「ロード・トゥ・ベルリン」 (Roodo Tou Berurin)
“Road to Berlin”

Oh Strike Witches, you do make me smile. Big showdown with witches and witchy generals doing battle against strange alien beings? Sure—but let’s add Wunderwaffen because they look cool. Oh yes, this season has reached the climactic summit mark, and the good news is that there’s still one week left to go.

As fully expected from the events last week, Yoshika is indeed only drained of magic and currently in recovery phase. A serious problem to be sure (where’s mammoth magic shields when you need them?), but a season ending one? Not so much. Strike Witches has been subtle with its intentions over the weeks, yet Shizuka coming into her own alongside the known timers of Gertrude and Minna really highlight how this season is as much a transitory arc as it is a reintroduction to everyone’s favourite magical fliers. Berlin after all is just one stop among many; there’s plenty of Neuroi left to extirpate far to the east, and it’s a process which will assuredly need new witches as others grow up and lose their fighting effectiveness. Shizuka will be far from the only recruit joining the 501st in the not-too-distant future.

Outside of later team upheavals, however, the present was all about battle, and oh boy did we get what we signed up for. Besides the esoteric fun of watching allied militaries duke it out over first dibs exactly like the USSR and western Allies did in 1944/-45, no one can overlook the ridiculous hilarity of featuring the Landkreuzer P 1000 Ratte in all its nonsensical glory—and with Patton commanding the damned thing to boot. What’s that, famous flak towers also appearing on this latest tourist romp witch incursion through Berlin? That’s great—now let’s get back to enjoying 20th Century-infused Warhammer 40k commissar memes and 28 cm shells smacking alien walls. I honestly have no idea how Strike Witches plans on concluding this fight (even if Mio bringing the Striker Unit intended for Yoshika back to the front is a pretty good indication *looks at Shizuka*), but after getting the finest in napkin designs this week, I’m down for whatever comes next.

The girls now have their objective firmly in sight, and you can fully bet they’ll do whatever it takes to get that happy ending.

Random Tidbits

Beside the Ratte itself, I loved the sly mention of sloped armour which was a significant part of mid 1900s tank development. Not that armour can really bounce laser beams, but I like to think the red oxide primer paint (which itself is a reference to late war German tank colours – or lack of them) does the optical reflecting.

Also the Ratte has nothing on the P 1500 Monster, which is pretty much what happens when you ask why a railway gun even needs to be mounted on rails. Just in case you thought Strike Witches couldn’t get crazier.




  1. I was thoroughly surprised to see the Berlin Zoo flaktower in the show. I never expected to see something like that in anime ever.

    On another note, I love it that the Ratte has the 55mm flakpanzer Collian and 30mm kugelblitz turret.

    I have this sudden urge to get a 1/144 or a 1/772 Ratte but alas, its no longer in stock…

    Henrietta Brix
    1. Look on the bright side, at least when you find one it’ll be cheaper than the 1/35 Dora railway gun.

      Because I might just have one of those stored in my room eagerly waiting for the moment I get a house with a room big enough to actually build and display it XD

  2. I liked the cameo from two o the 502, the 506 abet only in the distance, and mentioning the 504 which we saw in part in the 2nd series. I’d love to see more cameos in future series from the other four flight wings and even the ground forces.

    1. I expect more cameos from the other squadrons given how the 501st is about to have a few openings soon. Easiest way to deal with that would be personnel transfer given the characterization of the new recruits would be half-complete.

  3. This Ratte/Rat you see here uses BattleShip Gun’s more specific German battleship Gneisenau Class ones

    Also, if the Enemy did not succeed into breaking its Armor from above (Remind the Tirpitz Buster Bombs), they could easy make “Pitfall” Bomb Craters so they could Trap it from moving our run out of Fuel to get out of them

    The Engines surly do have Power to move it, perhaps to climb River banks, but not Bomb Craters

    or WW1 Underground Mines turn the Surface into an “Moon”.. You know the old tactics

    So in either way, this was just an Silly “the Bigger the better! Idea”

    1. It would fit more in WW1 where the Air Planes was still not the Power they are known of today

      Heck, imagine Yamato’s Ship Guns with this Solution… If they would Fire the Main Gun….Well, it own weight would prevent it from flip over.. But the Shockwave of the Guns…

  4. Well, never thought I’d see Yoshika embody the “Can do” spirit of the “Greatest Generation”, but here we are. One might even argue that she’s already done more than enough to help in the war effort (saving Kiel being the latest example of that), but she still keeps on going simply because it’s the right thing to do. Instead of moping about using up her magic and not being able to fly with the 501st, she volunteers to be the Ratte’s medic despite the risks involved.

    Other random thoughts:
    That conference (and the unsightly mess it degenerated into) felt a lot like your average 4v4 game in Company of Heroes 2–chaotic AF. I’m still amazed that the Allies still get s**t done even with all that squabbling. And I’m also reminded of what Minna said back in season 1 if the Neuroi weren’t around (might not be the exact quote, but the sentiment is there):

    “If it weren’t for the Neuroi, we’d probably be fighting each other.”

    – Gee, I wish I could field that many Sherman Calliopes in a CoH 2 game… (Though the only way to do that is via popcap and resource mods. You can only field three with a minimal supporting force in vanilla.) But while excellent at wiping strongpoints, structures, infantry squads and the occasional heavy armor, Calliopes might as well be peashooters against the Neuroi walls.
    – Ah, the Ratte… One of the few (paper) tanks that can claim to be bigger than Warhammer 40K‘s Imperial Guard Baneblade. That being said, I’m more amused at how the Karlsland forces standardized on the Tiger I as their main tank instead of having a hodgepodge of other units/variants. (Guess it’s the only Karlsland tank that can withstand attacks from your average ground Neuroi.) It also helps that they’re receiving technical, industrial and material support from the Allies in this reality (probably the reason why they managed to build that monster Ratte in the first place).
    – Though speaking of tanks… No Ground Witches?
    Hikari!! ~<3 There’s the Brave Witches cameo I was waiting for! Hell, a season 2 focusing on the Brave Witches‘ own road to Karlsland would be nice. (Though the best I can expect at this point is a manga or light novel side story.)

    I now wonder if Yoshika’s awesome moment in the finale episode will involve somehow getting her powers back, or a still-amazing feat that doesn’t involve magic. Also excited at the prospect of Ace Combat-style tunnel flying by the rest of the 501st.


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