Poland holds off the mighty Wehrmacht (and Luftwaffe) during 1939-42 and finally takes Berlin in a lightning campaign in ’43.
Hearts of Iron (version 1.9.3), on normal difficulty
Maximize IC, build and equip an army of 150+ infantry divisions with CAS support by late ’39, take E. Prussia as soon as war is declared, cede E. Poland to USSR after ultimatum ~Aug ’40, and finally take Berlin in a ~1-month campaign starting in the spring/summer of 1943 when Germany will have been weakened by Allied attacks in the west.
Strengthen the Polish State, Polish Militarism, Poland First, Defensive Focus, Ideological Fanaticism, Central Region Strategy… then continue with 3 left trees, emphasizing army doctrine bonuses and civ/mil factories.
Initial PP usage
Partial Mobilization, Improved Worker Conditions, War Industrialist, Military Theorist, Industrial Concern, Conscription to 2.5%, Army Offense, Infantry Expert …
The default Grand Battleplan works fine. If you want to continue after conquering Germany and take on the USSR, Superior Firepower may work better.
Regular Infantry: 9 INF + ENG, RECON, ART —add 1 INF bn when you can.
Mountaineers: 9 MTN + ENG, RECON, ART – add 1 INF bn when you can.
Hard infantry (build after 1940): 7 INF, 2 ART + ENG, RECON
Use of Factories
During 1936-37 build 6-7 civ factories, then mil factories, then civ again after reaching ~40 mil factories.
Army dispositions in 1939
Germany front: approx 88 infantry divisions (22 x 4)
East Prussia: approx 24 inf divisions (24 x 1)
Slovakia: approx 38 inf/mtn divisions (19 x 2)
After taking East Prussia, use 8 divs from that force to cover Baltic ports, and add the rest to the Germany front.
Try to take E. Slovakia at the outbreak of war if it is not too strongly defended. This allows you to shorten your line against Axis forces.
During the long wait 1940-43, slowly build another ~50 inf/mtn divisions and add them to the Baltic half of your Germany front to increase your “push” when you go on the offensive.
In the current Hoi4 version, Poland can’t beat Germany before the USSR demands Eastern Poland, so it must cede those eastern provinces and then hunker down to hold its western front against Germany, and hope the Reds won’t walk in the back door. Sometimes they do, and that’s game-over since Poland doesn’t have the IC/manpower to fight on its eastern front as well. (Reload saves.) But most of the time the USSR just sits there, or attacks Turkey or Japan, and when that’s the case, it’s not inordinately hard for an experienced player to win as Poland.
Sometimes Germany issues an ultimatum to Poland in late ’39 but does not declare war, and instead goes after Benelux/France, and never declares on Poland. In this case, Poland should resist the Allies’ efforts to get it to join their war. Poland can sit tight, cede E. Poland to USSR when it issues its ultimatum, and then strengthen its forces. If it is not at war it normally can’t conscript soldiers at a high rate, so it should either (1) focus on adding strength to existing divs with AT support and making some units 7 INF/2 ART to free up manpower, or (2) go fascist so it can increase conscription.
Use PP to Improve Worker Conditions twice before war starts. This makes a big difference.
Don’t invade any other country before the war with Axis starts—that’s a waste of time/troops/equipment.
Offensives by Poland are hugely and unrealistically wasteful of manpower and equipment—expect 100K casualties per week. Stay on the defensive except where absolutely necessary to take E. Prussia in ‘39 and Berlin in ‘43.
Start making new divs in mid 1937.
Remember that lack of civ factories and resources, not mil factories, are your main limiting factors.
Might not matter, but Poland seems to get best results when it doesn’t sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.
Poland must join the Allies when Germany invades it in 1939 or the USSR will quickly declare war on it and invade from the east.
Occasionally USSR will get into a war with Germany and the Allies but Poland isn’t required to join in—obviously that is the best scenario for Poland.
If Poland can defeat Germany/Slovakia/Bulgaria/Romania/Italy, its armies will be free to turn around and face the Red Army and then crush the USSR—though that phase can be so time-consuming that I have left it out of this challenge.
This mission is almost all about planning and building stuff and getting the absolute most out of a small-ish army. Done right, it should involve very little actual fighting.