Aleksandra "Sanya" Vladimirovna Litvyak (サーニャ・V・リトヴャク, Sānya V Ritovyaku, Александра Владимировна Литвяк) is a Night Witch of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, originating from Orussia and affiliated with the Orussia Imperial Army and her home unit: the Imperial Army of Orussia’s 586th Fighter regiment. She is sometimes referred by the alias of, and became renowned as, the White Lily of Stalingrad, due to her hair color. She is also commonly known as "Lilya".

Background

Sanya was born in Moscow and was raised in Vienna. While studying music in Vienna with her parents, she was admired by the famous Orussian witch, Squadron Leader Marisha Raskova, in her homeland. When the Neuroi appeared in the Black Sea area, she applied to become a military witch immediately. Because of her talents despite her young age, she was transferred to the 586 Fighter Regiment, which also served as a training unit for beginner witches. After the training, her parents wanted to evacuate to the Ural area where she had evacuated, but they couldn't make it. Sanya was then enlisted as a Pilot Officer and continued to fight in Britannia. Soon after, when the 501st Joint Fighter Wing was established, she was promoted to Flying Officer and joined the 501st JFW.

She firmly believes her parents are still alive, and often hums the song entitled “Sanya’s Song/Sanya No Uta” that her father wrote for her, losing herself in memories. The song, and her ability to play the piano (which she learned from her father, who is a pianist), forms a strong bond between them. Sanya quietly keeps on fighting until the day finally comes that she will be able to reunite with her father.

Shortly after Miyafuji Yoshika was transferred to the unit, after a late night run in with a strange, new type of Neuroi, the 501st JFW decides to create a night team consisting of Sanya, the resident night fighter, as well as Eila and Yoshika. Yoshika gets to know her sub-arctic colleagues better before the trio finally move in to confront the Neuroi. This Neuroi is the start of a disturbing new trend, seemingly tailored exactly to confront and eliminate Sanya. However, Sanya is able to overcome the Neuroi with help from Eila and Yoshika.

After the liberation of Gallia and the disbanding of the 501st JFW, Eila and Sanya moved to the frontier of Suomus as they travel towards Orussia to search for Sanya's parents during their vacations. They are temporary stationed at the Kauhava Airbase, where Sanya meets some Suomus witches, like Nikka Edvardine Katajainen.

When the 501st was reformed in Romagna, The Witches discover a huge Neuroi spire whose core is in a location far beyond the altitude that their Striker Units can reach. Formulating a plan using rocket boosters in stages to reach the required altitude, Sanya is chosen to attack the core. Having never needed to use a shield in combat, Eila becomes furious when Yoshika is chosen to protect Sanya instead of her. Eila tries to get Perrine to train her to use shields, but she doesn't take this training seriously. Sanya becomes annoyed with Eila's willingness to give up and the two get into a fight. The next day, as the Witches launch Sanya and Yoshika to the stratosphere, Eila apologizes and expresses her desire to protect Sanya. Seeing this, Yoshika decides to switch places with her. Eila finally uses her shield to protect Sanya as she destroys the core.

Personality

Snow white skin with silver hair. The cute girl from a northern country, Sanya. This girl who is weak against sunlight always seems to be tired during the day, and is mostly awake during the night. She gives a very fleeting impression, almost as if she's about to disappear. She has an obedient personality and doesn't speak much. She is always together with Eila, who loves her dearly, with Sanya also being very attached to Eila. She appears introverted and reclusive to their teammates, usually because by the time Sanya return to the base from their nightly patrols, she is extremely tired, and tends to spend most of the daylight hours sleeping instead of socializing with the rest of the 501st JFW. She is not good at standing in public except when playing the piano. She is sad about it, as she really want to be friends with everyone. She is also depressed due to being separated from her parents.

She is patient and also very good at singing and playing the piano. Although Sanya is shy, passive and reserved, and has little confidence in herself, she is really very kind, and it seems as though she's begun a breakthrough of sorts. Flying Officer Clostermann has criticism for her: That girl you never know whether she's there or not? It's almost like she's a ghost.

Sanya is often partnered with Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen, and as a result, (or perhaps it is simply chemistry) the two have become very close; Eila is often portrayed as fiercely protective of her younger squadmate and takes on a sometimes awkwardly nurturing role during down-time. Whether this interest is romantic or plain, big-sisterly fondness is up for interpretation. Sanya is also good friends with Miyafuji Yoshika, and Erica Hartmann. She is friend with Ursula Hartmann who worked with her when she visited the 501st base to test the Fliegerhammer. Sanya also has a friend in Squadron Leader Schnaufer of the Karlslander Night Witches Corps, who she exchanged QSL cards for the telecommunications among Night Witches that use magic-antennae during a night time high-altitude reconnaissance training in Romagna.

Abilities

Her Magic Antenna (魔導針, Madō Shin, lit. "Magic Needles") allow her to interact with radio waves. She use short-wave bands to enable the detection of objects at extreme ranges beyond the horizon by reflection from the ionosphere, but the accuracy is not high. With this ability, she is capable of locating Neuroi across long distances. The accuracy increase greatly at short ranges. During activation, a needle-like light beam appears on her head, with the shape of a Lichtenstein radar antenna. She can also use a spell to provide guidance cues to other witches and aircraft, and is able to tune in and rebroadcast radio transmissions.

Night Witches like Sanya are rare, and their ability to detect Neuroi and launch a counter attack before they make contact makes them important players in freeing the world from the Neuroi's stranglehold, especially when considering the Neuroi's natural night camouflage due to their deep black color. When it comes to night detection, nothing is better than an ability like Sanya's.

Equipment

Sanya carries a Fliegerhammer rocket launcher into combat. It is likely inspired by the experimental German Fliegerfaust, a multi-barreled, unguided ground-to-air rocket launcher based on the Panzerfaust. Lieutenant Ursula Hartmann (then commander-in-chief) worked on improving the rocket weapons and achieved results in the 1939 Suomus front. She later enhanced it to develop Fliegerfaust, which was further remodeled into Fliegerhammer.

See here for the "Fliegerhummer" vs. "Fliegerhammer" spelling controversy.

Sanya's Comments On Other Characters

Chara05 1.gif On Minna

"Colonel Minna is very kind to me. I was very happy when she let us build the sauna. The time I accompanied her song on the piano is also a very good memory."

7e76a6de6c77f06f0411243096a766fc.gif On Lynette

"I’d like to talk more with Lynne. I sometimes see Eila talking to her, but I can’t just do it like that… I wonder if Lynne liked having that done to her… The blueberries were very good!"

14d1528b765811585ad16da16f4d04cd.gif On Miyafuji

" I became friends with Yoshika when we were out on a mission together. Speaking of which… I think I called her Miyafuji at first… I’m glad we have our birthdays on the same date, and that we were able to celebrate it together."

E14538eb81bf8236ee742a8aa76241ac.gif On Mio

" Major Sakamoto is very strict, but she also has a friendly side which reminds me of my father,so I’d like to talk more with her. I wonder if I can become as cheerful as Yoshika if I train with the Major?"

Chara07 1.gif On Perrine

"I think Perrine is actually a very kind person. When she told me I was like a ghost, I think that was just a way for her of trying to encourage me. So don’t do any mean things to her, Eila."

35e6a0bfafdefcbb99c934cfba34f23e.gif On Lucchini

"I was very surprised the first time I met Lucchini and she suddenly embraced me… But it felt as if I suddenly had became her mother, and that was mysterious feeling. Seems like she got into a big fight with Eila right after that, but they made up right away… I wonder why? Eila told me it was because “they had similar interests”, but…"

C1be48c1f27bce67edbf28f2a92a719c.gif On Shirley

"I look up to people like Shirley! What parts…? Umm… How she… seems to be able to become friends with just about anyone… but… Eila? Why are you grinning like that?"

Chara06 1.gif On Trude

"I was actually quite scared of Barkhorn at first. But I soon realized when we flew together that she really cares about everyone. Even when I’m flying behind her, she knows very well where I am… It’s very comforting."

Chara04 1.gif On Erica

"Other people say this is surprising but… I actually often talk with Hartmann. We talked the other day and suddenly about 5 hours had past! But the people who were there and heard us later said they had no idea what we were talking about… Actually… I don’t remember either."

Chara10 1.gif On Eila

"Eila is very dear to me. We’re always together… because that’s just the way it is. I didn’t even notice it until people around me told me. But I don’t like her habit of touching other girl’s bodies like she does! That’s not good, Eila! You never do those kinds of things to me… Why? Just blushing won’t help me understand…"

Strike Witches "What If" — 1947

Sanya What-if.jpg

Flight Lieutenant Litvyak returned a triumphant hero. She was afforded the liberty of obtaining long-term leave, or even to step down from the front lines if she so wished, but instead, after she met briefly with her parents she returned to the night sky. The sky which her beloved flew in.

This shouldn't be considered entirely canonical, because it was only tweeted by Humikane.

Appearances

Anime

Audio Media

Light Novels

Manga

Video Games

Trivia

  • Sanya is based on Russian flying ace Lydia V. Litvyak, who is one of only two female aces of World War II and the only female pilot out of all other pilots that witches are based on. Both share the name "White Lily of Stalingrad"; a nickname that may have been an influence on the color of Sanya's hair. Despite this basis, the two have totally opposite personalities. While Sanya is reserved & passive, Lydia was quite rebellious, and a bit of a romanticist.
  • Her familiar is the domestic cat (Black cat to be precise), very appropriate for a Night Witch.
  • Her favorite foods are Shchi, Borscht and Kasha.
  • Her nickname "Sanya" is a shortened version of her full name Aleksandra, which is a habit for Orussian people. It comes from extracting the part "сан" from her Cyrillic name "Александра", and shorten "дра" to "я" ("nya") which gives "саня" ("Sanya").
  • She stores a lot of her QSL cards in her waist pouch so that she can reply immediately, even if she forgets the radio code.

Gallery

References

  1. Strike Witches Official Fanbook Complete File, page 35
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