction of the air force. Alternatively, you could consider invading Poland first as you can concentrate on the Western Theatre.

National Focus And POLITICAL Power

For playing the German Reich in Hearts of Iron IV you will need to go down the Rhineland focus tree (not Oppose Hitler). With Hitler in power, you get a 25% increase in political power giving you a massive advantage over your foes. Below you will find a recommended list of national focuses:

Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide - It is important you build up your industry before you go to war

  1. Rhineland (justify on the Netherlands after this is complete)
  2. Four Year Plan
  3. Autarky 
  4. Army Innovations
  5. Treaty with the USSR 
  6. Hermann Göring-Werke
  7. KdF-Wagen
  8. Extra Research Slot
  9. Naval Rearmament
  10. Naval Effort 
  11. Air Innovations
  12. Großraumwirtschaft
  13. Reichsautobahn
  14. Westwall

After you have completed these, your army (which you should be building up during these national focuses) will be enough to go down the Anschluss path and eventually go to war with the Allies. For your land divisions, try and have 14-16 infantry on the French border; 24 divisions (16 infantry and 8 tanks) on the Belgian border; 24 divisions (16 infantry and 8 tanks) on the main Polish border; and 10 infantry divisions on the Polish border in Ostpreussen (try and build level two forts if possible). Despite this order of national focuses seeming long-winded, it gives you plenty of time to build up your industry before you go to war with the Allies. This will ensure that the German Reich in Hearts of Iron IV will have a sufficient amount of aircraft and ships in your arsenal.

Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide - Make the most of the research deductions you get from the Soviet Treaty
In terms of political power, go with Industrial Concern (IG Farben) and military advisors that come with Army Innovations and Air Innovations. Moreover, Heinrich Himmler is worth getting as he slightly increases your manpower as well as the Captain of Industry, War Industrialist and Heinz Guderian as a military theorist. However, you need to get to War Economy as fast as you can; you can do this when your war support is high enough or when the German War Economy national focus becomes available (this will also give you more military factories).

Research In Brief

Having an advanced military and industry with Germany in Hearts of Iron IV will give you a vital advantage over your enemies
With this, find below a concise list of the research you should prioritise:

  1. Electronic Mechanical Engineering (do this part of the tree as you go on, as you get research deduction bonuses)
  2. Industry (dispersed industry and construction before anything else)
  3. Land Doctrine (mobile warfare – blitzkrieg side)
  4. Naval Doctrine (trade interdiction)
  5. Air Doctrine (battlefield support as it improves abilities of fighters and CAS)
  6. Tanks (medium tanks as soon as possible, bonuses come from research treaty with the Soviet Union)
  7. Division equipment (recon company and support artillery important for division templates)

Military Tactics

I’m going to split this section into two separate parts as the tactics used against the Allies and the Soviet Union are somewhat divergent.

The Allies

For the Allies you need to use your tanks and air force to disorganise the enemy and encircle. After you capitulate Belgium you must get into France as soon as possible and your tanks will act as the breakthrough. I prefer not to establish Vichy France as it is quite easy to defend the French coast. Furthermore, consider making an alliance with Italy as this will see a large amount of the British navy distracted in the Mediterranean and often sees Mussolini capture the Suez Canal – cutting the European Allies off from Asia. With this, the British Raj can become a troublesome problem as it can often become a great power, meaning you have to capitulate it before the war ends. So, it may be worth using French Indochina as a place to launch an invasion or consider an alliance with Japan.

Hearts Of Iron IV: German Reich Guide - A strong air force is required to take down both the Allies and Soviet Union
However, Britain is usually the biggest problem. As previously stated, it is important that you build a large navy and air force. Once you have successfully invaded France use your troops as a garrison to protect the your coastline and do not deploy your navy straightaway as they will be completely destroyed by Britain. Instead try and secure air superiority over the British and use close air support and naval bombers to destroy British ships. On top of this, you should try and prepare a series of naval invasions in Britain (Dover and Bristol seem to work well for me). Once you have destroyed a large amount of the British ships place your navy (you should have a separate battle fleet and sub fleet) in the English Channel to help secure naval dominance and safely escort your troops in their naval invasion. Once your troops have landed get your army there and move your troops into Britain as fast as you can as the AI will quickly reinforce (be careful not to have encircled units though).

The Soviet Union

After you have completed the invasion of Poland, begin constructing level three land forts across the border with the Soviet Union. Furthermore, you should avoid completing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as this will only make the invasion harder. You need at least 180 divisions to pull this off (260 is ideal), with a mix of infantry and tanks. Once you begin the war, you should just let the Soviets attack constantly until there manpower goes to zero on the highest conscription policy. This will mean that once you start the attack the HP of the Soviet divisions will go down making the capture of Moscow inevitable. Having Japan in the war also helps as less Soviet troops will be on the border with Germany. By then you should own a great Empire and will be ready to destroy America! And of course, hear is some Germanic-themed music for you to conquer the world to:

Final Tips

The German Reich in Hearts of Iron IV is a really enjoyable nation to play as. Due to its advantages, it is likely one of the easiest as well. As long as you have a large air force and navy, the Allies should be relatively straightforward and building the forts on the Soviet border in good time, will ensure your victory against the Red Menace.

For more guides on Hearts of Iron IV, check out its game page.


  1. This is a great, concise starting point. I watch a lot of videos, but they start to ramble on after a while. Thanks.

  2. Lol I would loved to know the name of the music cause it isn’t available on YouTube

  3. Again just defending… Boring strategy if you ask me. No fun in these. Just to win at any cost. Just shame and no glory here :(( 😀

  4. Lol. The music video is not available in Germany.

  5. genius man! genius. perfect

  6. At one point do I use the netherlands war focus? Because if I conquered them immediately after justifying the war goal, then the World Tension is too high to get sudentland.

  7. The Netherlands got garunteed by France…

  8. DEI is the Dutch East Indies

    • Thanks.

  9. When I try to satellite DEI, it just continues to fight me after the peace conference…every time, and I’ve tried 6 times. What have I done wrong?

    • Forgive my ignorance, but which nation is ‘DEI’? I should be able to help after knowing this.

    • Apologies for the late reply, but make sure you get enough score to satellite them in the peace conference. You can do this by passing your turn a few times. Hope this helps.

  10. Judging by the number of comments, none them people wants to play Nazis. Which is absolutely fine by me.



    Why not post a second guide to a non-Nazi Germany? There’s been that great update for the German Hoi4 focus tree that allows you to revolt into Kaiser or democratic Germany, and then even form the EU in the 40ies.



    Alternative reality, right, but a much less disgusting one than the real story.

    • Hi, I’m sorry for the really late reply. A guide for the German Empire should be coming out soon.


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