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HOI IV Barbarossa update offers new communist options to France

Published: 02:27, 07 November 2021
Paradox Interactive
Hearts of Iron IV - La Résistance expansion promo image, screenshot from the trailer
Hearts of Iron IV - La Résistance

Ideology during World War II is a tough nut to crack. Especially so when it was mired in politics and personal interests. So, if you wish to make a change in the game, you also must change history and historical figures.

If you remember the French focus tree from La Résistance, if you go communist you get Maurice Thorez. He was, historically, the leader of the Parti Communiste Français, also known as the PCF.

If you walk through some cities in France you can even find streets bearing his name still today. But he had one characteristic trait: he was a die-hard Stalinist who followed the Moscow line until his death in 1964. He had a city and an institute named after him in the USSR. On the day the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed, he is on vacation in the Alps and the PCF changes its stance on Germany and Poland overnight following Moscow's instructions without asking him. When he comes back, he just shrugs and goes along with it.

With that in mind, I felt that it was weird you would keep him as a leader if you do not go for the "Loyalty To Moscow" sub-tree. Developers did some research and suggested another French historical figure as an alternative leader to French communists not aligned with Moscow.

Paradox Interactive Hearts of Iron IV - New branches for Fascists and Tsarist Russia Hearts of Iron IV - Russia goes Fascist and France goes Communist, anything can happen

René Nicod was a member of the PCF in 1939, but when the party decided to realign itself following the Pact, he and a couple of other MPs quit the party and founded the Union Populaire Française, also known as UPF, or French Popular Union in English. They denounced the Pact and supported the government's decision to stand with Poland.

This means that in Barbarossa if you own La Résistance and go either Anti-Fascist Coalition or Loyalty to the cause you will get a new party and leader.  Each branch will give a different flavour of Nicod inspired by his published opinions pieces during the Great War, in which he both supported in the French Army and lost his hand in the trenches but also denounced the war on ideological grounds and hoped the French and German workers would unite in a common cause.

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