Pravda Girls High School (プラウダ高校) is one of the schools in Girls und Panzer. The school operates Soviet World War Two tanks including T-34/76s, T-34/85s, a KV-2 and a IS-2. The school is also believed to have the third largest tank arsenal, behind Saunders and Kuromorimine.
BackgroundWhen the Tsardom of Russia (and later the Russian Empire) was developing the Eastern territories, they needed places to service their ships. Because of their proximity Russia sent men and resources to the area to build ports and ship yards that became Pravda. The native Russians that were there built a school for their children, and when the trade route with Russia was formally completed in the 1890's, many Russians spent the rest of their lives in Japan. Their children attended a school built from a 2nd hand ship that became modern Pravda.
When Sensha-Dou reached its prime, Pravda had the advantage of being able to import tanks directly from Russia. They became really strong after the 1980's when they got themselves T-34s and IS-2s. The tanks themselves are often modified to suit their needs too, with upgrades to optics and radio, and weight modifications to go faster.
Pravda is the envy of smaller schools, and is one of the few that were able to field 50 tanks at a time for an special exhibition 50 vs 50 match. (One assumes the other school is Saunders.)
Pravda is a large school, but the tankers lack flexibility. Things fall apart as soon as the commander mess up which could be evidenced during their Match with Oarai.
One year before the events of the anime Girls und Panzer, Pravda Girls High School won the 62nd Sensha-Dou National Tournament, having defeated Kuromorimine Girls High School at the finals, derailing the school's nine year win streak.
Pravda Girls High School is the third opponent of Ooarai Girls High School in the 63nd National Sensha-Dou Tournament. Pravda was defeated by Ooarai due to Pravda's commander Katyusha's decision to allow Ooarai to recuperate after an overwhelming counter-offensive leaves the protagonists surrounded in a derelict church. Katyusha sends a scout with a flag of truce to offer Ooarai a graceful defeat by surrender, but Ooarai commander Miho Nishizumi refuses, having recently rallied her team to life once again. In the end, Ooarai wins by using Miho's strategic prowess and exploiting Pravda's overconfidence.
In the fifth OVA, it is revealed that a freshman crew member of Pravda's KV-2 inadvertently leaked the strategy intel of Pravda's remaining tanks to Erwin and Yukari Akiyama, who were in disguise on a scouting mission to assess Ooarai's situation.
Katyusha Volunteer Army
After learning about the battle between Shizuka Tsuruki and Ooarai's Duck Team, Katyusha decided to make a team dedicated to Tankathalon. This subsection of Pravda's Senshado team fields 16 T-70 light tanks and is commanded by Nina and Alina. Their first match was against Bonple Academy, where they suffered initially from Yaika's ambush tactics.
MembersPravda Girls High School has five characters of note.
- Main Article: Katyusha
Her hometown's Abashiri city, Hokkaido. The overall commander of Pravda Girls High School Sensha-dou team. She has often been made fun of because of her small, diminutive size, which gave rise to a Napoleon complex. She is proud and authoritative to the point of arrogance, but is compassionate towards her enemies, especially those she deems worthy, as displayed when she levels herself with Miho after Pravda's defeat in the national tournament.
Main Article: Nonna
Her hometown's Abashiri city, Hokkaido. The co-commander of Pravda Girls High School Sensha-dou team. She is Katyusha's best friend and apparent caregiver. Nonna expresses a calm demeanor and a nearly saint-like tolerance for Katyusha's abrasiveness and childish behavior.
Main Article: Nina
A first-year student and the loader and possibly the commander of the school's KV-2. She didn't appear in the anime, but appeared in the fifth OVA; she was tricked by Yukari and Erwin, posing as Pravda students, in telling them everything she knew about her school's strategy and tank's position.
Nina is also the Commander of the Katyusha Volunteer Army, the Tankathalon branch of Pravda. She commands a T-70.
- Main article: Alina
First-year student and Nina's friend. She is the second loader of KV-2. She didn't appear in the anime, but she did appear in the 5th OVA; whence she emerged out of KV-2 just after Nina had divulged the entirety of Pravda's tactics to Yukari and Erwin, who were acting as spies during the ceasefire. She appears again in "Motto Love Love Sakusen desu!" and is always seen with Nina. Alina is later seen in the movie, along with Nina, still crewing the KV-2.
Alina is also the Vice-Commander of the Katyusha Volunteer Army, the Tankathalon branch of Pravda. She commands a T-70.
Main Article: Klara
Klara is a student who recently transferred into Pravda from Novosibirsk, Russia. She first appears in Der Film as the commander for a T-34/85 tank. Throughout most of the movie she spoke completely in Russian, but during the match against Selection University, she revealed her fluency of Japanese to Katyusha. One of her most notable acts to date was her sacrifice in the match against the University that allowed Katyusha to escape and support the Ooarai Compound Team in its victory. She has since appeared in several Drama CDs and Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! In the derivative works it is revealed that she is obsessed with Katyusha, to a level on par with Nonna.
- IS-2m M1944
- T-34/76 m1943 (early)
- T-34/85 m1944
- T-70 (only in the Ribbon Warrior manga)
- KV-1 (mentioned in the movie and drama CD)
- RF-8-GAZ-98 Snowmobile
- ZiL 157 w/ BM-13 Katyusha
- Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft (Movie)
- The school's battle song is "Katyusha", a folk song from the 1930s sung by Soviet soldiers awaiting their chance to return home from battle.
- The name "Pravda" comes from Pravda, meaning "truth," the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, later associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
- Their insignia consists of two overlapping steel squares crossed with a T-square and small scissors on top, imitating the hammer and sickle design of the flag of the Soviet Union.
- Their school ship is based on and named after the Kiev, a Soviet aircraft carrier which was sold in 1996 to Binhai Aircraft park, a theme park in Tianjin, China.
- The church scene where Pravda demands Ooarai's surrender is an allusion to the Battle of the Bulge, where General Anthony McAuliffe , despite being surrounded on all sides, replied to the German request for surrender by replying with "Nuts!" just as is done in the anime.
- Pravda is famous for its ambush tactics.
- In Girls und Panzer der Film, it is shown that Pravda favors double envelopment tactics and winter attrition. This is a reference USSR counterattacks during the Second World War, specifically in operations around Stalingrad.
- The initials of their Tankathalon Team (KVA) appears to be a reference to be a reference to the Korean Volunteer Army, a unit established in 1939 in Yan'an, China. This unit consisted of Koreans who were trained by Chinese Communist forces and Soviet advisors, and fought alongside ChiCom forces against the Japanese in China. They would later serve as the foundation for the Korean People's Army formed in 1948, who in turn were supplied by the Soviets. They still exist to this day as the armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
- Ironically, the KVA doesn't appear to have ever used T-70s. Usage of SU-76, T-34s and the /85 variant was widespread however.