The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (more commonly “the United Kingdom,” “the UK,” “Great Britain,” or simply “Britain”) was the principal power of the Allies in World War II. In 1939, the UK honored its guarantees to Poland by declaring war on Germany. After the fall of France, the United Kingdom was the only Allied nation left in Europe until Italy's surprise invasion of Greece led the Greeks to fully join the Allies. It remained the only one of the “Big Three” (Britain, the Soviet Union, and America) in the war until 1941 when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The United Kingdom was heavily engaged in the Western European, Atlantic, Mediterranean, African, and Southeast Asian theaters.
- 1 Events
- 2 Technology
- 3 Politics
- 4 Economy
- 5 National focus
- 6 Military
- 7 Strategies and Guides
- Main article: British events
|Army Technology||Naval Technology||Air Technology||Electronics & Industry|
Decommissioning the O/P/R submarine is recommended since the Stealth and Engine upgrades just cancel each other out.
The UK starts with three National Spirits.
UK starts 1936 as a democracy, with elections every four years, with the next one in 1940. The ruling party is the Conservative Party led by Neville Chamberlain.
The UK has no National Focus that allows it to change ideology; Only fascist or communist Political Advisors could reverse the ideology. The AI controlling other countries can attempt to promote other ideologies. Because of the UK's National Spirit British Stoicism this will be much slower than normal as it grants Ideology drift defense: +50%.
The United Kingdom maintained close ties with the Commonwealth countries of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. These countries were formerly part of the British Empire, but are now independent. They have their own governments, economies and armed forces and the UK player cannot control these unless they provide an expeditionary force to the UK. But they start the game as members of the Allies faction, led by the UK. Certain UK focus choices affect them (e.g., construction of factories).
NOTE: With the Together For Victory DLC, all the Commonwealth Realms are British subjects to various degrees alongside its puppet the British Raj.
Their colony of India has some local autonomy.. It is represented in the game as a puppet called British Raj. It is possible for the UK to release British Raj as an independent country. With the "Together For Victory" DLC active, it is represented as a Colony, more autonomous than a puppet.
The UK starts with with direct control over many colonies across the world. These include the strategic locations of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal and the rich colonies in Malaya Singapore.
The UK is leader of the faction called the Allies. The faction's starting members are the Commonwealth countries (Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand) and the British Raj. It's the most powerful faction in the game in the start. The UK has very friendly relations with France, but the later isn't a member of the Allies in start, nor is the United States. France normally joins the faction early in the game, but it might not — it's National Foci could steer it elsewhere. The U.S. normally joins the Allies later, but it can also form its own faction.
|Rule||Whether it applies||Reason|
|Can declare war on country of the same ideology group without a war goal||No||Democracy|
|Can Guarantee other Ideologies||Yes||Democracy|
|Can join Factions led by another Ideology||Yes||Democracy|
|Can create Factions||Yes||National Spirit|
|Lowers World Tension with Guarantees||Yes||Democracy|
|Can puppet a country||No||Democracy|
|Can justify war goals against a country that has not generated world tension||No||Democracy|
United Kingdoms economy in 1936 has good access to all resources except oil which is easily accessible through trade for the UK as its mostly in the hands of democracies. There is also plenty of territory for construction of new factories with 110 free slots. Many resources come from the far reaches of the United Kingdom by convoys, so ensuring that the Royal Navy has superiority along the trade routes is of importance to ensure that these make their way to Britain.
|Conscription Law||Economy Law||Trade Law|
| Volunteer Only
|| Civilian Economy
|| Export Focus
1936 state: The U.K. has a moderate production ability when it comes to military factories and a great shipbuilding one.
14 Military Factories
19 Naval Dockyard
34 Civilian Factories
These numbers represent the available resources, depending on trade law a certain amount may be traded away.
Staff and Designers
These are the unique companies and individuals that are available for the British to use.
|Harry Pollitt||Communist Revolutionary||
|John Beckett||Fascist Demagogue||
|Nevile Henderson||Backroom Backstabber||
|Leslie Hore-Belisha||Armaments Organizer||
|Clement Attlee||Democratic Reformer||
|Philip Kerr||Silent Workhorse||
|Maxwell Aitken||War Industrialist||
|Ernest Bevin||Quartermaster General||
|Cammell Laird||Atlantic Fleet designer||
|Harland & Wolf||Pacific Fleet designer||
|John Brown & Company||Coastal Defense Fleet designer||
|Yarrow Shipbuilders||Escort Fleet designer||
|Fairey Aviation||Naval aircraft||
|Royal Arsenal||Artillery designer||
|RSAF Enfield||Infantry Equipment designer||
|Vauxhall||Motorized Equipment designer||
|English Electric||Electronics Concern||
|Bernard Montgomery||Grand Battleplan Expert||
|Harold Alexander||Military Theorist||
|James Somerville||Grand Fleet Proponent||
|Tom Phillips||Naval Theorist||
|Hugh Dowding||Air Warfare Theorist||
|Arthur Harris||Victory Through Airpower||
|James Chadwick||Nuclear Scientist||
|Frank Whittle||Rocket Scientist||
- Main article: British NF tree
The main areas of focus are: Limited Rearmament, Reinforce the Empire, and Home Defense. There is a Cryptologic Bomb focus but it's on a limited line connected to Limited Rearmament. All of these focuses take 70 days.
The United Kingdom starts with a world-dominating fleet across the globe, and a sizeable air force. Its army nevertheless, is stretched thin because of the size of the Empire's extent. The nation is almost depleted of manpower at the start of the game and juggling this is a major concern. Careful planning should be used for the 59,000 manpower pool; newly made ships and planes will require their part of manpower for crewing. Though manpower demands for the army's preparations for coming war are pressing, they're not urgent for Britain by 1936 and could wait for a while.
Most of the British Army's forces are concentrated in England, Wales and Scotland, the remainder in brigade-sized units around their colonies. The British isles are home to 16 infantry divisions, of which five are full-strength, regular-quality of 9 regiments each. The rest of the divisions are similar in size, but at a 'trained' level and with equipment shortages. They're coupled with two cavalry brigades and a light armour brigade. Overseas are about 20 trained infantry brigades, made of four regiments that share a shortage of equipment.
The British Army is expected to be hard pressed from the extent of territory that needs to defend when war beaks out. The player will have to decide wisely how to split its originaly limited divisions to defend the Empire and allied nations.
|16Infantry Divisions||20Garrison Brigades||2Cavalry Brigades||1Light Tank Brigade|
1936: The Royal Navy is one of the largest in the globe by 1936, with U.S. Navy on numerical par. The UK starts with all tier I ship techs and tier II destroyers, the G/H/I Class of which 9 are in construction on three production lines. There are also three heavily upgraded light cruisers, the Amphion Class under construction across three production lines. Two 'S Class' submarines are also under construction, though the O/P/R Class is more advanced.
|Ship classes of the Royal Navy|
|CV||Courageous Class||4||Carrier I|
|BB||Nelson Class||2||Battleship I*|
|BB||Queen Elizabeth Class||10||Battleship I|
|BC||Admiral Class||1||Battlecruiser I*|
|BC||Renown Class||2||Battlecruiser I|
|CA||County Class||13||Heavy Cruiser I*|
|CA||Hawkins Class||3||Heavy Cruiser I|
|CL||Amphion Class||2||3||Light Cruiser I*|
|CL||Emerald Class||7||Light Cruiser I*|
|CL||C Class||21||Light Cruiser I|
|DD||G/H/I Class||18||9||Destroyer II|
|DD||A/B/C/D Class||34||Destroyer I*|
|DD||V/W Class||76||Destroyer I|
|SS||O/P/R Class||21||Submarine I*|
|SS||S Class||9||2||Submarine I*|
|SS||L Class||12||Submarine I|
|* marks a variant with increased base stats to symbolise ships that are not modern enough to warrant a full 1936 tech level but too modern to fit into the1922 tech level.|
304 Close Air Support
126 Naval Bombers
240 Tactical Bombers
The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force (or R.A.F) is by 1936 the largest airforce in the globe, with a number 30% larger than the U.S.A.F., 50% than the Luftwaffe, and twice the size of the french Armée de l'air.
624 aircraft are interwar Gladiator fighters. 304 are CAS I ("Hectors") and 48 NAV I ("Swordfish"). Operating from the aircraft carriers are 78 "Nimrods" and "Sharks", occupying about 75% of the available carrier capacity.
Strategies and Guides
Britain in Asia: India is the Key
An important part of the British Empire-Commonwealth has always been India. With 5 million manpower in volunteer recruitment, it has a potentially massive military base to use. Unfortunately, the British Raj has always been industrially weak, and will rely on British industrial support for the duration of the war.
You will notice that Britain has the ability to Lend-Lease to India, as well as Request Forces from them. Most players like to request forces from them, taking 13 divisions right from the start. However, these forces are weak, and rely on the Indian AI to update them to the latest technology and equipment. More importantly, the Raj AI has a bad habit of going down the Fascist or Communist national focus trees if the player takes all their divisions right off the bat.
The better route is to feed the Raj any excess production that Britain has, most importantly infantry equipment, artillery, support equipment, and convoys. This means that the Raj can begin building forces without the constraint of weak industry. By 1939, a British Raj with nearly 100 divisions fitted with the latest equipment will be a fighting force to give even the Soviet Union or Japan a pause. Giving the Raj even old equipment is preferable to the Raj have no divisions when the fighting starts.
Be sure to give the Raj plenty of convoys, as the UK player will find that India will have lots of supply issues due to Japanese submarines often patrolling the waters in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. Those convoys will also come useful when the UK has 40,000 units of old tanks and artillery just lying around in reserves. Why not just ship them to someone who could use them?
British Raj in Multiplayer Games with a UK Player and British Raj Player
The Crown Jewel in the British Empire is the British Raj. The subcontinent is a cornucopia of manpower, which the UK itself lacks, especially at the beginning of the war. As the master in the relationship, the UK has the special ability to request forces from the Raj, even in peacetime. It is a special ability to keep in your back pocket in case of special circumstances. The other ability granted by the master/puppet relationship is that the UK can import resources from the British Raj without having to expend civilian factories. Given that the UK has a surplus of resources, this is rarely done and not recommended (from a Raj perspective) because it sucks off resources from the Raj that they otherwise would be "paid for" (with factories) by other trading partners.
This is written from the perspective of a multiplayer game with a Raj player and with house rules that adhere to a "historical" sequence (e.g. WW2 starts in 1939, Japan can't declare on European nations until Pearl Harbor, the US joins at the end of 1941 etc).
UK Player's role in setting up the Raj player for success
- As soon as you can, choose the national focus "Develop the Raj." This grants India +5 civilian factories. In a multiplayer game with a historical timeline, the British Raj is furiously attempting to increase its civilian factory base in the early game. Every factory counts.
- Use the special ability of the master/puppet relationship: provide lend lease to your puppet. You can do this even in peacetime. Take advantage of this unique trait.
- Steadily feed your puppet convoys. Why? When the war starts, the British Raj can easily put to full use more than 1,000 convoys to transport tens of thousands of lend leased equipment from all the allies. The Raj will use these obsolete and surplus military materiel to arm its 7M, 15M, 20M or even more than 30,000,000 manpower pool. Convoys are the rate limiting step. With 1,000 convoys, the British Raj can suck in 100k worth of Infantry Equipment. Since the UK also needs convoys, this works best if the US player builds extra convoys and then sends them to the UK when the war starts, to replace the convoys that the UK has sent to the Raj. Keep in mind, however, that the Soviet Union can lend-lease to the Raj without using any convoys - so if the Raj is able to put that equipment in to use early in the war, the Soviets may find it to their advantage to lend-lease significant amounts of land equipment to the Raj, to help delay Germany in the West, or else to help open up a second front in the West at the start of Barbarossa.
- Also, lend lease the British Raj obsolete planes, a bit of infantry equipment, and some support equipment if available. The more you feed the Raj, the bigger it gets.
In return, the British Raj will garrison all of the Empire's vital spots, as permitted by the house rules. Singapore, Malta, Gibraltar, the Suez, the bauxite mines in Guyana, and even Scapa Flow will have stalwart guardians protecting British interests.
- Delegate the fight in Africa to the British Raj. As the UK player, you've got your attention on Continental Europe and perhaps elsewhere.
- Communicate often with the Raj player. Expect the Raj player to do likewise.
- The sun never sets on the British Empire nor will it in HoI4 if you feed and nurture your puppet.
- As the UK player, you take care of the Raj and the Raj will take care of you.
Dependence of UK-Raj Relationship on House Rules
In historical or semi-historical multiplayer games, there are often house rules which can alter the best strategy to get the most out of the UK-Raj relationship.
- If the rules allow Japan to join the war in 1939, then it is especially important that the UK produce and lend-lease some land equipment to the Raj. At minimum, the Raj itself, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies all need to be defended against Japan. In addition, Allied troops are needed in Africa, to garrison the mainland UK, and to garrison other vital British territories such as Gibraltar and Malta, as well as possibly helping directly in the defense of France. The UK itself simply does not have enough manpower to accomplish this by itself, while the Raj cannot produce enough equipment to adequately accomplish all of this by itself. However, this can be done if the UK lend-leases land equipment to the Raj.
- If the rules do not allow Japan to join the war until some later date, such as the historical date of December 1941, then it is much less imperative that the UK lend-lease land equipment to the Raj. Without the need to also defend Asia, the Raj can produce sufficient ground forces on its own to adequately defend Africa (particularly if other Allied minors such as Canada can help provide some armored units), Allied Mediterranean possessions, and the to garrison the UK itself. If the rules allow the Raj to help defend mainland France, then it may still be worthwhile for the UK to lend lease plenty of land equipment to the Raj, so that they have a large enough army to also do this. If not, then it may be better for the UK to build its own land forces to fight in France, or else to focus even more strongly on ensuring Allied aerial supremacy.
- If the rules restrict the Raj from placing troops in the European or Africa theater (for instance, no Raj troops outside of Asia until Pearl Harbor), then the best use of the Raj for the Allies changes further. In this case, the Raj can by itself produce an adequate army to not only defend Asia, but perhaps also even to go on the offensive against Japan from the start. In addition, another special ability of the Raj may come to the fore in this case. The Raj is the only Allied country which is able to lend-lease to the Soviets without requiring the Soviets to have large numbers of convoys to receive the lend-lease. The Raj can produce equipment needed by the Soviets, including tanks or even planes, and can send an unlimited amount of this. The Soviets can quickly put this equipment to use, since it will arrive only 30 days after the Soviet Union enters the war. In this case, the UK and later the US may find it to their advantage to also lend lease significant amounts of equipment to the Raj, so that the Raj can send more of the equipment that it produces on its own to the Soviets, while also still having an adequate army of their own.
It is very helpful to pursue the focus Shadow Industries as soon as it is available, as it leads to the Extra Research Slot as well as Royal Ordinance Factories which gives you 6 military factories. However, to access Shadow Industries, the world tension must be above 5%. At the start of the war in Spain, various countries will have the option to send troops to Spain as expeditionary forces. If enough of them are sent, world tension may rise above 5%. You should be ready to pursue Shadow Industries as soon as possible if it becomes available, as the world tension will lower over time. Once you have Shadow Industries, there is no lock out to keep you from going after the Extra Research Slot and Royal Ordinance Factories.
It is also possible to make a faction with Italy once turning Fascist. Though you've got to be quick. Having a faction with Italy can help in the long run. I prefer naming your faction "Rule Britannia" because why not.