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Sakamoto Mio goes in for the kill

Under attack from one of the new Neuroi while in mid-air, Yoshika takes flight in order to give an Romagnan fleet a change to escape. Sakamoto dives off the nose of the Type-2 Flying boat and slices the Neuroi in half with her new sword, which can also deflect Neuroi beams. This is necessary to her survival because her shield can no longer even stop 8mm Nambu. However, the Neuroi regenerates. Shortly thereafter, Shirley and Lucchini arrive. Yoshika, Shirley and Lucchini attempt to fend off the enemy, which Sakamoto reveals to have a core that can move within the Neuroi and dodge their shots. Just as Shirley, Lucchini and Yoshika seem bested, Lynne and Perrine arrive on the scene. they are soon joined by Eila and Sanya, and finally by the Karlsland Trio, Minna, Trude, and Erica.The newly reunited 501st take on the Neuroi. Sakamoto's prototype Striker is finally in working order, so she dives headlong into the enemy and slices it in half, this time for real. The members of the 501st then go to their new base, receive their new mission, and catch up with one another.

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Littorio -- Littorio was a Vittorio Veneto-class battleship that served in the Regia Marina during World War II. She was named after the Lictor ("Littorio" in Italian), in ancient times the bearer of the Roman fasces, which was adopted as the symbol of Italian Fascism. She was later renamed Italia. Her keel was laid down in 1934 at the Ansaldo shipyards in Genoa; she was launched in 1937, and her construction was completed in 1940, after Italy entered in war against France and United Kingdom. After the war she was taken by the United States as war compensation, but was scrapped in 1948. The Vittorio Veneto class was designed by General Umberto Pugliese, and was the first class of battleship to exceed the limits of the Washington Treaty (35,000 long tons (36,000 t) of displacement).


Zara -- The Zara class was an Italian heavy cruiser design of the Regia Marina from the early 1930s, considered by many to be one of the best cruiser designs of World War II. Four ships of the class were completed, Zara, Fiume, Pola and Gorizia, all of which saw extensive service during the war. The Zaras were essentially an improved Trento class tasked with dealing with the latest French designs. The Zara was a design combining the armament of the Trentos with the armour needed to protect them from similar French designs. To achieve this, the Zaras were almost 2000 t (at standard displacement) over the 10,000 ton limit. Even if fully loaded (because the modest amount of the fuel load) they displaced no more than, for example, British heavy cruisers. Extras such as a high superstructure and torpedo tubes were removed in an effort to save weight, but in the end the ships ended up considerably "overweight" anyway. The removal of the superstructure made placement of radar difficult, and in the end none of the class would ever carry one. This would prove to be a fatal omission.


Navigatori -- The Navigatori class were a group of Italian destroyers built in 1928–29. These ships were named after Italian explorers. They fought in World War II. These ships were built for the Regia Marina as a reply to the large contre-torpilleurs of the Jaguar and Guepard classes built for the French Navy. These ships were significantly larger than other contemporary Italian destroyers and were classed as esploratori or scouts. The main armament was a new model 120 mm gun (Ansaldo 1926 pattern, 50 calibre) in 3 twin turrets which allowed for 45° elevation. Torpedo armament consisted of two triple banks, each unusually comprising two 533mm (21 in) separated by one 450mm (17.7 in). Two rangefinder positions were provided; one above the bridge and one in the aft superstructure. The ships were fast, but were found to lack stability and were rebuilt with a clipper bow, increased beam and reduced superstructure in the late 1930s. During the war the torpedoes were replaced by triple 21 inch tubes and extra AA guns were added.


San Shiki -- A combined shrapnel and incendiary round for anti-aircraft use, used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II. The shell was designed for several gun calibers, including the 18-inch (460 mm) guns of the Yamato class battleships. The 460 mm (18 in) round weighed 2,998 lb and was filled with 900 incendiary tubes and 600 steel stays. The round was equipped with a delay fuze set before firing, that exploded the round at the set altitude; on explosion, the steel shrapnels and the incendiary tubes were ejected in a 20-degree cone forward. The shell itself exploded immediately afterwards due to its burst charge, further increasing the amount of shrapnel. The incendiary tubes ignited about half-second later and burned for five seconds with 16-feet (4.8768 m) long flames. Each of the incendiary tubes was a 90 mm long, 25 mm diameter hollow steel cylinder, filled with rubber thermite (phosphorus, vulcanized rubber, natural rubber, stearic acid, sulphur and barium nitrate) and ignited through holes on both sides. The rounds were similar to conventional shells, except their wood-filled ogive and several layers of assembled fragments.

According to the American pilots facing the weapon, the shells produced an impressive light show, but negligible physical damage.

San Shiki

Nambu Pistol -- The Nambu pistol (南部拳銃 or 南部大型自動拳銃, Nanbu kenjuu or Nanbu gata jidou-kenjuu) was a semi-automatic pistol used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy during the First and Second World Wars. The pistol had two variants, the Type A (also called the Type 4), and the Type 14 (南部十四年式自動拳銃). The origins of the pistol go back to the design by General Kijiro Nambu in 1902. He was a prolific arms designer who is sometimes called the "John Browning of Japan". Although the pistol bears a superficial resemblance to the German Luger P08, it was not based on the Luger's design. The Luger uses a toggle-locked, short recoil action while the Nambu employs a recoil-spring action. The 8mm Nambu Cartidge is a bottle-necked cartridge that is roughly as powerful as 9x17mm (aka 9mm Kurtz, .380 ACP).

Nambu pistol

Rising Sun Imagery -- Definitely not a coincidence. The Rising Sun Flag (旭日旗, Kyokujitsu-ki) is the military flag of Japan. It was used as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army and the ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy until the end of World War II. It is also presently the war flag of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and the ensign of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. It is also waved during the Japanese New Year and in sporting events. The design is incorporated into the flag of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun as well as banners called Tairyou-ki (大漁旗, Good Catch Flag) flown by fishermen.

Rising Sun

Mitsubishi A7M Reppu -- The Mitsubishi A7M Reppū (烈風, "Strong Gale") was designed as the successor to the Imperial Japanese Navy's A6M Zero, with development beginning in 1942. Performance objectives were to achieve superior speed, climb, diving, and armament over the Zero, as well as better maneuverability. As a result, the wing area and overall size were significantly greater, on par with the American P-47 Thunderbolt. The A7M's allied codename was "Sam".

Quoted from Saburo Sakai's autobiography, "Samurai!":

"In June I was ordered to report to Nagoya to test a new fighter plane, the Reppu. There had been rumors about the new aircraft which indicated that the Reppu was the greatest plane which had ever flown. I was anxious to get my hands on the ship to see if the rumors had some substance. Such a fighter would be a blessing to us. All the rumors were true. The Reppu was a sensational airplane, the fastest I had ever flown. It took my breath away with it's tremendous speed, and its rate of climb was astounding. With a powerful engine, a four-bladed-propeller, and new superchargers, the Reppu ran away from everything in the air, Japanese or American. It could fly circles in a climb around either the Hellcat or the Mustang, and the engineers told me it would fight at better than 40,000 feet (12,192 m)."

Mitsubishi A7M Reppu

Flags -- The Venezian fleet flies both the Flag of Venice and the Flag of the Kingdom of Italy. An interesting case, because in the Strike Witches universe Italy is never unified.


Adolfine Galland -- Our favorite only pants-wearing witch, Air Vice Marshal Adolfine Galland. (Note that during the Spanish civil war, Galland was famous for not wearing pants. He preferred to fly in swim trunks.)

Adolfine Galland

Charlotte Yeager's Badge -- The USAF awards pilot ratings at three levels: Pilot, Senior Pilot, and Command Pilot, to active duty officers and to officers considered as "rated assets" in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard (i.e., the Air Reserve Components). Rating standards apply equally to both fixed-wing and helicopter pilots. The requirements for Command Pilot are: 15 years as a rated pilot, permanent award of Senior Pilot rating, and 3000 hours of total flight time or 2300 hours primary and instructor flight or 144 months Operational Flying Duty (OFDA). Presumably, the timeline is expedited for Witches, who generally only have a service life of 6–8 years.

Yeager's Command Pilot badge

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