Operation Victory Arrow is an animated series of OVAs that were announced on Sunday October 13, 2013 at a Strike Witches live event and originally aired in theaters from September 20, 2014, to July 31, 2015. They were later released on Blu-ray and DVD from December 12, 2014, to May 2, 2015.
The name "Operation Victory Arrow" is often abbreviated as OVA. It is not to be confused with Strike Witches OVA, which is a special pilot episode; its OVA abbreviation standing for "Original Video Animation" instead.
The series consist of three, thirty-minute, episodes about the members of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing. The time frame of the plot is placed between the end of season 2 and before the events of the movie.
The first episode, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 1: St. Trond no Raimei (Saint Trond's Thunder), began screening in selected theaters across Japan on September 20, 2014, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 12, 2014. It focuses on Erica Hartmann, Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke, Heidemarie W. Schnaufer, and Gertrud Barkhorn being stationed at St. Trond Base, after the 501st Joint Fighter Wing's disbandment after the second Season. Ursula Hartmann also making an appearance.
The episode opens with Trude, Erica, Minna and Heidemarie having a mock battle, with Erica having a brief bath, much to Trude's disdain.
After the opening, there is a recap of Operation Mars. Post recap, Heidemarie is seen before Minna in the office, and it is revealed the latter is now the commanding officer of Heidemarie. After Heidemarie returns to HQ, Ursula visits bearing gifts; sweets for Erica, coffee for Minna, and a red traditional dirndl dress for Trude. Ursula then presents new ordnance for them - a Krummlauf StG44 assault rifle, a remote-controlled missile with control panel, a flight-adapted Flammenwerfer, a sonic cannon, the Mk214 autocannon, and finally we witness the return of the Me 262 Jet Striker. Erica is against Trude wearing it, due to events seen in Season 2, but Ursula assures them that the faulty HeS-011 engines were now replaced with 'Juma'004-D's. Despite Erica's objections, Minna and Trude allow it as they believe the Jet Strikers may play a vital role in the recapturing of Karlsland.
Tests are conducted soon afterward, and the Jet Strikers show improvement but still require further calibrations before becoming combat-ready. Erica then discovers that her Striker Unit has been replaced with a tandem Bf 109Z 'Zwilling'. Erica and Ursula test it together, despite Erica's continuing objections. Initially the testing goes well but, due to Erica not following instructions properly, the Striker Unit breaks apart and the two crash-land without suffering any injuries. These series of events eventually lead Erica to insult Ursula, saying that she "only brings useless equipment". Afterward, Erica seeks out her sister but she only finds a note, stating she went to look for tools. Erica returns to eat, and Trude presents her new dirndl dress. After Erica embarrasses Trude by calling her "weird", a combat alert is issued. Minna and Trude sortie, leaving the strikerless Erica back on standby.
A crayfish angling Erica listens to the combat as it unfolds, broadcasted from transceivers. The well-armored Neuroi is using an enormous cumulonimbus cloud to protect itself. After a brief discussion, Trude goes back to acquire the Me 262 and Mk214 to aid in combat. The enemy splits apart to follow Trude, and again into a smaller dozen. Minna holds them back valiantly, but soon is overwhelmed. After Minna's shout of pain, Erica decides to act. Erica enters combat but, after an initial success, the Me 262 starts failing her. Just as the enemies swarm her, Ursula arrives armed with a Fliegerhammer and its promptly revealed that she is wearing a He 162 Jet Striker. The twins return to combat, with Ursula being an impromptu pilot and Erica taking the gunner role.
Minna is seen in trouble, as her MG42 overheats and is out of ammo, but Erica and Ursula arrive just in time. The large Neuroi hides in the clouds, but Minna uses her Three Dimensional Space Understanding Ability (三次元空間把握能力, Sanjigen Kūkan Haaku Nōryoku) in order to allow Erica to land a shot. It re-emerges from the clouds, and the next shell finishes off the Neuroi. After the battle, Heidemarie returns and is gifted a black dirndl dress of her own. When asked whether she wants to use a Jet Striker, Erica replies that she does not want to. Ursula leaves the base and the credits roll.
In the post-credits scene, we see Yamakawa Michiko visiting Miyafuji Yoshika in her home in Yokosuka. The two discuss a photo that came in recently, portraying the Karlslanders from St. Trond Base. Michiko notes that Barkhorn looks cute in the dress.
The second episode, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 2: Aegan Umi no Megami (Goddess of the Aegan Sea), began screening in selected theaters across Japan on January 10, 2015, and afterwards, on March 13, it was released on Blu-ray and DVD. The focus of this episode is Francesca Lucchini, Charlotte E. Yeager, Hanna-Justina Marseille, and Raisa Pöttgen in the Mediterranean. One of the other witches who made an appearance in the episode was Edytha Neumann.
After the disbandment of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, Shirley is staying in Lucchini's home vineyard in Sicily. During their lunch, Shirley receives a call from Crete base telling that a Neuroi is occupying the island of Delos. Shirley and Francesca sortie.
They meet Hanna-Justina Marseille, Raisa Pöttgen, Squadron Leader Edytha Neumann and Field Marshal Ernst (Erwin) Rommel in Crete base for the mission briefing. Squadron Leader Neumann shows the centipede-shaped Neuroi that is hiding inside a cave in Delos. They initially plan to flatten the island using the Venecian Navy fleet's artillery barrages to force the Neuroi to come out from the cave, and the witches' duty is to escort the fleet. Francesca strongly disagrees because she doesn't want the heritage site, on Delos, to be destroyed. Shirley suggests for Marseille to act as a distraction to lure the Neuroi out, and then Francesca would destroy it with 250lb bombs.
However, the plan fails due to the Neuroi intercepting the bombs. The Witches retreat and feel they should stick to Neumann's original plan. Francesca feels disappointed and sad, and Raisa asks her why she feels so upset. She reveals that Delos is the first place she traveled with her family, and her father promised to take her, and her mother, to visit again when the war is over. Meanwhile, Neumann rebukes Marseille that she stained her fame of "Stern von Afrika" from her previous action.
The next day, the Venecian fleet sails to Delos. Shirley has an idea of using the cable from the cargo winch on the liberty ship's wreckage, in order to pull out the Neuroi from the cave. Marseille chases after her and tells Neumann that she will show her best performance for not failing her name. Neumann feels agitated and orders them to follow the original plan. However, Rommel advises her that the battlefield is dynamic and sometimes there will be complications no matter how well the stratagem is planned. Marseille lures the Neuroi and disables its ability to attack to buy Shirley some time. Francesca and Raisa catch up with Shirley and Marseille under Rommel's order. Shirley successfully ties the Neuroi with the cable but the generator runs out of fuel and fails to pull the Neuroi out from the cave. Luckily, Rommel boards the ship wreckage by a liaison plane and brings extra power for the generator, and then Shirley and Marseille pull the Neuroi out from the cave together. Neumann orders the fleet to fire at the Neuroi and it is destroyed.
After Delos is liberated. Francesca brings Shirley, Marseille and Raisa to the heritage site to see the statues of the ancient witches. She said this landmark inspired her to be a witch. Shirley and Marseille compare themselves with two witch statues that resemble them and the credits roll.
In the post-credits scene, Yoshika receives another letter. This time, from Shirley and Francesca who arrived in Tobruk. Michiko explains that Tobruk is located in Egypt.
The third and final episode, Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow Vol. 3: Arnhem no Hashi (Arnhem Bridge), began screening in selected theaters across Japan on May 2, 2015. It focuses on Lynette Bishop, Perrine H. Clostermann, and Amelie Planchard.
Perrine, Lynette and Amelie are patrolling the Gallian skies, feeling happy that the restoration of the nation is having good progress. They return to Clostermann's manor and send their Striker Units to Arnhem base for an overhaul. Afterward, Lynette and butler Jean-Paul are checking supply on the port, and then sees a policeman is chasing after a boy. The boy stumbles in front of Lynette and drops a vial of flu medications. Lynette finds that his sister is sick. Therefore, she takes both of them to Perrine's manor.
Perrine and Lynette take the boy's sister to a bedroom and order Jean-Paul to call a doctor. The doctor finds out the girl's flu is almost developed into pneumonia due to malnutrition. She will be fine if she is well-nourished and takes some rest. Therefore, the trio decides to take care of the siblings. Their names are revealed to be Rose and Julius, they were separated from their parents during the retreat from Arnhem.
However, Perrine and Julius are difficult to get along with together. Perrine dislikes Julius because of his rudeness and he always pulls pranks out against her. Also, Julius doesn't like Perrine being strict with him. During Lynette and Amelie's garden work, Julius sees a flight of the 506th JFW Witches and curses them. Lynette asks Julius why he hates the Witches. He tells her about the time when Rose and him separated from his father. During the evacuation in 1940, their father decided to defend the Arnhem road bridge and thought that Witches would come to support them. However, they didn't come to save his father and made him think that Witches are liars. Lynette tells the tragedy that Julius had experienced to Perrine. She thinks that it was difficult to blame the Witches. It is because the defense forces of Arnhem were already annihilated and nothing they could do for the refugees. But they still felt sorry for him and decide to never let him know that they are Witches too.
One day, Julius asks Amelie why Perrine has a lot of money to support the relief efforts across the country. Amelie answers him prevaricatingly. Unsatisfied with her answer, Julius throws a temper and kicks a scaffold, causing bricks to fall down upon him. Amelie opens a magic shield to save him, revealing to Julius that they are Witches. Agitated, Julius secretly slips away from Perrine's manor by riding a supply truck to Arnhem for finding his "important stuffs".
During Perrine and Lynette having lunch, Amelie takes Rose comes to the dining room tells them Julius is missing. She tried to find him around the manor but in vain. She thinks that he should have gone to Arnhem. But Arnhem is still a frontline that infested with Neuroi. Perrine tries to call Arnhem base but the line is disconnected due to Neuroi activity. Then they decide to go there by themselves. However, their Striker Units were sent to Arnhem base, then Jean-Paul opens a secret cabin that contains weapons for emergency behind a bookshelf for them. And then, Perrine and Lynette rush to Arnhem base to find Julius. However, he is not inside the truck. Lynette recovers the handkerchief that she gave him behind it. Perrine orders Lynette to get her Striker Unit, and she goes to find Julius by herself.
In the ruined town of Arnhem, Julius goes back to his home and takes Rose's other teddy bear "Jan", and a book under his double-bunk bed. Suddenly, a Neuroi finds him. Luckily, Perrine comes to save him on time and destroys it with a PIAT launcher. Perrine provides cover for Julius to escape to the bridge. However, a giant three-headed Neuroi emerges under the bridge and cut off their escape route. Perrine's machine gun proves useless to it and runs out of ammo, she takes Julius and runs into a basement for hiding, where Julius finds that Perrine's thigh is injured. Perrine suggests that she will lure the Neuroi to let him escape. Julius is worried, but her determination changes his mind. During the battle, Julius decides to come back for Perrine rather than run away. Suddenly, Lynette on her Spitfire arrives and successfully provokes the giant Neuroi. However, the Neuroi hides inside a nearby water tower, making it difficult for Lynette to snipe it. Perrine realizes that she could use water to electrocute the Neuroi, and wants to use the PIAT but she cannot move due to her injury. So Julius retrieves the launcher for her, Perrine damages the tower and tells Lynette to shoot the water tank. Finally, the Neuroi is soaked with water and Perrine activates Tonnerre to electrocute it. This exposes the Neuroi's core, giving Lynette a chance to finally destroy it.
After the battle is over, they return to Perrine's manor. Rose is glad to see her pair of teddy bears reunited. Perrine finds that Julius also picked up something. It is a book titled "The Blue Bird" that his father gave him before the war. However, he doesn't understand a word. Therefore, Perrine decides to adopt the siblings and educate them. The credits roll.
In the post-credits scene, Perrine and Lynette receive a letter from Yoshika, saying that she will go study abroad to a medical school in Helvetia. She will arrive in Pai-de-Calais in about one month and hopes to meet each other soon. Perrine suggests that Lynette make a white coat for Yoshika as a gift of reunion. The scene changes to Eila and Sanya, they are staying with the 502nd JFW, and then the scene changes to Sakamoto Mio communicating with Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke about a "certain operation" and Yoshika's studies, while also showing battleship Yamato is under an overhaul in Fuso. The story continues in Strike Witches: The Movie.