Since tomorrow is also International Women’s Day, and it's going to be extremely busy with the release, we felt today could be a cool day to highlight some of the ways we are featuring womenfolk in Waking the Tiger. For the high level country running perspective HOI4 takes on play, where only high generals and such are portrayed, there aren't a lot of women historically (hello 1930s), so we try to make an extra effort when we have a plausible candidate or historical references to women’s impact on the war.
Oh, and before I hand over to the content designers, we have a special gift from our awesome artist, something she has been working on in her spare time for the game: a new loading screen (as part of the free Cornflakes Update) featuring female russian snipers. You can grab it now as a wallpaper too:
If you want to learn more on female snipers in the soviet army this is a good place to start on wikipedia.
As the wife of the Chinese Leader Chiang Kai-Shek, Mei-Ling served as a trusted advisor for him. Perhaps even more importantly, she was the the main driving force behind the Chinese efforts to gain the support of the United States. It was she who negotiated with Claire Chennault to hire him as a special advisor to build up the Chinese Air Force. Later, she was only the second woman - and the first Chinese citizen - to address both houses of the US congress, again imploring them to send more aid to China in its fight against the Japanese.
In the game, she is a special advisor to China with a - for now - unique trait called “First Lady”, which gives +5% stability and war support, representing her extensive work to help her husband and sponsor several relief organisations. Having her as an advisor will also make the US more likely to take decisions like sending the Flying Tigers or sending lend-lease equipment.
Yoshiko’s life story sounds almost a little too fantastic: Born as a princess into the clan of the Chinese Emperor, she was given up for adoption after the revolution - and taken in by a Japanese intelligence agent.
As a young adult, Yoshiko moved around China and Manchuria on various intelligence gathering missions - taking lovers and making enemies along the way. The Japanese later came to use her contacts to old Manchu nobility - and indeed her ancestry - to convince Puyi to become the Emperor of Manchukuo.
After Puyi accepted his new position, Yoshiko decided to raise a cavalry unit to fight the “bandits” (some criminals and some various brands of Communist guerillas) roaming the countryside. Eventually, she came to command several thousand soldiers. Later on, she became quite critical of the Japanese conduct in Manchukuo and was gradually removed from public sight.
Her end was, if tragic, not particularly unexpected: Captured in Beijing by Nationalist Chinese forces at the end of the war, she was tried for treason and executed in 1948.
In-game, she is available as a general for Manchukuo, with the trait “cavalry officer” to represent her history as a leader in the pacification campaign.
Women in the workforce
The World War placed a heavy strain on the conscriptable population of the nations involved, resulting in many men being drawn from the workforce to fight on the frontlines. To keep the production lines going, it was only logical to look at the much-untapped other half of the population. Historically, millions of women in countries such as Canada, the UK, and the USA took up the jobs the men had left to join the army. In the game this is modeled as a decision that provides a 3% recruitable population bonus, which makes up for the -3% recruitable population bonus from Total Mobilization.
Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl
“Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl” is the name of the Canadian icon of strong female factory workers during the war. Based on a picture of Veronica Foster who made Bren light machine guns for the John Inglis Co., it became a propaganda icon to encourage Canadian women to work in industry. Almost 1 million Canadian women ended up doing so during the Second World War. As a propaganda tool, Ronnie can be seen as a model for the later and better-known Rosie the Riveter in the USA. In the game, “Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl” is the flavor name for Canada’s “Women in the Workforce” decision.
Rosie the Riveter
“Rosie the Riveter” is the name of the well-known American icon of strong female factory workers during the war. Among others, she was depicted on the famous “We Can Do It!” poster, which wasn’t very well-known during the war, but which was revived as a feminist icon in the 1980s. Posters such as these were used to encourage women to take up factory jobs to keep the war industry going. These campaigns were often targeting housewives in an attempt to get them to enter the workforce, with slogans such as “Can you use an electric mixer? If so, you can learn to operate a drill”. In the USA, the amount of working women increased by over 50%, showing that “women could do a ‘man’s job’, and do it well”. This ended up drastically increasing the amount of jobs that were deemed to be ‘acceptable’ for women to take, and therefore was a major influence in the growing emancipation of women during the 20th century. In the game, this is the flavor name for the USA’s “Women in the Workforce” decision.
There is one more powerful woman to establish as the ruler of a certain key HOI4 nation, but this requires a long and obscure series of events and actions to take place first… Why not celebrate International Women’s day by trying to find out how to make it happen once you got your hands on Waking the Tiger?
And that’s it for today, folks! Make sure to tune in at 16:00 for World War Wednesday where Dan and Daniel attempt to unite all under heaven as Manchukuo! Tomorrow we will also have a release stream where we continue our campaign.