Richard Sharp's strategic notion that Germany should, in the early game, strive to keep Austria strong to reduce both powers vulnerability as central (and surrounded) powers. Although they take their name from the annexation of Austria by Nazi-Germany in March 1938, Anschluss alliances are generally regarded as essentially pro-Austrian, with Germany using diplomatic leverage to discourage other powers -- in particularly Russia (with the threat of standing him out of Sweden in 1901) -- from attacking his ally. Tactically, Anschluss openings entail F Kie-Den and A Ber-Kie. Munich either HOLDs or stands off in Burgundy or Tyrolia (the pure Anschluss), or even enters Tyrolia or Bohemia, with Italy told that this unit will aid Austria if Italy attacks. The advantage for Germany is that it is statistically evident that Germany is far less likely to win if Austria is eliminated early in the game. There are three variants:
- Bohemian Variant (A Mun-Boh) aka Sudetenland Variant
- Burgundy Attack (A Mun-Bur)
- Tyrolean Variant (A Mun-Tyr)
- Silesia Variant (A Mun-Sil)
The pure Anschluss is Germany's fourth most common opening. Unless a standoff in Burgundy occurs, it bespeaks an aggressive German player almost certainly allied with England. A standoff is more ambiguous, but may be Germany's attempt to head off a France-England-Russian blitz.
Notice that the opening using Mun-Ruh is not considered an Anschluss opening. Rather, this is the Danish Blitzkreig, the most popular German opening.
- Denmark Variation
A Ber-Kie, A Mun-Bur, F Kie-Den is Germany's 4th most common opening. Unless a standoff in Bur occurs, this bespeaks an aggressive German player almost certainly allied with England. A standoff is more ambiguous, but may be Germany's attempt to head off a France-England-Russian blitz.
- Holland Variation (see also Dutch Openings)
A Ber-Kie, A Mun-Bur, F Kie-Hol is Germany's third most common opening, and a standoff in Bur may well be arranged. This is Germany's most westerly oriented opening, and its success is usually dependent on who, if anyone, has entered the English Channel.
This opening shows Munich's role as "swing" unit. The order alerts Russia to an attack but put him in some difficulty. Germany can still change attack (A Sil-Gal) in the Fall. A common alternative, A Mun-Kie, A Ber-Pru is much weaker. A Russian attack (A War-Sil, A Mos-War) will put Germany at a disadvantage. There is also no way to change tack save retreat (A Pru-Ber).