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TheButterflyComposer

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An Italian Introduction

This is the story of my first Hearts of Iron campaign. It will be brutal. It will be bloody. It may be swift. Viewer discretion is advised. Viewer advice will be strongly appreciated.


Regular difficulty, Historical AI off, 1936 Italy. Let's go!
 
Chapter One: A Bad Beginning

TheButterflyComposer

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Chapter One: A Bad Beginning

The New Year’s Eve parties in 1935 were particularly raucous. It was to be expected. The past twelve months had been a mixture of terrible news, awful occurrences and worrying developments, depending on who you were, where you lived, and how much of a moral compass you had. Everyone was thankful it was all over, for various reasons, but far fewer were looking forward to the new year.

Benito Mussolini was in two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, he was actually doing surprisingly well. The Vatican had rolled over and supplied his regime with not only Rome but international recognition. Italy was on the fast track to becoming a well-armed regional power, and a mildly threatening Great Power. Fascism, which he had helped invent, was spreading like wildfire across Europe and making serious attempts to embed itself into the Americas as well. Germany was a friend, and seemed to be on the rise to greatness once again. And the old men of Europe were in a bad way. France was in a horrifying political mess, its empire and people in turmoil and its leaders weak and divided. The United Kingdom was, somehow, perhaps even worse off. Its empire was actively trying to pull itself apart, its leaders hated each other, the king was dying and the populace remained embroiled in the Great Depression.

However, all was not wonderful in his new ‘Empire’. For one, both he and it were not really taken seriously by anyone, including the Germans. The cowing of Albania had encouraged the Duce and his staff to try for Ethiopia as well, the last stronghold against western colonialism in Africa. That campaign however had yet to begin and, being honest with himself, Mussolini wasn’t quite sure they were ready. There was no commander to lead the men, the army was not ready to defend Italy’s limited possessions against the enemy, let alone advance into hostile territory. The enemy were weak, primitive and lacking in intelligence or aircraft but that had not stopped weaker threats scuppering far greater powers than Italy from expanding their power.

All in all, the leader of Italy was somewhat optimistic of his chances as the clock neared twelve. Not has much as he would have liked of course, but he thought fate might well prove to be on his side.

Events soon followed that challenged that notion.

As he and his fellow party members drank and partied in Milan, strange things were happening across the waters in England. Sounds and screams of a ghostly confrontation were heard in Charing Cross, before a roar sounded from Barclay Square and ignited the pavement, literally, in a blaze of smoke and fire. Great winds appeared and then vanished just as suddenly, as if the universe was noticing there was no good reason for them to be there.

Then the Palace of Westminster exploded. And then, it was suddenly un-exploded.

Water whipped through the Thames as the sounds of battle increased in intensity, warping the shoreline and the unfortunate ships that sailed upon it. One freighter was unlucky enough to be hoisted entirely out of the air, crushed to pieces and then restored a moment later. The crew of thirty four were all the more unfortunate to have felt the entire process.

Just as soon as the people began to panic, as well you might if your city suddenly come under attack by seemingly indecisive spirits, the chaos went away. Tearing the countryside and cliffs up as it did, the maelstrom reached the Channel and, without pause, hurled headlong into it.

Though the news of such terrible and unusual things did not reach the press and the world until the next day, many people knew of the attacks. Paris was completely flattened and restored three times over, before a great detonation in the air above caused a rainstorm that refused to abate for three weeks after. Both Munich and Berlin were the sight of raging firestorms directed about the Party Headquarters, and here the battle cries and screams of the damned were most heard and reported by onlookers. In New York, every window was shattered by a high-pitched emittance of what sounded like a million shells being fired at once. The Rockies shattered and reformed, the Pacific Ocean began to boil, and then things really did begin to escalate. A sudden pressure caused every man’s heart to stop in the Eastern Hemisphere, and then restart again three seconds later as if nothing had gone awry. The moon blinked out of existence, and when it reappeared several mighty scars were seen upon the now sickly yellow surface. Had astronomers been aware and looking at the right time, they may have found the three outermost planets of the solar system (and Pluto) shining brightly like the sun for minutes at a time, in order of placement to Earth, before dissolving into dust. And then suddenly being, once again.

The eve was drawing to a close amidst heightened panic and fear when all of a sudden, the Earth and her surroundings went quiet. Life was suddenly normal once again and aside from areas of China and other places in South East Asia, relatively peaceful.

Italy would know nothing of such excitement until the next afternoon. It had been left alone by all but a peculiar pressure, no doubt the remnants of the aforementioned storm over France. The pressure increased in intensity over the last hour of 1935, until at the stroke of midnight, the heavens opened and rain began to fall.

It was not all that fell. Down, down, down to the earth fell the instigator of the previous hour’s carnage. Down fell a presence of shadow and singular hatred. Down, purely by fortune into the Duce’s back garden, fell the Dark Lord Kelebek.
 
Chapter 2: What do we have here?

TheButterflyComposer

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Chapter 2: What do we have here?

So, here we are. Hearts of Iron 4, and an Italian campaign guided by the helping hand of Paradox…and led by an impaired genius on drugs. Oh, and I’ve never played this game before. Ever. Only good things can come from this. At least I have my trusty pal Kelebek to advise me, and the entire comment section.


This is Italy as of 1936. As you can see, France is physically very close at hand on land and at sea. Fortunately, the rest of our neighbours are either Switzerland or very weak. Or Germany of course but I hear they are looking elsewhere for territory at this time…

Anyway, the peninsula is nice and all (very visibly distinctive) but not all we have. We also have Sardinia and a small port in the Balkans which will probably become extremely important later on. Sicily of course is ours as well, but Malta (annoyingly) isn’t, which means that we have to worry about both the UK and France every single time we want to cross the sea to get to our shitty little colonial empire (we’ll get to that).


This, as the game helpfully informs me, is the diplomacy screen. Dominated by a massive portrait of Italy’s Glorious Leader, possibly in an attempt to hide the fact that an embarrassing amount of Fascist Italy actually would rather be democratic or *gasp* communists! This is of course true to life, so far as I am aware. Outside of Milan and the north of Italy, this guy wasn’t particularly popular or powerful. He may have managed to get Rome as his capital, but Mussolini never managed to rebuild in his own image like Hitler did; though he did manage to smash a street through to the Vatican to make that lovely visage we know today. Which, of course, marks the continued trend of European capitals becoming more visually appealing under horrible dictators.


Moving swiftly on, this is the afore-mentioned crappy little ‘empire’ we have going on right now. Just eyeballing it, it looks like we have a chunk of the Sahara Desert and some odd bits around the horn of Africa. Now the latter could be useful if we could hold onto it but that would involve a successful African campaign. And we’re Italy so… Anyway, since it is 1936, we’re already at war fighting the Ethiopians for some reason. I will look up why later but right now I can only assume its because they are literally the only target we could conceivably take. That being said, if we can win here, there’s some tasty looking treats over the Red Sea in Arabia. Yemen and Saudi Arabia would net us some nice oil options, and as I know from Kelebek’s time in the Turkish military, they’ll fold like napkins if I attack them. Food for later thought.


Alright, the war situation. So far, it seems we have a pretty good thing going on. It doesn’t look like the enemies (I won’t call them ‘bad guys’ because…well, they probably aren’t) have a working air force or navy and we have some of both in the area. We also have them surrounded on two fronts, which might prove useful. But lets actually learn what to do first before I begin painting a victory banner already.


Well, first the game seems to want me to research some things. Alright then. What exactly do the Fascists know what to do already? As it turns out, not a whole lot.


Right, well getting some automatic weapons in 1936 seems like a base necessity to be honest. Especially for bad guys, as this really is our bread and butter weapon in modern times. And boosting research times is the usual first move for pretty much anyone playing a strategy game when they don’t know what they are doing. Why the Italians don’t have ‘basic machine tools’ already though, I can’t imagine. What exactly was their industry using before if they did not have the capability of making minutely identical mechanical parts? I’m pretty sure we’ve got some basic tanks and machine gunners around here somewhere, so unless they are handcrafted out of wood, we’ve probably got this thing down already. Maybe it’s a union thing.

Ah, and now doctrines! The important step of telling your armed forces how to think. I’m sure the Italians have already put a great deal of thought into what they’ve planned to go for.


…or perhaps, they decided that just saying that you were a great military power and were planning great things to come was enough? After all, mobile warfare is a thing of the past right? Our trench warfare research says so! Okay, this makes me a little worried about what we’re going to do when we finally do pick on a country with tanks. Not that will happen any time soon hopefully but still… I suppose we shall just have to make sure that our plans are exceptional works of brilliance each any every time. Even the spontaneous ones. Especially the spontaneous ones.

Saying that, considering the fleets we may yet come up against, I think the fleet in being is a much better idea for us right now than trying to outproduce UK or French ship industry. The only way we're conquering this sea is by owning all the land around it...and even that seems very ambitious for some reason.


The game also helpfully points out that we are at war but little has happened yet. We are stronger and better in many respects than Ethiopia, and we really should win this war. Then again, this sort of mis-match up happens all the time in history and never guarantees success. Generally speaking, being really, really nasty and killing people tends to get results but who knows?


Hmm, something I have not seen much of before because this seems to be new-ish to HOI4. National focuses seem to be a way of either roleplaying an historic playthrough or going completely off script and doing your own thing. We’re playing as Italy, so we probably do want to go off script as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I’m not quite clear on how we do that. For now, we are going off what the game recommends. It seems the Italians declared war without really figuring out what was required to win beforehand (fancy that?). This little focus line seems to end with us getting a bit more of everything and an extra research slot, so I’ll probably stick to this one until we take Ethiopia at least. Then a new tree opens up which lets us get a ton of options about attacking other countries. In fact, it’s so useful that I wish the game pointed this out to me because I wasted a bunch of political power early on gaining a claim on Yugoslavia (spoilers!) when I could have just waited for this branch to unlock.


Now this production and recruitment system is a bit scary looking and different from CKII. These are professional armies and you have to provide your soldiers with everything from equipment to food. Ah, for the old days of pillaging and raping to make your troops happy… Well, the game is a little helpful in that they tell you what you absolutely must be making (guns, big guns and bandages) and also recommended building some close interceptor planes and some destroyers. I have no idea what either of those are used for to be honest or how effective they are. We shall, presumably, find out.

Now we are finally on the way to preparing Italy for fighting anyone, let alone fighting a war, we can actually get on to…er…winning a war we’re in the middle of. Oops. At least the ground situation is good. We have planes and a bigger army. They have the advantage of defence and…that’s pretty much it. Maybe supplies will become a problem because we have to take everything through the Suez Canal but for now, I think the British are okay with us doing our killing, so long as we kill people they don’t care about.


Did I say we had a bigger army? Well, we have a bigger army now but when I got there we just had loads of troops milling around doing nothing. I got them organised, placed on a frontline facing the enemy and looked around for a good commander for them. For such a strategically focused nation, I’m sure I shall have plenty of choice for good generals.


Or maybe I’ll have a choice of two men to lead two armies. Great. Alright then, we can work with this. Giovanni can lead the largest army in the north towards the capital in the middle of Ethiopia, whilst Ugi can lead the southern force and hopefully either distract or smash through whatever smaller defensive forces they have there.


Curiously enough, I think the Ethiopians are actually stronger in the south, which makes me wonder why the tutorial doesn’t point this out or that your troops in the south could do with orders to counter this. Whatever the reason, the fight in the south is going to be much harder than in the north. No airplane cover, no real advantage in numbers and in fact we are outnumbered if they decide to mass in one place. Basically, we have to hope either that our troops are much better than the enemy, or that we make it to the capital without the south falling and those troops turning around to fight us.


I set up my planes in the area to do what they can in East Africa. Gaining air superiority should be relatively effortless but close air support will be vital in rushing towards the capital before anything bad happens in the south. I suspect the air force shall be very important elsewhere. My two best options for expansion, the Balkans or Arabia, are ripe for this kind of warfare.

With everything set up, we shall commence the attack (too early, according to the game, but they tell me this whilst also insisting that I do so anyway) at both ends of Ethiopia. This should be closely watched to see how our troops fair. If we take the country relatively quickly, we can focus on getting claims and warring with other targets. If not, we really need to butter up and batten down our own forces up to scratch.

In the north, at least initially, the game seemed extremely optimistic about my chances. The battles would be over within days and the enemy were very disorganised and quite underwhelming. Of course, it quickly realised that they were still going to fight, even if they had no commanders and no air support. Good grief, it’s a monstrous thing this colonialism business. The only issue we seem to be having is indeed the desert and the supply issue. Attrition seems to stem from these two issues.


In the south, it is much the same, surprisingly enough. The enemy are fighting back much harder true, but the Italians seem to be holding their own. A few times the battles seem to swing from one side to the other but in general we seem to be superior infantrymen as well. This is especially important because in the south the army seems to be made up from colonial troops, which are probably from a gameplay perspective worse than our regulars. This builds my confidence for future European campaigns.


In preparation, I at this time waste some political points getting that claim on northern Yugoslavia and send pretty much all my men in Italy to the front I have with them. My African army will probably also take part, landing either in that one port I have in their territory or be used to take Albania before flanking Yugoslavia. Of course, before then they have to survive in Ethiopia. And of course, they then have to cross a sea which may be full of enemy ships.


A month in and we’re doing very well. Few casualties and great progress in both the north and south. Hopefully we can get the whole army out of Africa and off to the Balkans before too long. Apparently the Yugoslavian strategy of being really nice to Italy greatly offends the Glorious Leader. As you can expect, we shall naturally go to war and die in droves to make sure he feels better.


Our industrial effort research pays off just as Hitler starts getting naughty in his own country (according to the French and Belgians). This does knock up the world’s tension quite a lot but not as much as me declaring my intentions to fight most of the Balkans far too early. Oh well, live and learn. At least I’m not the Nazis.


And the war ends, just as Europe is beginning to heat up for the first time. So…good timing I guess. The tutorial ends as I decide what to do with Ethiopia. I guess I could annex it and connect up my odd bits of land in East Africa but to be honest I would prefer to have a puppet to provide canon fodder for the inevitable war against the empires. I’d prefer to fight and die over more defensive land than that which is surrounded by enemies. However, I also really do need some more space to build stuff and I might, might need that land for my potential wars in Arabia.


Ah. Opportunity knocks again. Or does it? Whilst the rest of the world is distracted, I can take over the Balkans in peace! I doubt I’ll get away with taking Arabia without the British saying anything but if the Turkish can get away with it, surely, I can.

After all, everybody loves Italy, right?
Yeah, this AAR is off to a great start.
 
Last edited:

Nikolai

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That's certainly an eventful new years Eve.
 

ThaHoward

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So a demon is aiding the fascists? What could go wrong? Would be interesting if you take the middle East road, the new roman empire would then do what the old one never managed to do; conquer Iran.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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So a demon is aiding the fascists? What could go wrong? Would be interesting if you take the middle East road, the new roman empire would then do what the old one never managed to do; conquer Iran.
I was looking through options and the usual approach I thought I would go with, i.e. the Balkans, is actually not a very good option compared to the other two campaign ideas I think (?). The idea of sneaking the entirety of the European axis members off the Germans before they can do anything really appeals, even though its very dangerous and gets me really close to the Soviets. Middle East campaign (if I can figure out naval campaigns) should be more lucrative and I don't think anyone is going to stop me (going off of every HOI campaign I've ever read). Plus it should lead to some pretty interesting fights and borders without potentially murdering me. Plus it would actually give me an empire of sorts to call my own, instead of Europe's cast offs and the future western flank of the Communist Union!

Any advice from HOI players as of yet? A research and tech update is coming to show what I've got at the start. But to summarise now, I have a slightly upgraded rifle, a light tank, another light tank, a crap artillery piece and once of each plane type. And a ridiculous amount of naval units I can't possibly build (this is probably the bit I need the most help with because I haven't really played a Paradox game yet with loads of naval combat).
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Captured Joe

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Very interesting, I'm definitely following this.

When historical focuses are off, Hungary will most of the time go for the Pact of Rome rather than their Axis focus route. Which means, you might get them plus Austria in a faction before Anschluss happens... although it depends on how quick the Hungarians are with their focuses compared to Germany. An alliance with Hungary might not be neccessarily a good thing though, considering they start out with a very weak army and would be eager to go balls deep into a war to reclaim their lost territories, of which there are plenty...

As for early targets, Yugoslavia seems obvious but caution is advised; not only Czechoslovakia but also Romania might get involved, which might be too much to handle since Romania has a strong regional force. Yugoslavia does however have some useful resources: Chromium and Aluminium, and later on they can get Steel and a little bit of Oil and Tungsten. Romania has quite a lot of Oil too, but they are surrounded by neighbours who want to take their lost territories back from it. A Balkan adventure could be very profitable, but tread carefully.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Very interesting, I'm definitely following this.

When historical focuses are off, Hungary will most of the time go for the Pact of Rome rather than their Axis focus route. Which means, you might get them plus Austria in a faction before Anschluss happens... although it depends on how quick the Hungarians are with their focuses compared to Germany. An alliance with Hungary might not be neccessarily a good thing though, considering they start out with a very weak army and would be eager to go balls deep into a war to reclaim their lost territories, of which there are plenty...

As for early targets, Yugoslavia seems obvious but caution is advised; not only Czechoslovakia but also Romania might get involved, which might be too much to handle since Romania has a strong regional force. Yugoslavia does however have some useful resources: Chromium and Aluminium, and later on they can get Steel and a little bit of Oil and Tungsten. Romania has quite a lot of Oil too, but they are surrounded by neighbours who want to take their lost territories back from it. A Balkan adventure could be very profitable, but tread carefully.
Much appreciated. I must bear this in mind.

So austria and hungary are actually crap, from what i see and are basically nothing without germany. So really, if i can take them out quick i should (i have to go there anyway cos Czechoslovakia will declare when i attack yuguslavia).

So the axis attack camapign is still looking pretty good. But the rest of the balkans suddenly looks a bit worse. I deffo don't want to fight them all at once. Still...hmm, at the moment, if i attack yuguslavia, czechs will get invovled but not romania (getting around that romanian garuntee of Czechoslovakia).

If I can avoid a fight with the czechs, the slovakians and romanians all at the same time...can i suceed against two at once in the order given?

As a small update for the middle east, oman and yeman can be claimed with one province each for 45 (ish) points. The saudis are pretty much my only threat to expansion. If i get all of them, i doubt anyone will cause me trouble until turkey.

Edit: all that being said, is the pact of rome my best option or is an established faction better?
 

Captured Joe

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Pact of Rome isn't worth it in my opinion, its main use is flavour for Hungary, or if you're desperate for friends and don't want to annex them yourself.

The Italian army should be able to beat Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Having the war drag on for long enough might get other countries involved though. Maybe the Axis plan, going for Austria and/or Hungary first would be the better option indeed (Hungary in particular is a pushover at this point, basically no army and no mountain defenses, and can give a frontline close to Belgrade).
 

ThaHoward

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Would be interesting if the Rome Treaties were re-ratified tho. It wasn't really until the last years before the war that Italy was pulled to Germany. Until then they saw Austria, Balkans and Romania as their sphere, and UK and France saw Italy as a counterweight to Germany.

For immersion/rp I would be excited to see Italy being opposed to Germany. However Italy shouldn't have any issue taking on Yugoslavia. Just do it before world tension get too high, and if you align with Hungary you may also weaken Romania in case of conflict with them aswell (over Yugoslavia).
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Pact of Rome isn't worth it in my opinion, its main use is flavour for Hungary, or if you're desperate for friends and don't want to annex them yourself.
Well I'm not desperate for weak friends. If I whistle, Germany will come running.

The Italian army should be able to beat Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Having the war drag on for long enough might get other countries involved though. Maybe the Axis plan, going for Austria and/or Hungary first would be the better option indeed (Hungary in particular is a pushover at this point, basically no army and no mountain defenses, and can give a frontline close to Belgrade).
Okay, so go for pushovers and then quick strike in the balkans. I'm begining to like this axis plan a great deal.

Would be interesting if the Rome Treaties were re-ratified tho. It wasn't really until the last years before the war that Italy was pulled to Germany. Until then they saw Austria, Balkans and Romania as their sphere, and UK and France saw Italy as a counterweight to Germany.
Hum...okay did not know this. Lore wise it would make sense for us to sweep in and take these regions back then. After all, the allies probably wouldnt mind a reborn Austria hungary style empire so long as its based away from german influence.

For immersion/rp I would be excited to see Italy being opposed to Germany. However Italy shouldn't have any issue taking on Yugoslavia. Just do it before world tension get too high, and if you align with Hungary you may also weaken Romania in case of conflict with them aswell (over Yugoslavia).
Ok..
Hmm...
Right so we all seem to be pointing towards quickly going after the lesser axis powers (future axis anyway), and Czechoslovakia, before turning around and going for yuguslavia and the romanian sphere. I could probably get albania anf bulgaria no trouble, with romania being a slightly more drawn out job.

Greece will probably be protected by then but if not, thats pretty much the whole of south eastern europe gone.

Question is, is the ethopian armies strong enough to take the middle east at the same time? Is it worth it and can i muster that many points to do it all without igbiting a world war?
 

guillec87

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subbed
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Good to see you.

I'm composing a list on the countries to target and countries to woo into my faction, either as someone else's faction or my own. So far I think, looking at the national focuses available, Spain and Bulgaria are very easy to befriend and ally with, and Bulgaria auto joins a faction I make. Turkey can also be forced into loving me through focuses. Those are three good countries to have as friends I think. But the other possible axis members are a bit more...uncertain.

There is a focus to make Yugoslavia love me too...but I think I want the land more than them. Albania can be forced into annexation by focus as well. And if I'm going after Y then Czechoslovakia will come after me, so I have to take them out too. Which means that either I have to play really nice with Austria and have that wasted when Germany takes over or take it myself first, and then use it as a bridge to get to the Czechs. Greece, Romania and Hungary are the wildcards, mostly because of the middle one. It could go communist or fascist through focuses, or start guaranteeing everyone in the Balkans when I get going. Honestly I think I would rather just have them as an ally than an enemy I have to crush (even if I did conquer it's probably better as a puppet than an annexation). Greece is a no-brainer conquest for those resources I see on the map, and Hungary is, if my plans work out, either going to be flanked on three sides by me and guaranteed by Romania, or not. Perhaps getting another ally and faction member would be better there? Not sure though.

As for the middle east, from the looks of things as I examine my forces in Ethiopia, I would be straight conquering everything up from Arabia, for as long as I can before the British stop me. I probably need to devise some way to stop them from interfering for as long as possible, or at least distract them so they don't guarantee everyone. Any in-game mechanic to do that?

From what I have above, I'd end up with a fairly tough European faction in the Balkans (hopefully with Spain and Romania in as well), and a load of resource conquests in the Balkans and the Middle East. At that point, it would be a matter of trying to avoid Germany and Russia for long enough that it'd be obvious which of them would win their war.

I'll have the characters go over this in more detail in-universe, but how is this all looking as of now? Remember, Italy has about two armies worth of men in Italy and another army in Ethiopia right now.
 

stnylan

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Will follow
 

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Well, in OTL, wasn't Yemen a puppet of the British, and the Saudies already in the pocket of the US oil companies (the neutral USA might or might not fight for it), The Persian oil was British owned and would to go war over it.

In TTL(year 0 of the Dark lords reign) things might be different. Lets look at the Italian Strengths ... it has some really nice battleships all none-greater powers would automatic lose control of the sea ... it has an airforce ... same in the air ... it has a large mixed quality army ... which on paper should be able to defeat any minor power.

The weakness is the bad industry and low mechanications of the country in general, except the north which is starting to go into an industrial age, so Italy can produce anything the other major powers can, but in insignificant quantities.

So the primary focus should be improving production, with the devils help, that is not the Dark lord, but Stalin. Improving organisation and tactics, many of the Generals are the enmies best cards.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Well, in OTL, wasn't Yemen a puppet of the British, and the Saudies already in the pocket of the US oil companies (the neutral USA might or might not fight for it), The Persian oil was British owned and would to go war over it.
Not on this earth. Here no one should interfere unless i use it as a massive distraction and use it to ger rid of all the allies garuntees until i can safely go after the balkans.

In TTL(year 0 of the Dark lords reign)
Meh. He's no dark lord yet. And for the moment, doesnt seem to want to rule the world himself.

Lets look at the Italian Strengths ... it has some really nice battleships all none-greater powers would automatic lose control of the sea ... it has an airforce ... same in the air ... it has a large mixed quality army ... which on paper should be able to defeat any minor power.
Okay. So, navy is good against everyone but the people who im attacking cos they're land locked or dont hace a navy. Or the allies, stronges navies on the planet.

Airforce pretty much the same. I dont think austria or any of my targets have an airforce to speak of so should be useful. However, again if going against the allies i die quickly.

The weakness is the bad industry and low mechanications of the country in general, except the north which is starting to go into an industrial age, so Italy can produce anything the other major powers can, but in insignificant quantities.
So...avoid everyone except really weak targets to find space to build more factories...or snatch somewhere underdefended and industrialised.

France?

The weakness is the bad industry and low mechanications of the country in general, except the north which is starting to go into an industrial age, so Italy can produce anything the other major powers can, but in insignificant quantities.
Hmm...actually, i need to go build a ton of factories basically. Only place i can build them is on the pennisula. Is that okay? Everywhere else i conquer can provide my military factories, i guess.
And i need to either hit france or yuguslavia quickly to get some more factories. Nowhere else can i get the industry anf the resources at the same time. Cept germany but i think we all agree i cant take them.

So the primary focus should be improving production,
Okay. I agree. Through construction and conquest.

with the devils help, that is not the Dark lord, but Stalin.
!
Extreme and unexpected. What exactly can he do to help? He knows a thing or two about industralising but italy has a small population dontchaknow?

Improving organisation and tactics, many of the Generals are the enmies best cards.
Mm...i am planning on sending the best of my bad bunch to ethopia to improve their skills. Hopefully they will return to help spain as volunteers and take austria/yuguslavia/whoever the first target is.

Good comments. For now, my list of targets stand for winning austria is vital to being able to attack both the czechs and yuguslavians at the same time. However...i do wonder about france now. I had dismissed it but...they may not be expecting it, they dont have forts on the border and we could, maybe, go around some of their army with a naval invasion in the south.

Hmm...

Oh and the european theatre is clearly my number one priority. I'll do most of this list before moving on the middle east. All that can get me is oil and i really need space and factories more. So the balkans must come first, especially because if we dont, germany and russia will split it between them.

It all has to go. Austria and everyone else. We either need then under us or at our side.

Thoughts? Also...can we take france at any point and if so when and how?
 

Surt

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Stalin has the resources Italy lacks, if he want to trade with them is another problem.
 

Captured Joe

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And i need to either hit france or yuguslavia quickly to get some more factories. Nowhere else can i get the industry anf the resources at the same time. Cept germany but i think we all agree i cant take them.
Yugoslavia has very few factories though, the Czechs are better off in that regard.

Mm...i am planning on sending the best of my bad bunch to ethopia to improve their skills. Hopefully they will return to help spain as volunteers and take austria/yuguslavia/whoever the first target is.
Remember though, you cant send volunteers while at war (and when war breaks out, they'll return to you). So, depending on how long the Spanish Civil War drags on, you either might have to return your volunteers or set back any plans for early conquests.

Also...can we take france at any point and if so when and how?
I don't think you can take on France yet, and I don't think you'll grow strong enough to beat them on your own before they join the Allies.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Stalin has the resources Italy lacks, if he want to trade with them is another problem.
Weeeelll, we are currently looking at supporting fascist Spain so...