The story of Brave Witches begins in September, 1944, shortly before the destruction of the Neuroi hive over Gallia by the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, the Strike Witches. Witch-in-training Hikari Karibuchi, younger sister to veteran witch Takami Karibuchi, volunteers for deployment to Europe to bolster witch forces in the ever-worsening conflict with the alien Neuroi. After managing to (technically) pass her acceptance trial, Hikari is assigned to the Suomus Independent Volunteer Aerial Squadron (set to be reorganized into the 507th JFW, the Silent Witches) while Takami is assigned to the 502nd JFW, the Brave Witches; the Karibuchi sisters depart for Europe on the same day news of the Gallia hive's destruction reaches Fuso newspapers.
After three weeks of travel through the Arctic Ocean, their carrier group comes under attack by Neuroi, and Takami ultimately ends up comatose after using her Absolute Magic Eye ability to decimate most of the Neuroi. Hikari volunteers to take Takami's place in the 502nd, a high-risk frontline assignment, despite Hikari herself having relatively low magic ability, which she also has poor control over. The story of Brave Witches follows Hikari's struggle to prove herself as a witch in the harsh environment of the Eastern Front, and to fit in with a squadron she was never supposed to be a part of.
Chronologically, Brave Witches takes place after Strike Witches, and before Strike Witches 2.
For more in-depth explanations of the lore and setting of the World Witches universe, see the first season's page.
Warning: Some descriptions and images are spoilers for the series, read at your own risk.
The following weapons were used in the anime series Brave Witches:
An additional spoiler warning: This pistol is key to events in the series finale, something avoidable on most other Witches pages due to the climax usually not directly involving a firearm.
An FP-45 Liberator is shipped to the 502nd JFW base in Petersburg, Orussia along with other weapons and supplies. Hikari takes a liking to the strange-looking pistol, at first not even realizing it's a gun. Waltrud Krupinski plays along and convinces Hikari it's actually a "Celtic magic talisman" as it's "shaped like a rune". Hikari wears it around her neck for the mission to Murmansk, during which she gives it back to Waltrud still thinking it's a good-luck charm. Some time later, Waltrud returns the Liberator to Hikari, who places it in her pocket and forgets about it...
FP-45 Liberator - .45 ACP
As Nikka Katajainen checks out an StG 44, Naoe Kanno inspects the Liberator's hollow grip (which can hold ten spare rounds) and is disappointed to find the nearly-useless pistol doesn't even have any ammo. Naoe refers to the pistol by name: "Liberator". (Ep.8)
Waltrud gives Hikari the cute good luck charm, as Nikka and Naoe look on in disbelief. (Ep.8)
Hikari drops the Liberator down her shirt before the same four witches depart for Murmansk. (Ep.8)
When Waltrud opts to take on half of the giant sea mine Neuroi alone, Hikari gives her back the "charm" for good luck, which Waltrud tucks into her breast pocket. (Ep.8)
The Liberator ends up saving Waltrud's life when it takes the impact of a small-type Neuroi crashing into her at the end of the battle. Note that being a single-shot pistol, the damage to the grip area does not prevent it functioning. (Ep.8)
Waltrud returns the FP-45 to Hikari (who learned what it really was from Nikka in the meantime) and loads it for her. Waltrud does indeed follow the proper steps for loading the pistol, rotating the striker out of the way, opening the breech block, inserting a round, closing the breech block, and rotating the striker back again. (Ep.11)
Hikari thanks Waltrud, and tucks the little pistol into her pocket. (Ep.11)
In a perfectly executed Chekhov's Gun, the Liberator slips out of Hikari's pocket when all other options have failed her. (Ep.12)
As the pistol floats past her face, Hikari grabs hold of it. (Ep.12)
Hikari aims the FP-45 at the core of Grigori. (Ep.12)
Concentrating all her magic power into the pistol's single cartridge, Hikari fires the Liberator... (Ep.12)
...destroying an entire Neuroi hive with that one shot, the air filling with a beautiful shower of purple and white Neuroi shards. (Ep.12)
At least one KP/-31 submachine gun is among the supplies sent to the Brave Witches' base. It's likely intended for use by Nikka Katajainen, the only Suomus witch in 502nd, though it's not seen used in the show. The KP/-31 was a mainstay weapon of many Suomus witches earlier in the war and prominently seen in the Witches of Aurora manga, which focuses on Nikka, Eila Juutilainen, and other Suomus witches of LLv.24, including Eini Luukkanen, Laura Nissinen, and Hanna Wind, as well as Eila's elder sister Aurora, a tank witch.
KP/-31 - 9x19mm Parabellum
A KP/-31 and StG 44 sit unloaded as Nikka and Naoe finish unpacking supplies. The KP/-31 has a pair of stick magazines, as opposed to the more iconic drum. (Ep.8)
Nikka and Laura Nissinen flying B-239 strikers and using KP/-31 SJRs fitted with drum mags in official artwork set during Nikka's time with LLv.24. The SJR variant features a muzzle brake. (Art)
Karlsland soldiers operating artillery and supporting other elements of Operation Freyja are mostly armed with MP 40 submachine guns.
MP 40 - 9x19mm Parabellum
Grigori looms over the infantry and Panzer IVs. (Ep.12)
Neuroi shards flutter to Earth over the allied troops, providing a decent look at one of their MP 40s. (Ep.12)
Assault Rifles & Rifles
Flying Officer Waltrud Krupinski of Karlsland uses a Sturmgewehr 44 as her weapon of choice, while Squadron Leader Gundula Rall, also of Karlsland, uses one on occasion as well. Their StG 44s are sometimes equipped with a fictional grenade launcher based on (and likely developed from, in an in-universe sense) the Leuchtpistole 34; the grenades fired from the launcher are rocket-propelled.
Leuchtpistole 34 - 26.65mm
Some troops on guard duty at an observation post in Petersburg appear to be armed with StG 44s. (Ep.6)
Nikka and Naoe inspect a crate of shiny new StG 44s. (Ep.8)
Disappointed it's not a crate of food, Nikka loads an empty magazine into one of the StGs. (Ep.8)
Waltrud inspects her StG's bolt during a late-night trip to the range, while having a discussion about combat experience with Edytha Rossmann. (Ep.8)
Inspecting the bolt carrier, Waltrud explains how she wants Nikka, Naoe, and Hikari to get more experience, so they aren't as reliant on the veteran witches like herself and Edytha. (Ep.8)
Having fully field stripped and inspected the rifle, Waltrud lays all its parts down on the bench. (Ep.8)
But after Waltrud semi-jokingly suggests she also picked Hikari for the mission for other reasons
, Waltrud grabs the stripped StG's receiver assembly and points it at Waltrud in annoyance, who feigns being shot. (Ep.8)
Taking on one half of the giant sea mine Neuroi, Waltrud readies her launcher-equipped Sturmgewehr. Waltrud definitely fires more than 30 rounds through this fight, though usually with enough cuts between events that it's ambiguous whether she has a "bottomless magazine" or is simply reloading off-screen. (Ep.8)
Waltrud and Hikari blast their way through hordes of small-type Neuroi. With Nikka borrowing Waltrud's new Bf 109 K-4 striker for this battle, Waltrud flies her Bf 109 G-6 one last time. (Ep.8)
After locating the core by kicking
a small-type into the main Neuroi, Waltrud immediately fires her grenade launcher. (Ep.8)
The rocket-propelled grenade flies straight and true, hitting the the core directly, destroying the sea mine Neuroi. (Ep.8)
Waltrud holds her rifle after firing, showing what the launcher looks like without a grenade loaded. (Ep.8)
Waltrud using a training-type StG 44 against Takami Karibuchi, which as usual is painted entirely orange to denote that it fires paintball/simunition type rounds. (Ep.10)
Gundula Rall strikes a badass pose with her StG 44 as she orders the Brave Witches to take off. (Ep.11)
Leading the charge, Gundula opens fire with her Sturmgewehr. (Ep.11)
After salvaging a shard of the core of Gustav'
s magic-infused high-explosive shell, Gundula jury-rigs it onto her rifle's grenade. The launcher is mostly unchanged from the original Leuchtpistole, the notable difference being the lack of a pistol grip. (Ep.12)
Gundula takes off, giving a good look at the improvised magic grenade as well as her brand new Bf 109 K-4 striker, picked up by Waltrud and company during the mission to Murmansk. (Ep.12)
The special grenade is fired. Being a small shard of the original magic crystal, it only has the power to punch a small hole through the hive's clouds rather than disperse them entirely, but that's enough. (Ep.12)
Blocking a lighting attack from Grigori, Waltrud leads the way into the depths of the hive. Waltrud uses an StG 44 without a launcher during this battle, along with her new Bf 109 K-4 striker. (Ep.12)
A front-end view of Waltrud's rifle as she helps thin out Grigori's snake-like defences. (Ep.12)
The firing range at the Brave Witches' base in Petersburg features a number of Karabiner 98ks, presumably for use by the base's non-witch personnel. Rather bizarrely, in one specific shot they turn into lever-action rifles; given the setting they are most likely Russian-contract Winchester Model 1895s.
Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A detailed shot of the Kar 98ks in the opening credits; these rifles can also be seen in any scene at the firing range. (OP)
In this shot, specifically this angle at this time of day (as in, this piece of background artwork) they turn into lever-action rifles. (Ep.8)
Flight Lieutenant Takami Karibuchi wields a Solothurn S-18/100 fitted with its scope as her weapon of choice. A powerful precision weapon such as the S-18 pairs well with Takami's Magic Eye and Absolute Magic Eye abilities, which allow her to see Neuroi cores, and see multiple cores from a distance, respectively. Takami's rifle is also temporarily used by Hikari, and Gundula Rall later uses one as well.
Solothurn S-18/100 - 20x105mmB
Takami Karibuchi prepares for takeoff, S-18/100 in hand. Note that she's using two fingers for the trigger, as designed, and also using one of the bipod legs for off-hand support. (Ep.2)
The S-18's massive muzzle flash, as Takami opens fire on the large group of Neuroi threatening the fleet. (Ep.2)
look at a medium-type Neuroi disintegrating from well-placed shots by Takami. (Ep.2)
Getting a bit desperate, Takami starts taking a few more shots than before to down each Neuroi. (Ep.2)
Left with no alternatives, Takami uses her Absolute Magic Eye ability, letting her see and target all
of the Neuroi cores, but at the cost of severely weakening her shield and being extremely taxing on her body and mind. (Ep.2)
Takami opens fire on the five remaining medium-type Neuroi. Throughout this battle, Takami manages to fire 23 rounds from her S-18/100, which only has a 10-round magazine. She fires 11 rounds (a full magazine plus a round in the chamber) before a hard cut to another scene for a potential off-screen reload, however after this she fires 12 rounds without reloading. (Ep.2)
Takami takes down the five Neuroi with one shot each, and then, utterly spent, crashes back onto the carrier's deck. (Ep.2)
It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Hikari took up her sister's rifle. As well as Takami's beloved N1K4-A Shiden Kai striker, named Chidori
Hikari opens fire with the S-18/100, not used to its heavy recoil. Making even more use of the S-18's apparently bottomless mag, Hikari fires 15 rounds from its 10-round magazine. (Ep.2)
After colliding with one of the Neuroi, Hikari discovers that she has what would later be identified as Contact Magic Eye, allowing her to see Neuroi cores, but only if she makes physical contact with the Neuroi. (Ep.2)
After three months in a coma, plus a three week return trip, Takami Karibuchi arrives in Petersburg. Note that Takami is flying a replacement Yamanishi N1K striker, marked "45", as Hikari has been using Chidori
During a competition to determine which Karibuchi sister will remain with the 502nd, Gundula uses an S-18/100. The corset Gundula wears during combat is made from magic-infused fibres and serves to reduce G-force, helping to prevent her old back injury from flaring up. Like her namesake, Rall was shot down early in the war and suffered a severe spinal injury, being told she would never fly again. (Ep.10)
Gundula dodges Neuroi beams as the group discusses how to solve the core-inside-a-core problem. (Ep.10)
A fantastic look at the rifle's front end and residual muzzle blast, as Gundula takes out the Neuroi for good. (Ep.10)
Once again flying Chidori
, Takami fights her way towards Grigori, alongside the rest of the Brave Witches. (Ep.11)
Back-to-back with her old partner, Takami and Naoe lay waste to a group of Neuroi. (Ep.11)
Out of Neuroi and with its protective cloud dissipated, Grigori deploys its last line of defence. (Ep.11)
Takami drops her Solothurn on the disabled Dora
railway gun, intending to retrieve and deliver its enormous magic-infused armour-piercing shell manually. (Ep.11)
Now with her rifle, Takami again makes use of her Absolute Magic Eye. (Ep.12)
Although she succeeds in locating the core-within-a-core, the effort again takes its toll, as Takami and her Solothurn fall back to Earth. (Ep.12)
Bren Mk 1 (M)
The Bren makes a brief appearance used by Sergeant Nora Taylor of 804 Naval Air Squadron, the sole witch escort for the Britannian supply convoy to Murmansk. Although referred to as a Britannian witch due to serving in the Fleet Air Arm, Nora is actually from Australis. Similarly, although dialogue suggests she was shot down defending the convoy, she in fact crash landed after repelling the initial Neuroi attack. A lone witch launching to defend a convoy and subsequently crash-landing is a reference to the real-world Royal Navy's use of CAM Ships, which were fitted with a Hurricane mounted to a catapult, intended to defend the convoy from raiders, such as Fw 200 Condors, and then bail out or ditch the aircraft with the pilot recovered by one of the ships.
Bren Mk 1 (M) - .303 British
Out of the fight, an unconscious Nora and her Bren lie on the deck of one of the Liberty ships. (Ep.8)
Flight Lieutenant Aleksandra Ivanovna "Sasha" Pokryshkin of Orussia uses a DP-27, as does Pilot Officer Georgette "Jose" Lemare of Gallia, who served as a member of the Normandie-Niemen squadron before joining the 502nd JFW. Prior to being transferred to Normandie-Niemen, Georgette used a Bren like other witches of the Free Gallian Air Force.
Georgette fires on a large Neuroi with her DP-27. (Ep.1)
As the Brave Witches arrive to help, Aleksandra opens fire with her Degtyaryov. (Ep.2)
DP-27 in hand, Georgette flies through some inclement weather with Sadako Shimohara and Hikari Karibuchi. (Ep.5)
Over Petrozavodsk, the giant weather machine Neuroi sends a blast of air cold enough to instantly coat Sadako and Jose's guns in ice, rendering them inoperable. (Ep.5)
Georgette struggles with her DP-27's charging handle, trying to get it working again. (Ep.5)
Aleksandra fires her DP-27 at the artillery Neuroi that's been attacking Petersburg, as it buries itself back under the snow. (Ep.6)
Moments later, Sasha turns to see smoke rising from the city. Gundula later specifically states this shot was fired from 88km outside of Petersburg, showing its location as being nearly due-East of the city, on a large peninsula at the southern end of Lake Ladoga. (Ep.6)
Sasha fires on the Neuroi acting as a spotter for the artillery Neuroi, capable of transforming itself to resemble other objects and hide within Petersburg. (Ep.6)
As the city has been long-evacuated, Aleksandra doesn't consider collateral damage to be an issue, firing her DP-27 down Petersburg's empty streets. Note the "White 100" marking on her MiG I-225 striker, the same as her real world namesake. (Ep.6)
A close-up of the Degtyaryov as Aleksandra flies alongside the spotter Neuroi, one street over. (Ep.6)
Sasha remembers something important about the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, and takes off to investigate. (Ep.6)
An excellent look at the front end of Georgette's DP-27, as she fires on small-type ground Neuroi in Petrozavodsk. (Ep.8)
Jose and Sadako mop up the last of the Neuroi in that city, allowing use of the railway line between Petersburg and Murmansk. (Ep.8)
Georgette manoeuvres around a large space-station-like Neuroi, giving a fantastic look at her DP-27 and VG.39bis striker. (Ep.9)
Laying down fire on the sea mine Neuroi, Georgette asks how they're supposed to defeat a Neuroi whose core can regenerate. (Ep.10)
Sasha attempts to thin out the countless small Neuroi emerging from the sea mine Neuroi. (Ep.10)
Nikka and Georgette protect Gustav
as the battle begins. (Ep.11)
The Brave Witches lift Dora'
s massive armour-piercing shell together, to drop it right on top of Grigori. (Ep.11)
Jose tends to an unconscious Takami, her DP-27 resting on her striker beside them. (Ep.12)
Sasha puts her DP-27 to work, as she and Sadako lay down suppressive fire inside Grigori's protective clouds. (Ep.12)
The witch-version MG 42, redesigned to use Patronentrommel 34 drum magazines, is used by Flight Sergeant Nikka Edvardine "Nipa" Katajainen of Suomus. Gundula Rall also uses it as her preferred weapon, though she's only seen using it during the battle at the beginning of the first episode and in the opening credits. Eila Juutilainen uses an MG 42 as well; Eila and Aleksandra Litvyak visit the Brave Witches to deliver supplies during the Saturnalia festival. This visit is further expanded upon in the Petersburg Grand Strategy OVA, set between episodes 7 and 8.
MG 34 with Patronentrommel 34 for reference - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Gundula leads the Brave Witches into combat, the only time she's seen using an MG 42 outside of the opening credits. The same is true of her Bf 109 G-2 striker, which she used before upgrading to a K-4. (Ep.1)
502nd JFW personnel perform maintenance on MG 42s, as Nipa gives Hikari a tour of the base. (Ep.3)
Hikari supports Nikka, whose Bf 109 G-6 striker broke (again) as Nikka draws the attention of a Neuroi with her MG 42. (Ep.3)
Mid-episode artwork of Edytha Rossmann looking the part of the instructor that she is, with a disassembled MG 42 and (authentic, real world) manual. Edytha is known to use an MG 42 when not using her Fliegerhammer. (Ep.4)
Nipa rubs her nose after bumping into a suspiciously placed statue in Petersburg... (Ep.6)
...which turns out to be the spotter for the artillery Neuroi, as Nikka and Hikari open fire on it. (Ep.6)
MG 42 slung over her shoulder, Nipa informs Sasha that the rest of the group have found and engaged the artillery Neuroi. (Ep.6)
Nikka takes off alone, the only Brave Witch left able to sortie after a bad case of food poisoning. (Ep.7)
A top view of Nikka's MG 42 as she pursues the marauding Neuroi. (Ep.7)
Firing on her adversary, Nipa does well... until her luck runs out as it always does, and her MG 42 jams. (Ep.7)
A hail of rockets and a burst of fire from a different MG 42 get Nipa out of her sticky situation, as Eila and Sanya arrive, all dressed up for Saturnalia. (Ep.7)
Flight Lieutenant Hanna Wind is seen briefly when brought up in conversation. Hanna, an old friend of Eila and Nikka, recently became a member of the 507th JFW in Kauhava. An expert marksman, she is also known to use the massive Lahti L-39
Eila engages a Neuroi late on New Year's Eve, dodging all the beams as usual. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
Holding the trigger down, Eila dives on her foe from above. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
Flying circles around the heavily armoured Neuroi, Eila probes it for weak points. Eila is still using her Bf 109 G-2 striker, evidently upgrading to a K-4 sometime in the three months between this event and the beginning of Strike Witches 2
"Sorry, but I've seen all your moves already."
Eila ends the battle with a short, perfectly placed burst from her MG 42. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
An excellent look at the bottom of Nipa's MG 42 as she defends the Britannian convoy. Note that she's flying Waltrud's brand new Bf 109 K-4 striker in this battle, as her own G-6 finally broke for good at the end of their 1000km flight to Murmansk. (Ep.8)
Running low on ammo, Nikka fires her MG 42 at the swarm of small-types. (Ep.8)
Nikka protects Takami alongside the other Brave Witches, as Takami uses her Absolute Magic Eye. (Ep.12)
"My unit is about to scream!"
Nikka pushes her new Bf 109 K-4 to its limit inside Grigori's clouds. Nikka wasn't slated to get a K-4, however Waltrud obtained one for her through less-than-official means; Nikka's unit is officially declared "lost" in Karlsland records. (Ep.12)
Type 99-2 Model 2 Kai
The fictional iteration of the Type 99 cannon designed for use by witches, the Type 99-2 Model 2 Kai, is used by Pilot Officer Naoe Kanno, Flight Sergeant Sadako Shimohara, and Sergeant Hikari Karibuchi. Takami Karibuchi also uses one during her competition with Hikari, as well as a training version Type 99 in a mock battle with Waltrud Krupinski. Witch cadets at Sasebo Aviation Preparatory School, including Miya Misumi, are also seen using Type 99s. Retired witch Fumika Kitagou, a veteran of the 1937 Fuso Sea Incident and former mentor to Mio Sakamoto, now serves as the school's headmaster. For the rather lengthy technical explanation of the witches' Type 99-2 Model 2 Kai variant, see its first season entry.
Type 99 Mark 1 in pintle mount configuration - 20x72mmRB
Type 99-2 Model 2 Kai design artwork - 13.2x99mm Hotchkiss
Cadets at Sasebo fire their Type 99s in semi-auto, while balancing on one leg. (Ep.1)
A stitched image of Cadet Karibuchi, ready for her competition with Miya Misumi. (Ep.1)
Miya taunts Hikari, as she maintains a clear lead in the race. Like all cadets at Sasebo, both are flying A6M2-K trainer strikers. (Ep.1)
Firing a burst from her Type 99, Miya takes out a target balloon. In a twist of fate, with Hikari ultimately joining the 502nd and Takami being transferred to the 508th, several months after this Miya will join the 507th to fill the very position she was competing for here. (Ep.1)
Naoe takes out one of the Neuroi near the fleet, as the Brave Witches make their entrance. Naoe flies an A6M3a until upgrading to an N1K2-J during the mission to Murmansk. (Ep.2)
Hikari trains with a Edytha, who specifically tells her to switch the rifle to semi-auto. (Ep.4)
Sadako, Hikari, and Georgette climb to investigate the weather machine Neuroi that's attempting to freeze part of Lake Ladoga. (Ep.5)
Determined to prove her worth as a witch, Sadako charges the Neuroi, her Type 99 spitting lead, as Jose tries to warn her against being too reckless. (Ep.5)
After all three witches crash due to their weapons and strikers freezing up, Sadako retrieves Hikari's now-useless Type 99, which is in need of a new barrel. (Ep.5)
Disoriented flying through Petersburg's streets, Hikari gets stuck in a tree. (Ep.6)
Sadako puts her night witch vision abilities to good use during the battle on New Year's Eve. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
The quartet of witches take a break during their long flight to Murmansk; Hikari is off-screen under the camera. (Ep.8)
Naoe readies her Type 99 as the space-station-like Neuroi splits into its "space station" half and "space plane" half. (Ep.9)
Sadako lays down fire with her Type 99, flying her new N1K2-J striker; prior to the mission to Murmansk she flew an A6M3. (Ep.10)
Having arrived in Petersburg after her recovery, Takami fights Waltrud to a draw in a mock battle using a training Type 99. (Ep.10)
Takami fires a regular Type 99 while she competes with her sister for a place in the 502nd. (Ep.10)
Naoe howls in frustration after Grigori destroys Gustav'
s armour-piercing shell. (Ep.12)
Naoe and Sadako with their Type 99s, as the Brave Witches put together one final plan. After this, Naoe gives her Type 99 to Hikari. (Ep.12)
Hikari fires Naoe's Type 99, as the pair of them push towards Grigori's core. (Ep.12)
Naoe's Type 99 makes the ultimate sacrifice, as Naoe punches straight through it to the point Hikari marked as Grigori's core location, leaving a hole in the outer core. Naoe passes out from overuse of her magic, and Hikari is seemingly left without a means to destroy the true core. If only she had another weapon... (Ep.12)
The Fliegerhammer, a fictional nine-barrel rocket launcher, is used by Flight Sergeant Edytha Rossmann (alternatively, "Roßmann") of Karlsland. Edytha's launcher is painted in a grey colour scheme fitting the snowy Orussian terrain, as opposed to its more common dark green paint scheme. The green-painted version is used once again by Flying Officer Aleksandra "Sanya" Litvyak as her weapon of choice. The Fliegerhammer was inspired by (both in-universe and out) the Fliegerfaust; its large, boxy shape is also reminiscent of the more modern M202 FLASH.
Fliegerfaust B with 9-rocket clip - 20mm
Edytha Rossmann fires her Fliegerhammer during the opening battle, also showcasing her Bf 109 G-2 striker. (Ep.1)
Holding her launcher, Edytha asks Hikari if she can see the Neuroi's core, as they attempt to learn the nature of her ability. (Ep.3)
Edytha fires a pair of rockets at the Neuroi during the same fight. (Ep.3)
Eila and Sanya arrive at the Petersburg base, escorting an NKL-16 aerosani
("aerosled", a propeller-driven snowmobile), which Sasha refers to by name. (Ep.7)
Aleksandra gives a warm smile, reminiscing about her and Eila's first night flight with Yoshika Miyafuji, four and a half months prior. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
Sanya sends three rockets into the sky, but they do little more than slightly crack the outer shell of this especially armoured Neuroi. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
While Eila zips around the Neuroi, Edytha and Sanya both fire a three-rocket volley in its direction, exposing its core. Like Eila, Sanya has yet to upgrade to her I-225 striker, and is still using the MiG-60 striker she used during Strike Witches
Sanya holds her Fliegerhammer, as she notes the Neuroi regenerated just as quickly as they had damaged it. (Ep.7.5/OVA)
Testing a hunch, Edytha fires a few rockets towards the rear of the space station Neuroi, giving a fantastic close-up. The rockets share the same grey paint scheme as the launcher itself. (Ep.9)
Flying her new Bf 109 K-4, Edytha holds her Fliegerhammer as the Brave Witches sortie for another attempt on the space station Neuroi. (Ep.9)
Edytha fires a rocket after the space station Neuroi splits into segments. (Ep.9)
As the battle starts, the Brave Witches join the fray. (Ep.11)
Edytha fires on the now-visible Grigori, to no effect. The cinematography of the following angle is extremely reminiscent of the failed missile launches in Independence Day
, made even more appropriate with it being an enormous circular alien base ship that had been hidden in a cloud. (Ep.11)
Asking Gundula what's wrong, the latter states her old wound feels strangely warm, sensing the nearby remains of the magic-infused armour-piercing shell. (Ep.12)
Tank witch cannons
Tank witches make their first animated appearance in a brief cameo at the Murmansk naval base. Tank witches use land-based striker units that are themed after tanks rather than aircraft. However, unlike their airborne counterparts they do not usually use standard small arms, but instead specially designed cannons that (much like striker units themselves) resemble miniaturized versions of that tank's main cannon. These cannons are measured in "magic mass", which cleverly allows the cannons to have the same (sounding) calibre designation as their full size counterparts (75mm, 76mm, etc) despite obviously being far smaller in actual bore diameter. Tank witch Aurora Juutilainen also has a brief cameo near the end of the season.
From left to right: A Karlsland witch using a StuG III with matching 75mm cannon, a Suomus witch using the same equipment, and an Orussian witch using a T-34 with matching 76mm cannon. (Ep.8)
Official artwork of Aurora Juutilainen and her StuG III striker and cannon. In her left hand is a Kasapanos
, a Suomus/Finnish satchel charge consisting of four bricks of TNT in a box, around a single M/32 stick grenade as a detonator; Aurora also has a pair of unmodified M/32 grenades on her belt. (Art)
After being shot down and losing their weapons, Sadako, Georgette, and Hikari take shelter in an abandoned KV-2, where they devise a plan to take out the weather machine Neuroi. Using materials from the KV-2 and surrounding environment, they build an improvised bow made from tree branches, explosive arrows made from sticks capped with shell casings under cloth arrowheads and filled with gunpowder, and combustible canisters made from the propellant case of KV-2 shells filled with aluminum dust and diesel fuel. As Neuroi are made from a hard-but-brittle material, Sadako's plan is to weaken the Neuroi using thermal shock from the aluminum dust explosion of the canisters, then take out its core with the explosive arrows.
Georgette and Hikari siphon diesel from the KV-2. (Ep.5)
Sadako unscrews the fuze from a 152mm shell. (Ep.5)
A shell casing, presumably a 7.62x54mmR case taken from one of the KV-2's DT-29 machine guns, and gunpowder are wrapped as part of the arrowhead. (Ep.5)
Georgette gives one of the propellant case based explosive canisters to Hikari. (Ep.5)
Hikari and Georgette throw their payload at the weather machine Neuroi, coating it in a highly flammable cloud of fuel vapour and aluminum dust. (Ep.5)
Sadako nocks the last of her three explosive arrows, preparing to let it fly. (Ep.5)
Wings of Libau film poster
A poster for the upcoming in-universe film Wings of Libau is seen in the Karibuchi sisters' hometown of Sasebo, said to be a film about the exploits and heroism of Takami during the evacuation of that city in 1941. Many Fuso witches fought in that battle, such as the "Libau Triumvirate" of Mio Sakamoto, Junko Takei, and Yoshiko Nishizawa. Mie Shindou, Takami's future superior officer in the 508th JFW, the Mighty Witches, also served there.
The poster for the film, showing Takami fighting Neuroi alongside a few A6M Reisens. Note that the poster seems to have Takami flying her current N1K striker, Chidori
, though at this time she was using an A6M2b, as seen below. (Ep.1)
Official artwork of Takami during the retreat from Libau, fighting in significantly less pleasant conditions and with a far darker tone than the film poster would have one believe. The injury on Takami's left side will become the scar she shows to Hikari in the first episode. (Art)
Vehicle-Mounted & Stationary Weapons
Browning .303 Mk II
Britannian Seafire Mk IIIs are seen in both the first and final battles of the season, armed with four Browning .303 Mk II machine guns. Seafires were naval versions of Spitfires, redesigned for use on aircraft carriers, notably featuring tailhooks as well as folding wings for storage.
Browning .303 Mk II - .303 British
Seafire Mk IIIs and Bf 109 T-1s engage a large Neuroi earlier in the war. The ports for the four machine guns can be seen in leading edge of the wings. (Ep.1)
Moments later, the same Seafire fires its armament as it passes the Neuroi. (Ep.1)
Hispano Mk II
The Seafires are also armed with a pair of Hispano Mk II cannons, alongside the Browning machine guns.
Hispano-Suiza HS.404 - 20x110mm
Seafires and Bf 109s arrive in Murmansk in preparation for Operation Freyja. The black line just inboard of the Hispanos are where the wings fold. Two Yuugumo
-class and one Akizuki
-class destroyers are in the background. (Ep.10)
A Seafire Mk III firing all six of its guns during the chaos of the battle of Grigori. (Ep.11)
Bf 109 T-1s from Karlsland are armed with a pair of MG 17s in the engine cowling. In reality, the T-1 was an experimental version of the Bf 109 intended for the subsequently cancelled aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. The T-1s were effectively E-4s equipped with a tailhook as well as lengthened wings for a lower stall speed and better handling at low speeds.
A damaged Bf 109 spirals out of control, its tailhook visible here. (Ep.1)
Another Bf 109 T-1 shadows the regenerated sea mine Neuroi on a reconnaissance flight, giving an excellent look at the lengthened wings. The muzzles of the two MG 17s can also be seen in the upper cowling. (Ep.10)
The carrier-based Bf 109s are also armed with two MG FF/M cannons in the wings; the MG FF/M was a redesign of the MG FF to allow it to use Minengeschoss ammo.
A fantastic close-up of a Bf 109 T-1, alongside dozens of other Bf 109s, Seafires, and A6Ms. The barrels of the MG FF/Ms are clearly visible protruding from the wings. (Ep.11)
A Bf 109 lays down fire with its MGs and cannons, as does the Seafire above it. (Ep.11)
A6M3 Reisen fighters that assist Takami Karibuchi in defending the fleet, as well as additional A6M3s that participate in Operation Freyja are armed with two Type 97 aircraft machine guns in the engine cowling.
Type 97 aircraft machine gun - 7.7x56mmR
Takami and the Zeros head to intercept a large swarm of Neuroi. (Ep.2)
One of the A6Ms is obliterated by a Neuroi beam, as the other two fire their Type 97s. (Ep.2)
The A6M3s are also armed with a pair of Type 99 cannons, one in each wing.
Top: Type 99 Mark 1 Model 3 - 20x72mmRB / Bottom: Type 99 Mark 2 Model 3 - 20x101mmRB
Reisens sit on the deck of a Shoukaku
-class carrier in Murmansk, with a Yuugumo
-class and Akizuki
-class in the background. Presumably this is Shoukaku
, as it would make the most sense to give Zuikaku
the Seafires and Bf 109s, having lost a significant number of her Zeros. (Ep.10)
An A6M fights through the swarm of allied aircraft and Neuroi, firing its guns at the Neuroi on the right side of the frame. (Ep.11)
The abandoned KV-2 heavy tank that Hikari, Georgette, and Sadako stumble across is armed with a pair of DT-29 machine guns, the tank-mounted variant of the DP-27, in addition to its massive 152mm M-10T howitzer. One DT is in a bow gunner position, while the other is mounted in the rear of the turret.
The trio discovers the fully intact KV-2 in a blizzard. The tank was most likely abandoned after breaking down, as it seems to be undamaged. (Ep.5)
A close-up of the rear DT-29's barrel. In a goof, the interior shots of the tank show just a blank wall where the rest of the DT should be. (Ep.5)
The three lost witches try to stay warm inside the KV-2's turret. While not as detailed as the KV-2 interior in Girls und Panzer
, and possibly a bit too spacious, it's certainly recognizable as a KV-2 turret. (Ep.5)
Sadako gives the tank a pat, next to the bow machine gun. (Ep.5)
MG 34 Panzerlauf
Panzer IV Ausf. G tanks used during the battle to destroy Grigori are armed with a pair of MG 34 Panzerlaufs, with one for the bow gunner, the other coaxial to the 7.5cm KwK 40 main cannon.
MG 34 Panzerlauf with stock fitted - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A group of Panzer IVs move closer to Grigori in preparation for the upcoming operation. Of course, "closer" is a relative measurement, considering the cloud surrounding Grigori is roughly 15km in diameter. (Ep.10)
Another shot of the same group, with an excellent look at their bow-mounted MG 34s. The coaxial MG 34s should
be protruding from the gun mantlet to the right of the cannon, however it seems it wasn't modelled. (Ep.10)
Panzer IVs open fire with their KwK 40s as Operation Freyja begins. (Ep.11)
A number of Panzer IV Ausf. Gs escorting Gustav
, giving a sense of scale to the enormity of the railway gun. (Ep.12)
Grigori shifts course, bearing down on the armoured vehicles. (Ep.12)
Numerous Panzer IVs knocked out, as Grigori slowly leaves the area. (Ep.12)
Pintle-mounted MG 42s are briefly seen on the roofs of Panzerwerfer 42 rocket artillery.
Although at a distance, the roof-mounted MG 42s can clearly be seen on the Panzerwerfer 42s, as they spam rockets into the air. (Ep.11)
80cm Kanone (E)
The pair of massive railway cannons known as Gustav and Dora serve as a key element in the operation to eliminate the Grigori, the Neuroi hive. Specially designed magic-infused shells were developed specifically for this purpose, both a high-explosive type to dissipate Grigori's protective cloud, and an armour-piercing type to eliminate the hive itself. The 80cm Kanone (E)s within the World Witches universe differ from their real counterparts in two significant ways, being self-propelled, as well as able to traverse the entire superstructure like a turret; the real version had to actually have tracks built facing the exact direction it needed to be fired.
Parts of the disassembled Dora
arrive in Murmansk. (Ep.8)
A couple of Karlsland soldiers take a break as Dora
arrive at the frontline. Within the World Witches
is painted green while Gustav
is brown. (Ep.11)
An Earth-shattering blast erupts as Gustav
fires the high-explosive shell. (Ep.11)
Jose and Nipa protect the pair of railway guns as Dora
prepares to fire. The rotating superstructure is clearly visible here, something not found on the real version. However, without this feature they would be utterly useless for engaging a moving target like Grigori. (Ep.11)
s ruined barrel, melted by a Neuroi beam. Dora
being knocked out before firing a single shot is a reference to it being unclear whether the real Dora
ever fired a shot in combat either. (Ep.11)
s crew scrambles to load the spare armour-piercing round. (Ep.11)
Another massive muzzle blast as Gustav
fires for a second time. (Ep.12)
Grigori seems to pick up on the railway guns being a threat to it, and demolishes Gustav
before resuming its slow advance on Petersburg. (Ep.12)
Bofors 40mm L/60
The airfield within the Murmansk port is defended by four twin AA cannons; they appear to be the same style as the oversized twin Bofors guns seen at the Saint-Trond airbase in other seasons of the series.
Bofors 40mm L/60 twin mounting - 40x311mmR
The quartet of exhausted witches complete their long journey. The four AA guns are mounted on the roof of the "castle" part of the airfield's main building, opposite the control tower. (Ep.8)
One of the AA guns to the right, with the hangar at the end of the runway in the foreground. (Ep.8)
8.8cm FlaK 36
The Brave Witches' base in Petersburg is defended by numerous FlaK 36 AA guns around its perimeter, and one of them is very notably seen in the ED sequence. A considerable number "eighty-eights" are also present for Operation Freyja.
In the ED, Hikari runs along the base's outer wall, past one of its many FlaK 36s. (ED)
The 502nd JFW's base at night, with the closest FlaK guns visible. The base serves as the World Witches
universe version of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, sharing much of its design aesthetic, as well as being on the same island. (Ep.3)
Nipa shows Hikari around the base, pointing out one of the eighty-eights, which seems a tad oversized in this shot. (Ep.3)
Much more appropriately sized FlaK 36s open fire on the flying Neuroi around Grigori. (Ep.11)
One of the artillery crews radios that Grigori has regenerated. (Ep.11)
A battery of eighty-eights puts up a valiant last stand, but is obliterated by Grigori. Most of the troops here have MP 40s. (Ep.12)
Fuso aircraft carriers Zuikaku and Shoukaku appear prominently, escorted by four Yuugumo-class destroyers and four Akizuki-class destroyers, respectively; a Takao-class cruiser later joins Zuikaku's group. A Britannian arctic supply convoy to Murmansk appears later in the season, consisting of one Bellona-class cruiser, four Type II Hunt-class destroyers, and nine Liberty-class cargo ships. The Bellona-class ship is named Odysseus; while there was no real British ship with this name, the context of it being a Bellona-class in an arctic convoy, and "Odysseus" being the Greek form of "Ulysses" makes it a clear reference to HMS Ulysses, a fictional Bellona-class cruiser featured in the 1955 Alistair MacLean novel of the same name.
Brave Witches introduces new 3D models for all of its ships, including those that appeared in previous seasons. The two Shoukaku-class carriers are equipped with a defensive AA armament of eight twin 12.7cm Type 89 cannons and sixteen triple 25mm Type 96 autocannons. The Takao-class cruiser features the same primary and secondary armament as its Strike Witches 2 3D model, however the 25mm Type 96s feature a slightly different layout; few close-up shots exist this season, but the twin Type 96s either side of the bridge appear as triple-mounts on the Brave Witches model (likely the case for the other twin-mounts) and it also features at least one pair of single Type 96s. The Akizuki-class destroyers also feature similar armament to their Strike Witches 2 model, but with the addition of another pair of triple 25mm Type 96s. The Yuugumo-class destroyers are armed with six 12.7cm Type 3 cannons in three twin turrets, and two triple Type 96s for anti-air.
The Bellona-class cruiser is armed with eight QF 5.25-inch Mark I cannons in four twin turrets, along with four QF 2-pounder Mark VIII quadruple autocannons for AA defence. The Type II Hunt-class destroyers are armed with six QF 4-inch Mark XVI cannons in three twin turrets, with one QF 2-pounder Mark VIII quadruple autocannon for anti-air work. The Liberty ships feature the same armament as their Operation Victory Arrow model.
and her escort of four Yuugumo
-class destroyers arrive at Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Hikari's hometown. (Ep.1)
Squadron Leader Mie Shindou and Admiral Yoshizaburou Ousawa aboard Shoukaku
. In the near future Mie would go on to become second-in-command of the 508th JFW, unique among JFWs in being stationed aboard a carrier task force. Specifically, the Mighty Witches operate from USS Enterprise
, and HMS Victorious
with a roster of Liberian, Fuso, and Britannian witches. (Ep.1)
Miya flies past an Akizuki
-class destroyer; four of this class serve as Shoukaku'
s escorts. Unlike the previous 3D model this version does not feature the ships' names written on the hull, though they are most likely the 61st Destroyer Division, which previously (chronically, later) appeared in Strike Witches 2
and The Movie
This pair of triple Type 96s either side of the funnel didn't appear on the previous 3D model, though that should be considered a real-world production difference rather than the ships canonically having their AA armament downgraded
after this season. (Ep.1)
and her Yuugumos
three weeks into their journey though the Arctic Ocean, giving a relatively close look at the destroyers, as well as the two triple Type 96s on the carrier's bow. (Ep.2)
The fleet at night. An unnamed Takao
-class cruiser joined the group in Sasebo. (Ep.2)
One of extremely few close shots of the Takao
-class, showing that this 3D model features a triple Type 96 either side of the bridge (instead of a double) as well as a single Type 96 below it on the main deck. The two triple mounts at the stern are still present, however it's effectively impossible to determine how the midships Type 96s may differ in placement. (Ep.2)
Takami launches to defend the fleet, flying over one of the Yuugumos
. The two triple Type 96s sit either side of the rear funnel. (Ep.2)
takes a direct hit. Okinami
is also named, which means one of the others is likely Asashimo
(that trio being the final iteration of the 31st Destroyer Division), though their fourth sister ship is a mystery. (Ep.2)
-class fires her 203mm main guns. (Ep.2)
All six ships are burning to some degree before the battle is over. The Shoukaku
-class carriers feature one triple Type 96 fore and one aft of the bridge, which are usually visible in scenes set on the flight deck. (Ep.2)
Arriving safely in Novo-Kholmogory. Many Orussian city names differ primarily due to the Bolshevik revolution never taking place, however this one predates that significantly. In our world, this city is now known by another name, Arkhangelsk. (Ep.2)
A pair of ships in the same port, to either side of Nikka. They both seem to be of the dreadnought-style design doctrine of the early 20th century. (Ep.2)
Another view of the right-side ship from the previous shot, one of its casemate guns visible. (Ep.2)
SS Oliver Ellsworth
, the Liberty ship carrying Gustav
. All structures on her forward deck have been removed to accommodate the massive cargo. (Ep.8)
An excellent look at
. The Bellona
-class was a subclass of the Dido
-class, refitted for anti-air duties, with one notable change being the removal of one of the forward trio of turrets. In a goof, the forward-most turret was removed instead of the one in front of the bridge. (Ep.8)
readies her forward batteries as the giant sea mine Neuroi approaches. Her two starboard QF 2-pounder Mark VIII quadruple AA guns can be seen here as well. (Ep.8)
, a Type II Hunt
-class destroyer, fires her forward 4-inch guns at the Neuroi, only to be struck by incoming fire moments later. (Ep.8)
-class and a Liberty ship. The destroyer's quadruple 2-pounder sits just behind the funnel, while the Liberty ship's 3-inch bow gun and two forward Oerlikon 20mm cannons
are visible as well. (Ep.8)
leads the charge, attempting to draw attention away from their precious cargo. (Ep.8)
, and both of their escort groups returning to Orussia. A later shot of the fleet at anchor in Murmansk erroneously shows two Takaos
, five Yuugumos
, and five Akizukis
(one too many of each). (Ep.10)
Novo-Kholmogory, with a Shoukaku
-class, a Liberty ship, and three other ships in port. The Shoukakus
feature four twin Type 89s and six triple Type 96s along each side of the flight deck, though aside from the two forward pairs of Type 89s their layout is not symmetrical. (Ep.12)