Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – United Kingdom (UK) Strategy Guide

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The United Kingdom might be the most important country in Hearts of Iron 4, as its defeat will instantly bring the end of the Allies and, usually, the world. Germany will win everything if they lose the mainland.

This is why playing as the UK can be very intimidating, considering that you also need to control the complicated navies and try to keep your allies alive all over the map.

Recommended Read: How to Deal With Resistance in Hearts of Iron 4

Still, as the UK, you can probably have the easiest world conquest in the whole game since they control the largest portion of the planet at the start of HOI4, and all they need to do is annex it.

In this guide, we will show you exactly how you can play as the United Kingdom in Hearts of Iron 4, and either conquer the whole world in less than 6 years or just help the Allies defeat the overpowered Axis.

Table of Contents

General Strategy for United Kingdom in HOI4

Most people will always tell you that the UK dominates the waves and that their navy is the most important part of the playthrough.

Depending on how you want to play it, this can be very true or completely false.

If you are playing a Democratic game, which can likely be a multiplayer game, your navy will be the most important part, along with the African front.

However, if your goal is to conquer the world, then naval warfare won’t be relevant at all.

The UK has these factories at the start of HOI4 in 1936:

  • Civilian Factories: 30 (only 17 available)
  • Military Factories: 14
  • Naval Dockyards: 19

The navy that the UK has at the start of the game is more than enough to defeat all countries besides the US and Japan, and both of them will only be a problem in the late game naval-wise.

This is why you should use your whole naval production to produce Convoys.

You also have enough Civilian Factories at the start, so you will usually just pump out a lot of Military Factories, Radars, and Anti-Air.

Tanks won’t be that important for the UK, so putting the Mil Factories into Infantry Equipment, Support Equipment, and Artillery should be good enough for now.

You should also get to work on making better Fighters and CAS for the upcoming war and research better Anti-Air and Anti-Tank Artillery to add to your divisions.

For research, you should just go for the classic industrial start and some investments in equipment for war.

Don’t forget to also bring all of your navy to the mainland and create some new fleets that make sense to you.

Now, here are the two best strategies you can have as the UK in HOI4:

  • Mosley’s Blackshirt Imperial Federation
  • Home Defense

Mosley’s Fascist Imperial Federation UK

Playing as Fascist UK is extremely overpowered in HOI4, and it is probably the simplest method to do a world conquest.

Though there are a lot of little things along the way that can make it seem hard, it is actually quite simple once you understand the general strategy.

Here is the strategy for fascist UK in HOI4 if you want to form the Empire and maybe the EU:

  1. Start the Civil War against the Allies and conquer the UK and all the colonies.
  2. Consolidate the British Isles, conquer Ireland, and complete the Unite the Anglosphere focus.
  3. Conquer the US.
  4. Free Canada as a Puppet, form a faction with them and allow them to form the Dominion of North America.
  5. Conquer the newly independent Unitary Canada.
  6. Create a random puppet or puppet Spain and go down the Reinforce the Empire national focus path until you can complete the Imperial Federation focus.

If you just manage to follow these simple 6 steps, you will have annexed Canada, the USA, South Africa, the British Raj, Australia, and New Zealand, and also made all of their provinces core territories.

At this point, you will have enough Manpower and factories to conquer the whole world extremely easily.

Since that might be a bit too concise, here are all the steps you need to take as Fascist UK to form the Imperial Federation and maybe even form the EU:

Moseley’s Rise to Power and Civil War

The first thing you need to do at the start of HOI4 as the UK is to get all of your troops to form a line at the southern border of Yorkshire and Lancashire. This will be your frontline in the upcoming civil war.

Take the A Change in Course national focus right from the start to speedrun getting the Fascists to power. Make sure to reject any propositions from Ethiopia that will upset Italy since you can befriend them in the future.

After 35 days, pick the Organize the Blackshirts focus and wait 70 days for it to complete. Usually, you won’t really have much to do until you complete this focus besides planning your constructions and production queue.

Make sure to keep all of your Political Power since you will need it for the upcoming civil war.

The moment the Organize the Blackshirts focus is done, you will now get special decisions to march in all of the provinces in mainland UK. You will need to click to hold marches in the following locations, in this exact order:

  1. Highlands
  2. Aberdeenshire
  3. Lothian
  4. Lanark
  5. Northern England
  6. Yorkshire
  7. Lancashire

So, just go from the north, where the marches are very cheap PP-wise, and then reach the frontline we’ve prepared earlier.

The moment you finish with the march in Lancashire, after a few days, you should get the event where the civil war has started.

Also, pick the Limited Rearmament focus, since you will lose your colonies during the Civil War and any other focus will get canceled.

Conquering the Commonwealth

HOI4 has an interesting mechanic where you can declare war on puppets during a civil war, turning the civil war into a faction war.

Using this mechanic, we can conquer the whole Commonwealth in HOI4 just by defeating Democratic UK.

So, right when the war starts, select all of the colonies (Canada, South Africa, the British Raj, Australia, British Malaya, and New Zealand) and declare war on them.

Normally, you could only attack one, and the rest would come into the war, but that way, you won’t raise the World Tension high enough.

Quickly defeat the extremely weak Democratic UK and annex everything in the peace deal: the UK, Canada, South Africa, the British Raj, Australia, British Malaya, and New Zealand.

Don’t forget to take their navy as well. This will bump up the World Tension up to around 100%.

Oswald Mosley, unfortunately, has a debuff that stops him from justifying war goals on countries unless the World Tension is at least 100%.

If you complete the Consolidate the British Isles focus, this requirement will lower down to 80%.

Make sure to set up a template with only one Cavalry battalion in it (a 2 width division) to set it up as the Garrison for all of the newly conquered territories. Manpower will be a relatively big problem now.

This is why the British Path to Fascism will be a very important focus tree, as it will increase the possible Manpower by around 40%, removing The War to End All Wars debuff.

Conquering the USA

The next step in HOI4 as Fascist UK after defeating the Commonwealth will be conquering Ireland and the United States of America. The US is extremely weak in 1938, so this should be the year we aim to conquer them.

While you prepare for the upcoming war with Ireland and the USA, here are the exact HOI4 focuses you will need to take, in the exact order we listed them below:

  1. God Save the King
  2. Consolidate the British Isles
  3. British Path to Fascism
  4. Ceylon Forward Operating Base
  5. Unite the Anglosphere

After you complete the Consolidate the British Isles national focus, declare war on Ireland and start preparing for the war with the USA.

It will take at least 210 days until you can complete the Unite the Anglosphere focus which gives you a war goal on the US.

Here is how you should prepare for this war:

  • Station your better part of the army on the eastern front between Canada and the USA. These will have to come down and conquer the east coast.
  • Train as many 2 Width Cavalry divisions and place them all across the western front with the US. All of these troops will advance the front once you have properly defeated the eastern front.
  • Set up some Naval Invasions from Bermuda close to the more powerful Victory Points.

The war with the USA will be very easy, but it can be very long if you don’t attack from all possible directions.

This is why we must first quickly take care of the East Coast and then drop hundreds of Cavalry divisions all over their western territories.

When you feel there isn’t long until the war is over, start justifying war goal on Mexico. You should do this because you will have to conquer the US again.

Creating the Pan-North-American State

The main purpose of our strategy is to complete the Imperial Federation focus and get cores on all of our old colonies.

However, there is a way to also get cores on all of the US as the UK in HOI4. To do this, we will need to create the Pan-North-American State, also known as the Dominion of North America.

To do this, we will first need to conquer Mexico. This should be extremely easy at this point, after conquering the US, but be careful since Mexico can join the Axis, starting the war with Germany a bit early.

Once you have all of North America, free Canada as a puppet and quickly create a faction with them. You need to do this because these are the requirements to get the “Create Pan-North-American State” decision in HOI4:

  • Complete the Unite the Anglosphere focus
  • Annex the USA
  • Have Canada as a Puppet
  • In the same faction as Canada

You will need to move extremely quickly after freeing Canada since they will try to declare independence from you very fast.

Create the faction with them instantly and, the moment they accept, complete the Create Pan-North-American State decision.

This will give Canada all of the territories of the US and give them core on them. However, in the next few days, Canada will declare independence. You will now have to justify a war goal on them and conquer the US again.

To make things faster, you can attack from both Mexico and Bermuda. Canada won’t have any troops, but you will have to walk through a lot of territories to make them surrender.

They can also join the Axis since they will be Fascist, so prepare to defend the mainland as well.

Puppet Spain and form the Empire

This is the last step of this guide which will help you form the Empire as the UK and get cores on Canada, the USA, South Africa, the British Raj, Australia, and New Zealand in HOI4.

To do this, you will need to go down the Reinforce the Empire focus tree, all the way down to Imperial Federation.

While you were fighting Mexico and Canada, you could have completed the Secure Italian Alliance and Pre-Empt Spanish Alignment focuses.

The alliance with Italy will help you a lot on the European front, considering that you might start an early war with Germany, and you will also gain a Puppet war goal on Spain, which will be necessary for the Reinforce the Empire focus.

To start the Reinforce the Empire focus with the UK in HOI4, you will need to have at least one puppet.

You can just release a random puppet, such as the Independent State of Samoa, which you got from all your colonies, or you can puppet Spain and gain a foothold on continental Europe.

Spain would be an amazing puppet since you can have a direct front with the rest of Europe. You don’t even have to leave them all of their territories. Just conquer most of the provinces and leave them Galicia.

Once you have a puppet, complete the following focuses:

  1. Reinforce the Empire
  2. Service Overseas
  3. Encourage Colonial Elite

Once you complete the Encourage Colonial Elite focus, Commonwealth Ties, Develop the Raj, Development in Canada, Development in Australia, Develop New Zealand, Develop South Africa, and Hold the Imperial Conference focuses will all be bypassed.

You can now just complete the Imperial Federation focus to change the name of the British Empire to just The Empire, and gain core on all of the territories of the Anglosphere.

What Comes Next

At this point in the game, the UK is the most overpowered country in all of HOI4. There is nothing that should be able to stop you.

You can conquer Germany and the Soviet Union, maybe even go all the way to Japan to finish your world conquest.

You should be able to reach this point by 1941, which should allow you to do an easy world conquest that should be done by 1945.

Churchill’s Democratic UK for Both Singleplayer and Multiplayer

Playing as Democratic UK in HOI4 is a lot more straightforward for players, since you just need to follow the historical path.

Go down the Steady As She Goes and then Home Defense national focus trees to prepare for a strong defense against the Germans.

As the historical UK in HOI4, you have three goals:

  • Conquer Africa
  • Destroy Italian and German Navy
  • D-day Germany and Italy

The first step to a successful game as the UK is to conquer Africa. If you can kick Italy out of the African front, you will block the big Italian navy in the Mediterranean, and you will always have the possibility to come in and do a Naval Invasion.

Next, you will have to make sure that Germany isn’t doing anything weird with their navy. Set up a few scouting vessels to Patrol while your main fighting stand ready with the Strike Force command selected.

Once the US mobilizes properly, you can prepare for the D-day on Germany or start an earlier Naval Invasion on Italy down in Sicily.

Production Focus

Since most of the game you are just going to sit, you should think about what to produce. You shouldn’t create new ships and should actually refit them.

That takes much less time than coming up with new ships. You have more than enough of them at the start.

When it comes to equipment, just follow the advice we gave at the start of the guide:

  • Infantry Equipment
  • Support Equipment
  • Artillery
  • Fighters
  • CAS
  • Anti-Air Artillery
  • Anti-Tank Artillery
  • Trucks

You should also make sure that all your carriers and battleships have a lot of Anti-Air since you will otherwise lose a lot of them just from Germany’s overwhelming air force.

Army Positioning

You should make sure that all your ports and VP on mainland UK are defended. You will need 36 divisions for this.

If you make some small but really good at entrenching divisions on your ports, you should be good.

Your main army should be in Africa at the start, but you will need to create a Railway to Libya and Ethiopia unless you want to lose all your troops to attrition.

Some troops in the Raj and Malaysia can also be very valuable when Japan joins the war.

France is a lost cause, so you shouldn’t leave any troops on their territories. Otherwise, you will end up surrounded and destroyed by the Germans.

You will only need three main command centers for your navy as the UK.

You will need a big part of your navy to protect the mainland, another part to harass the Italians the whole game, and another one close to the Raj to protect Europe from weird moves from Japan.


Spying is going to be huge for democratic UK in HOI4 since you will need to decrypt both Germany and Italy and build powerful spy networks in both.

Get an Intelligence Agency from the start of the game and send your spies to work right from the start to cause the Axis problems from the inside.

That’s everything you need to know about how to win WW2 as the United Kingdom (UK) in Hearts of Iron 4!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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