Welcome to the latest in a series of posts looking at minor countries in the game Hearts of Iron IV by Paradox Entertainment. Hearts of Iron IV is an epic historical simulator that allows you to experience the Second World War as any country, and perhaps, change history. These articles examine the benefits and drawbacks of playing as any of dozens of minor countries in HOI IV. This week I’ll be looking at Spain.
Spain hardly qualifies as a minor power, but because it sat on the sidelines in World War 2, it can be considered such for the purposes of this game. From July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939, Spain was wracked by a civil war caused when nationalist forces rebelled against the Second Spanish Republic. The war was a glimpse of things to come, as fascists, communists, and democrats sent volunteers, supplies, and weapons to support opposing sides. Eventually, the nationalists triumphed and Francisco Franco became its leader. Spain remained neutral during World War 2, declining to support Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.
What if Nationalist Spain had joined the war? Or, more interestingly, what if the Republicans won and Spain aligned itself with the Allies or the Soviet Union? Either outcome could radically alter the course of the war.
Spain starts the game in 1936 as a democratic regime with 50% national unity. It has a volunteer army, export trade focus, and civilian economy. The fascist party, led by Francisco Franco, has 46% popularity, the democratic party, led by Manuel Azana, has 47%, the communist party, led by Jose Diaz, has 7% support, and the nonaligned party has zero support. The next election will be held in February 1936.
Spain is divided into 15 states, including four in Africa, with mostly hilly and mountainous terrain. The western province of Galicia is almost entirely forest. Its resources are spread out over a wide area. In terms of industry, it has 7 military and 16 civilian factories, 4 naval dockyards, plus 47 additional open slots, 68 steel, 6 tungsten, and 2 aluminum. You can appoint Francisco Largo Caballero, a captain of industry, who grants +10% construction speed to civilian factories, infrastructure, and refineries.