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Government type Absolute Monarchy
Ruling party Metternich's Faction (conservative)
Capital Vienna (ID 619)
Population 8.84 million
Primary culture South German
Accepted cultures
Literacy 16.1%
National value Order
Tech school Military-Industrial Complex
Status Great power

"Let others wage wars, but you, happy Austria, shall marry." - Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1415 - 1493)

Austria and all of its German allies and enemies in 1836

Austria is in her peak by the start of Victoria 2. With a large population but large ethnic tensions, in order to lead Austria into the spotlight large sacrifices must be made. Austria is an empire of roughly 8.84 million people in East-Central Europe. It is bordered by Russia Russia, Krakow Krakow, Prussia Prussia, Saxony Saxony, Bavaria Bavaria and Württemberg Württemberg to the north, Switzerland Switzerland and Sardinia-Piedmont Sardinia-Piedmont to the west, Parma Parma, Modena Modena, Papal States Papal States, the Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire, Serbia Serbia and Wallachia Wallachia to the south, and Moldavia Moldavia and, again, the Russian Empire to the east.

Historically, Austria rose to prominence under the Habsburg family, who took the crown of the Holy Roman Empire and expanded their holdings across much of Germany and Central Europe, including Bohemia-Moravia Bohemia-Moravia (modern day Czech Republic), Hungary Hungary (including parts of several other modern countries), Slovenia, Croatia Croatia and Dalmatia. The empire flourished into one of the most powerful states in all of Europe.

Unlike the Germanic populations of Northern Europe, the overwhelming majority of Austrians remained Catholic, and the Habsburgs proved to be deadly foes to the Reformation, culminating in the eradication of Protestantism in Hungary. Beginning in the 18th century, Austria's hegemony over Germany was challenged by the rise of Prussia in the north, a rivalry which would come to define much of German politics for decades to come. In 1806, during the Napoleonic Wars, Austria suffered a string of crushing defeats at the hands of Revolutionary France, following which the Holy Roman Empire was abolished. It was in Vienna that the great nations of Europe, following their victory, redrew the political map of the continent into a new order, balanced between the great powers. Austria joined the German Confederation in 1815 (not represented in game), which survived the revolutions of 1848 but collapsed in 1866 after a war with Prussia. The empire was reorganized into Austria-Hungary in 1867, with Hungary being a sovereign state in personal union with Austria, as a compromise to maintain peace between the imperial administration and the non-German populations of the empire.

Though many German nationalists longed to integrate Austria into a greater unified Germany (Großdeutschland), Austria remained independent of the German Empire established in 1871 and retreated from German politics. The rise of nationalism, however, continued to plague the nation for decades to come. In the First World War, Austria-Hungary sided with the Central Powers. With their defeat, the victorious Allies decided to dismantle the vast domains of Austria. In 1918, the empire was dissolved and divided into new nation-states, ending the imperial period in Austria.

One route to dominance for the Austrians is to form Greater Germany Germany (Three Hurrahs For Germany!‏‎) through wars with Prussia. But Austria can also choose to instead form Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary (Austro-Hungarian Compromise), increasing its power by calming ethnic tensions and incorporating Hungarians into the military.

Opening Moves

Austria is a large and multicultural empire, and a quick look at the population screen reveals that a very large portion of its population is not South German, Austria's primary culture. In addition, low literacy impedes Austria's technological progress. To solve this, all national focuses should be dedicated to encouraging clergymen. Encouraging clergymen until they comprise 4% of each states populations will ensure the quickest rise of literacy, but it is imperative that clergymen make up at least 2% of the population.

The opening moves will be dictated largely based on whether you choose to fight the Prussians or not. Allying Prussia means one will lose out on the use of the Admit Hegemony CB, an forgo any attempt to from Greater Germany, but gives you a friendly military and industrial powerhouse to the north.

If one choose to fight Prussia you must seek an ally on the continent. Either France or Russia is the obvious choices, and while both would be optimal it is not very likely. United Kingdom United Kingdom is not a very useful ally on the continent continent.


If one chooses to fight Prussia, the first few technologies should be military ones. Army Professionalism and Medicine are incredibly important. If you choose not to fight the Prussians, you should focus on getting Ideological Thought and State and Government. Since Austria is such a large empire, having more national focuses will be extremely important in the long run. Philosophy is also important, to keep up in research points, but all other cultural techs can be easily avoided, even Aesthetics.

Liberation movements for Austria's various cultures are threatening. In order to avoid being plunged into war because of Austria's diverse cultures, the player should choose event options that boost assimilation rates. Additionally, the "Austro-Hungarian Compromise" decision can be chosen. This will make Hungarian an accepted culture, which is crucial because Hungarian is among the largest cultures in Austria and can easily stir up tension. However, be aware that by choosing the Austro-Hungarian compromise you will increase militancy in non Austrian, non Hungarian regions.


With the expansion A House Divided, the economy has completely changed. No longer can a player subsidize all factories and encourage craftsmen, as it will cause a severe recession which will be unrecoverable. It is suggested that you leave industry to the AI, closing any unprofitable factories. Feel free to invest in any projects. It is advised that the player maintain Interventionism as their industrial policy. Once the player has established a firm population of clergymen, it is recommended that some national foci be allocated to promoting capitalists in order to accelerate independent factory construction, as Austria begins with a small base of capitalists that grows very slowly throughout the first half of the game.

Forming Großdeutschland

During the process of German unification, a debate formed regarding the extent of a unified Germany. The first proposal, called the kleindeutsche Lösung (Lesser Germany Solution), was that the German lands outside of the Austrian Empire be unified into a single nation-state. The second, called the großdeutsche Lösung (Greater Germany Solution), proposed uniting Austria and Germany together, with additional debate as to whether the non-German portions of the empire would be incorporated or granted independence.

In Victoria 2, Austria is one of the most powerful nations in Europe. In order to form Germany, it is necessary to remove Prussia from Great Power Status. Preventing the formation of the North German Federation North German Federation is an immediate and critical goal, as a unified northern Germany will be far more difficult to contend with. In order to prevent this, Austria must hold onto its sphere, Saxony.

The Prussian-Austrian Brothers' War

The first step to forming Großdeutschland (Greater Germany), is to form the South German Federation South German Federation. Doing so unites Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden (but not Austria) into a single country in Austrias Sphere. Make sure to concentrate on keeping Saxony out of Prussian hands so that they cannot form the North German Federation. The easiest way of attacking Prussia is to ally with either France France or Russia Russia as soon as possible. Next, declare war on Prussia for “Prussian Württemberg”. When Prussia is defeated Austria will be able to form South German Confederation. Prussia rapidly expands its economy and military as the game goes on, so warring with them when Austria and Prussia are evenly matched is wise.

During the truce with Prussia, Austria should begin sphereing Hannover Hannover, Denmark Denmark, and Holstein Holstein. Austria should also expand its military. Once Austria has an army of approximately 150-200 brigades, it will be a formidable opponent against Prussia, and eventually France.

Leaving Prussia with any breathing room or time to recover is unwise (Neither is doing any of this before 1850 as you'll need the "Nationalism and Imperialism" tech to make this work), so it is advisable to declare war as soon as the truce is over. Declare war for one of Prussia's border states, Silesia being a prime target because of its high population. If France is still allied then feel free to call them in, however Prussia should be no match for Austria’s armies. Do not accept peace from Prussia, even if they offer Silesia. The goal here is to occupy all of Prussia’s land, which in turn should yield 100% war score. However, still do not accept peace. Add the “Admit Hegemony Goal," which forces Prussia to transfer all German minors to your sphere of influence. Once the Brothers War is over, it is time to marshal the empire's forces together to fight France.


The decision to unite Germany requires possession of Alsass-Lorraine, which is initially owned by France. France's strategy will variate by game. Sometimes they focus first on building the French economy and industrial base, while at other times France builds up a powerful military. Hopefully, they will have gone with the economic route. One path is declare war fairly early in the game. In a war against France, Austria should fight defensively and take care not to let the French breach the defensive line and send troops to Germany or Austria proper. If the war goes well, France will surrender the territory and Austria will be one step closer to unifying Großdeutschland.

After the formation

From here your route is up to you. Options include “Balkanizing” The Ottoman Empire (using the “Free People” war goal excessively), invading Russia (be careful, it will be a war of attrition), or perhaps settling on claiming all of Africa for the Habsburg's. That is the beauty of Victoria 2; there is no specific guidelines for winning.

The Eastern Strategy

Austria has fought long enough for Germany. From Charlemagne to the Holy Roman Empire to the German Confederation, the Hapsburgs or their lands have tried to defend Germany. And what has she gotten? The loss of Silesia, the breaking up of the Holy Roman Empire, enemies to the North, East, South, and West. Poland has been crushed but sentiments in Italy and Germany turn against you. The minorities want independence at any cost. It is time that the Hapsburgs focus on themselves instead of on others. First up, reclaim Silesia!

Opening Moves

The brute up north, called Prussia, is your worst enemy. Until you crush it. Ally France as soon as possible and start justifying retaking Silesia with an Acquire State Casus Belli. Make sure your spherelings are allied to you and attack Prussia for Lower Silesia. Remember to mobilize and fully fund the army, you are not yet ready for war with just a professional army. Defend your borders while France fights their way to you. Prussia will be overwhelmed but make sure the German minors on your side do not peace out by sending troops to assist. Do NOT peace out of the Northern German minors, they give you free warscore. Also take Upper Silesia and free the people of Sigmarinen. Encourage Clergymen in your most populous states and impose a slight tariff so your people can get the goods into the market.The first step to Hapsburg victory is complete.

Crush the Sick Man of Europe

Once Austrias most fearsome rival, the Ottoman Empire is falling apart. You should take advantage of this. After most of your infamy has burned off, declare war for Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Ottomans should have no Great Power allies and if they do, it does not matter. Prussia is now a mere secondary power, Great Britain just sits on their island, and any other country will lose to Austria and France. Liberate Bulgaria Bulgaria. They make for a decent ally. After this, Russia should pounce on them for Kars so the Southern Front is secure. If not, crises will wreck the Ottoman Empire.

Northern Italy

Now, Austria looks unstoppable. And then a small, evil nation in {Italy, called Sardinia Piedmont comes in. France will probably desert you for them when they declare on you to "liberate" Lombardia Lombardia. Do not give in or else they will also want more of your Italian lands. The South German minors will be no match for France and your armies are still too weak to take on such a juggernaut. So this is what you do, send an army straight to their capital from South Germany. This is a doomstack. Engage any French army on the way, you will gain warscore. When you finish sieging Paris after beating up their army, they should White Peace. Get your alliance back. Now for the Eastern Question.


The South German Confederation should've been formed by now. They will be your most loyal ally until they too, become arrogant like the Prussians did. But for now, they will be your greatest friend (besides France). Russia can grow strong in the late game. It is not too late yet to make sure that never happens. Use a Liberate Country casus belli. It should be a quick, decisive war in the 1890s. The Hungarians have joined your country so you are now a pleasant brown color, representing the fact that Austria- Hungary, like the earth, is unstoppable. Russia falls quickly yet bitterly. Russia, when fully mobilized, has a vast amount of troops. Only attack during the summer, attrition will massacre more troops then the Russians can. Beat back their armies and siege Russia. France may be unable to help because of lack of military access. Ukraine is released and let your allies take what they want. The frontier everywhere is secure. The world is at your fingertips, the Hapsburg dominate Europe once again.

An Alternative 'Hermetic' Route

Austria becomes far easier to manage if the player adopts a stance similar to the popular British strategy of ignoring the rest of Europe. First, simply removes all German minor states from Austria's Sphere of Influence. Doing so allows the German Empire to form quickly and peacefully in regards to Austria, and the two nations can quickly become fast allies. In order to accomplish this, remove all minor German states from the Austrian Sphere of Influence, followed immediately by an alliance with Prussia - they will quickly form the North German Federation, followed by the German Empire, and shouldn't lead to the Austro-Prussian War. After this point, try to ally with Great Britain (as long as they seem not to be declaring war on European states too much) and break the alliance with Germany. After Great Wars are discovered in 1890, you may ally with another generally neutral Great Power, such as France - just don't go to war with Germany with them. The result of this course of action will find Austria holding mostly indigenous cores of countries like Hungary, lowering the chances of another power declaring war on you massively, since nobody else wants what Austria owns, except internal separatists. As such, the only policy for Austria in such a situation is simply to avoid war and encourage liberalism to ensure consciousness and separatists do not get overwhelming. The possibility exists to release Venice Venice in order to lower the risk of Italy Italy dragging you into a destructive war with Germany or Russia, but the Italians normally don't do such things. In addition, the risk of repeated wars between European powers tends to be lessened by Austria simply giving away their Sphere of Influence in the minor German states, since everyone ends up with everything they have a claim on. Exceptions to this include Alsace-Lorraine, which may cause some wars between France and Germany, and the aforementioned Venice. Keep an eye on these areas and Europe becomes an immediately safer place to live.