The 1939 era is a warmode (game mode) included in the base game. This game mode is very basic, only including units that are classified as 1939+ in the game. That means you won't have any Anti-tank Bases, Prototype Bases, Secondary HQs, or Administrative Buildings. With the exception of France, no heavy infantry is available.
Most nations will be limited to light and medium tanks, with the exceptions of the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France . In addition, only the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany have access to their fighter-bombers in the 1939 era. In this era countries such as the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France have access to more advanced technology whilst countries such as Germany suffer from the opposite. Wise money management is essential in this era, because once the all the Supply Dumps are used up, your only source of money will be the $1 every 3 seconds from your HQ. All in all this game mode requires skill, planning, and being cost effective with your units.
Nation Performance Edit
Of all the nations, the US performs worst at 1939 since the Lee is inferior to almost every 1939 deployable tank barring the Carro M13 and M11, Ha-Go, Panzer III, Cruiser A13, T-26, H39, and the Stuart. The Stuart itself is very fast but poorly armed and armored, ineffective against anything but T-26s and weaker.The US Army Air Force is incapable of winning the skies against anyone who is not Russia without deploying two P40 Warhawks to every enemy aircraft. Your G.I.s are outclassed by everyone but the United Kingdom, and Russia in infantry combat; however, they do get Bazookas (even though the real M1 Bazooka wasn't deployed until 1942 :) ) and are sort of effective against tanks. You have two advantages when playing as the US at 1939. The Bofors AA gun which is cheaper than its British equivalent and stronger than the 20 and 30 mm guns everyone else gets, and the Priest is the only armored artillery that is not an assault gun at 1939. To win as the US at 1939, pick a good teammate like Germany or France and help them achieve air superiority. Use your Lees to protect more vulnerable units like German 88 mm guns or Artillery parks while harassing enemy supply depots with your Stuarts.
Germany is very strong at 1939 in everything but, ironically, tanks. With only the Panzer III available to you, you'll be able to ROFL stomp anyone with light tanks only. But as soon as anything bigger than a Lee or Carro M13 shows up in large numbers, you'll be the one who gets ROFL stomped. To compensate, the Luftwaffe is slow but inexpensive and ridiculously powerful at 1939. The Stuka can delete everything that has a level two armor rating and lower in a single run and can two shot kill a KV or B1 but does need escorts. The ME109 can engage everything on equal ground barring the Spitfire, Zero, and D520. Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers) receive the most powerful anti-tank weapon in the game (the Panzerschereck even though it wasn't deployed yet in real life :) ) and have elite weapons making them the best infantry in the game. To top it all off, Germany gets one of only two anti-tank guns in the game that are deployable at 1939, the KwKL56 88 mm dual purpose deployable from the Artillery and AA base. Your Grenadiers can match Bersaglieri and Konoe in combat and beat everything else but paratroopers and French Legionaries and are armed with Panzerfausts (even though the Panzerfaust was only deployed in the twilight of the war :) ) making them deadly against tanks. Your StuG assault guns almost make better tanks than the Panzer III with level three armor too.
Russia is a mixed bag of extremes at 1939. Your KVs, with their level four armor and powerful guns can flatten every other tank at 1939 and out range some defensive positions like Japan's pillboxes. KVs are expensive though, costing twice as much as the B1 Bis and your T-26s can only reliably beat Carro M11s and Ha-Gos. Your Artillery base is unique in that it has one of three long range, heavy(ish) artillery at 1939 even though it is inaccurate. Your anti-aircraft is really bad though so expect to be bombed into oblivion by Stukas and the like. Your infantry (Strelki) is horrible, but can be spammed so heavy. If there's one real downside to playing Russia at 1939, its your air force. The Ishak is inferior to every other plane at 1939 and must be deployed in huge numbers to match any of the nations. Teaming up with a powerful air nation (like the UK or Germany) can make Russia unstoppable at 1939 with a giant stream of KV-1s smashing the enemy for the Motherland! No air superiority? The Motherland will be pounded into oblivion from above.
Speaking of air superiority, the United Kingdom has the strongest air force at 1939. The Royal Air Force, complete with fast and deadly Spitfires can wrestle control of the skies from any of the other nations. After a fifty dollar research fund for Spitfires, they are cheaper than ME109s and the same price as Zeros and did I mention Spitfires will win a one on one with any other aircraft at 1939? The Wellington is one of only two non-light bombers at 1939 (the other being the very powerful but very slow and vulnerable Russian PE-8) and can destroy any production building in a single run. The Hurricane, while not as powerful or cheap as the Stuka, is cheaper than the only other 1939 fighter bomber, the Italian Sparviero, and one equal footing with everything other than the ME109, Zero, and Spitfire in air to air combat. The UK also does not need to research their paratroopers which are better than their land infantry in every way. The bad news? The UK has the worst ground units at 1939. Your Regulars are inferior to everything but Russian Strelki and are ineffective against armor thanks to their PIAT mortar launchers. Your Cruiser tanks are basically more expensive Stuarts and your Matildas are well armored but poorly armed. Finally, your Artillery and anti-air are very expensive for their abilities.Focus on providing air support for a more powerful land nation like Russia or France instead of your own ground forces.
Italy is mediocre at 1939. Your Carro M13 tanks are inferior to anything bigger than a Lee, but can be spammed like crazy. Your Bersaglieri is okay, just don't send them against tanks as their satchel charges are ineffective. Your recon Sahariana is cheap and plentiful but needs infantry escorts (yes they do only have seven damage against infantry). Your Artillery is a mixed bag. The normal 75 mm gun is cheap and cheerful with decent range, accuracy, and power. The M75 is a decent assault gun and great for clearing stubborn defenses. The Obice 210 is, ironically for how cheap Italy's units are, the most expensive unit in the entire game (barring nuclear howitzers :) ). The 20 mm AA gun you get just like with the UK is identical to the German 20 mm but is inexplicably five dollars more expensive. Your air force is decent with the Saetta fighter which must be deployed in pairs to win fights and the aforementioned Sparviero fighter bomber which is expensive and very weak in air to air and air to ground.
France is arguably the most powerful nation at 1939. Your armor is practically untouchable as the B1 can be mass produced unlike the KV-1. The B1 has level four armor as well and while its gun is weaker, its on par with the S35, and Chi-Ha. Your artillery is effective and well priced with a close range 75 mm at 10 dollars and the long range Cannon GPF 155 at 50 dollars. Your Camel AA guns are okay, but don't expect miracles from them. Your French Legionaries are the best ground infantry at 1939 armed with heavy bazookas and heavy weapons, they can take out just about anything but they are expensive. You have one weakness; nonethelss, your air force is mediocre at best. The D520 is an easy upgrade from the MS406 and can engage anything other than a ME109, Zero, or Spitfire with success. Other than that, your airbase is pretty poor so tema up with a powerful air force nation (like the UK or Germany) and flatten the bad guys with a horde of B1s.
Japan is, like always, kind of a wildcard at 1939. Your tanks are two extremes. The Ha-Go is awful while the Chi-Ha can (by magic) obliterate anything that's not a KV-1, B1 or S35 and is very cheap and plentiful. Your infantry is very good at killing other infantry (Konoe are arguably the most powerful light infantry in the game and your Sogekihei are deadly long range snipers). Your Type 88 75 mm AT gun is the only other anti-tank gun that can be built at 1939 and like the German 88, very good at cracking enemy tanks open. The 75 is ineffective against aircraft however; and, you have no other AA guns at 1939. Your air force can do only one thing, mass produce Zeros and take control of the skies. Wit the second cheapest airfield in the game and only fighters to deploy from it, Japan is a terror the skies at 1939 and only weakened by its complete lack of air to ground units. Japan complements just about any team at 1939 and can ether rule the skies with Zeros or smash the enemy into the ground with Chi-Has and Type 88s.