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Duchy rankDithmarschen
Primary culture
Westphalian (Germanic)

Capital province
Dithmarschen (4141)

Peasants RepublicGovernment republic.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Ditmarscher ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Morale of armies
−10% Shock damage received

Infantry combat ability.png Resistance to Feudalism

+10% Infantry combat ability

Tolerance own.png Kirchspiele

+2 Tolerance of the true faith

Merchants.png Trade Missions

+1 Merchant

Privateer efficiency.png Expert Wreckers

+20% Privateer efficiency
+10% Chance to capture enemy ships

Development cost.png Fortify the Coastline

−10% Development cost

Autonomy.png Ecclesiastical Orders

−0.05 Monthly autonomy change

Goods produced modifier.png Free Farmers

+10% Goods produced modifier

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+0.3 Yearly republican tradition

Dithmarschen is a member state of the Holy Roman Empire situated in the far north of the Empire. It starts as an independent one province nation bordering Flag of Holstein Holstein to the north and east, and Flag of Hamburg Hamburg to the south. Dithmarschen has the unique republican government type of "Peasant Republic" and exists from the game start at 1444 to 1559, after which it becomes a part of Flag of Denmark Denmark. Dithmarschen is capable of forming Flag of Westphalia Westphalia and Flag of Hanover Hanover and if it can conquer enough territory, it can potentially even form Flag of Germany Germany or a united Flag of Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire.


Dithmarschen starts in a difficult position with few expansion opportunities. Its neighbor to the north, Flag of Denmark Denmark, is far too strong to expand into early on. Other attractive expansion targets such as Flag of Hamburg Hamburg or Flag of Lübeck Lübeck can quickly become free cities (and thus protected by the emperor) or part of a trade league. Expansion is further hampered by increased aggressive expansion within the HRE, and as such will have to be slow and deliberate. Additionally, unless an alliance with the emperor is secured, demands for unlawful territory are likely and if denied they may lead to an attack by the emperor.

An ideal first target is Flag of East Frisia East Frisia, which is the only small country nearby that can be attacked and that is not in the empire (thus no unlawful territory). Taking it will allow fabricating on more countries in the area as well. Flag of Saxe-Lauenburg Saxe-Lauenburg may also be feasible, depending on alliance situations. It is important to note that speed of attack and military access play very important roles in the early game - the player may easily defeat two countries on their own, if they can overpower the first target without the second target being able to intervene in time.

Developing provinces may be beneficial to both strengthen the economy and trade power, and to spawn institutions if needed.

Initial alliances should be based on the player's rivals, and an alliance and high relations with the emperor (likely Austria) should be sought as soon as possible to avoid demands for unlawful territory and/or being declared war upon with the Imperial Liberation casus belli. As a republic, Dithmarschen is unable to form royal marriages, which makes it a little more difficult to build and keep alliances with bigger nations. It may also be beneficial to join a trade league in the beginning for defensive purposes.

Once Dithmarschen has grown into a regional power, it should be time to take on Flag of Denmark Denmark, ideally with the help of their rivals (likely to include Flag of England England, Flag of Poland Poland or Flag of Muscovy Muscovy). It may also be beneficial to support the independence of Flag of Sweden Sweden and/or Flag of Norway Norway in order to both weaken Denmark significantly and to allow controlling Sweden's/Norway's growth (in case the player is going for the "Lessons of Hemmingstedt" achievement). Further expansion should be in northern Germany and further to the south, west and east if feasible, and one could even launch a campaign to conquer the Dutch territories - however, the player needs to be aware of the Dutch revolts that happen between 1550 and 1650 with large and recurring rebel armies. This can be avoided by either changing the culture of conquered Dutch provinces before 1550 or waiting with conquering the territories until after 1650. Alternatively, if one wishes to do so, it is also possible to culture-shift to Dutch culture and form Flag of Netherlands Netherlands, thus preventing the Dutch revolts from firing.

The player may form Flag of Westphalia Westphalia and Flag of Hanover Hanover, although this requires becoming an elector or leaving the HRE altogether. Being an elector requires the country to be a monarchy, so one may have to abandon the unique Peasant's Republic government unless they decide to leave the Holy Roman Empire altogether.


  • Due to its position in one of the richest trade nodes in the world, taking Trade ideas can be very beneficial.
  • Diplomatic ideas or Espionage ideas can help manage aggressive expansion in the HRE
  • Military ideas such as Defensive ideas or Quality ideas stack well with Dithmarschen's national ideas
  • Quantity ideas can be helpful with bolstering Dithmarschen's manpower for protracted wars.
  • Humanist ideas can help with religious intolerance once the reformation hits as well as for handling unrest.
  • Economic ideas can help to further boost national income and the -20% discount to Development cost.png stacks with the -10% discount from Dithmarschen's national ideas.
  • Plutocratic ideas are a good all-round useful idea set for a republic, granting reductions to unrest, increased army morale, and faster manpower recovery speed.
  • Administrative ideas can be somewhat useful in that one of the ideas grants a -25%Core-creation cost.pngcore creation cost reduction, which can be helpful with coring the high-development provinces in western and central Europe. The +5Number of states.png additional permitted states is also useful.


Lessons of Hemmingstedt icon
As Dithmarschen, hold the provinces of Sjaelland and Holland while Denmark does not exist.

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