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- "It's Pravda!"
- ―Pravda's Student
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 an IS-2. The school is also believed to have the third largest tank arsenal, behind Saunders and Kuromorimine.
Pravda is a school based in the Aomori Prefecture, the northernmost prefecture on the island of Honshu.
A well known and highly respected school in the Sensha-dō league, Pravda are amongst the top performers in every competition, and were the defending champions at the time of the anime series.
In contrast to most other schools, Pravda is not run by a student council, and is instead under rule of the Sensha-dō captain, Katyusha, who exerts her authority in a dictatorship-esque fashion. Many of the school 'rules' are a consequence of the hapless first year students running to obey Katyusha's every whim.
The school environment is highly punitive, with persistent references to "purges", "gulags" and "Siberian mines" as forms of punishments for those who upset the commander. The liberal and subjective manner in which these punishments are distributed invokes many taboo actions or opinions, often regarding Katyusha's height. Katyusha's excessive disciplining is balanced by vice-commander Nonna, who considerately scales down the sentence to more traditional punishments, like forced labour or "extra homework in a classroom without windows".
The school uniform is a dark green jacket over a red shirt worn with a black skirt. The jacket features a four pointed red star on the lapel, imitating the five-pointed star used by the Red Army. A black vest may also be worn over the entire uniform. Many students are also shown wearing a light brown ushanka with the ears tied up.
Pravda's tactics make use of traps and double envelopments. The school also tries to take advantage of the weather, being better accustomed to fighting in cold environments than many of their peers. Pravda may leave their flag tank in the open or seemingly unprotected to bait their enemies into falling into an ambush.
Katyusha herself loves breaking the morale of her opponents and seeing them grovel before her. She makes it a point to display how awesome she is by formulating plans that are sometimes unnecessarily elaborate. Part of showing her strength is an abject refusal to turn down the challenge of a straight fight - Pravda will ignore the options of flanking or evading combat in favour of pushing straight through enemy strong points with as many tanks as they can muster.
In general, Katyusha doesn't bother to formulate a Plan B, which can become a liability if things go awry. Many of her plans involved predicting how the enemy will react, and do not account for unforeseen situations. Pravda's rank-and-file commanders lack the ability to think on their feet, and their overall commander is not adept at managing multiple seperate detachments.
Pravda has a habit of leaving their flag tank in a safe place away from the fighting once the rest of the team is engaged. At this moment, the flag tank is often under light guard, and is relatively vulnerable.
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 to Japan's northern islands, 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 1890s, 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-dō reached its prime, Pravda had the advantage of being able to import tanks directly from Russia. They became really strong after the 1980s 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.
62nd National High School Sensha-Dō Tournament
One year before the events of the anime, Pravda Girls High School faced Kuromorimine Girls High School in the finals of the 62nd National High School Sensha-dō Tournament. Kurmorimine were the favourites to win the competition, but the match took an unexpected twist when the vanguard of Kuromorimine's flag tank fell into a raging river.
Despite being in close proximity to the Pravda, the commander of the Kuromorimine flag tank abandoned her vehicle to save the lives of the crew of the sinking tank. Pravda seized the opportunity and attacked the flag tank while it was blind. The enemy vehicle was easily disabled, leading to Pravda winning the tournament and derailing their opponent's nine-year winning streak.
- Main article: Pravda Girls High School vs. Bonple High School
For their first match in the 63rd National High School Sensha-Dō Tournament, Pravda was paired against Bonple High School. Their enemies had a vastly inferior tank force and tried to avoid a protracted battle by striking early against Pravda's flag tank. Pravda lured them into firing range by feigning unawareness of their presence, then turning and destroying the enemy under a surprise bombardment. Overall, the match was an easy win for Pravda.
Pravda's second match of the tournament was against Viking Fisheries High School. Viking's tanks took shelter within a dense city and refused to leave the cover of the buildings. Pravda countered by using their KV-2 to demolish the entire town from afar, forcing Vikings tanks into open combat, where they were easily defeated.
- Main article: Episode 8
Pravda Girls High School is the third opponent of Ooarai Girls High School in the 63rd National High School Sensha-dō Tournament. Pravda originally lured their enemies into a trap and nearly destroyed them in an overwhelming ambush, but Ooarai's badly damaged tanks were able to limp into the shelter of a derelict church. Eager to torment her helpless foes, Katyusha laid siege to the church, then called for a ceasefire to offer her opponents a graceful defeat via surrender.
However, Ooarai's morale unexpectedly recovered, and they rejected the ceasefire, even using the time to restore most of their tanks to operational condition. Pravda set up a trap to lure Ooarai into an inescapable kill zone once they'd left the church, but were foiled when Ooarai turned down the bait entirely and instead attacked the centre of the Pravda line, managing to break through before Pravda's tanks could react and focus fire.
Pravda was able to catch the enemy as they were escaping from the valley, and swiftly knocked out all of the flag-tank's escorts. However, their own flag tank was attacked by a detached Ooarai force at the same time and knocked out. Pravda narrowly lost the match when shots of their own failed to destroy the enemy flag tank in turn.
In the fifth OVA, it is revealed that a freshman crew member of Pravda's KV-2 inadvertently leaked the strategic intel of Pravda's remaining tanks to Erwin and Yukari Akiyama, who were in disguise on a scouting mission to assess Ooarai's situation.
- Main article: Girls und Panzer: Ribbon Warrior
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 High School. Pravda narrowly lost when Jajka emulated Ooarai's strategy to attack their exposed flag tank, snatching Bonple's victory from the jaws of defeat.
Against Ooarai - Chi-Ha-Tan Compound Team
- Main article: Girls und Panzer der Film
Pravda teamed up with St. Gloriana Girls High School to take on Ooarai Girls High School and Chi-Ha-Tan Academy in an exhibition match. Pravda was first seen attacking a blocking force that was preventing them from assisting the St. Gloriana's beleaguered flag tank. They eventually routed the enemy force and closed in, almost catching the enemy forces in a pincer movement.
Pravda followed up by chasing down the enemy flag tank, a Panzer IV, but the enemy vehicle lured their force into an ambush. Although several tanks were lost in the crossfire, Pravda were able to regroup and lead the charge, pushing through the enemy force and continuing their pursuit of the flag tank.
After a series of skirmishes left the two sides' flag tanks battling each other, Katyusha sealed the match by using her own tank to block an enemy shot, saving her own side's flag tank. This allowed it to fire the killing shot and win the match.
Against Selection University
- Main article: Girls und Panzer der Film
Pravda went to support Ooarai in the match against Selection University. Although Katyusha wanted to look cool by arriving first, she overslept, and the Pravda force, consisting of two T-34/85s, an IS-2 and a KV-2, arrived third (albeit only by a few minutes). They were then attached to Team Sunflower.
At the outset of the match, Team Sunflower took control of a commanding central hill. Before they could exploit their firing position however, an artillery barrage in conjunction with a two-pronged attack by the enemy forced them to relocate. Pravda's tanks were caught at the end of the chain, and Katyusha was nearly taken out by enemy fire. However, all of Pravda's other tanks turned back and fought a valiant rear-guard defence, sacrificing themselves so that Katyusha could make it out intact and rejoin the main force.
Katyusha later took part in the fight within the theme park in multiple different roles. Although she was the only Pravda tank still in the match, she coordinated with other schools in holding the main gate against attack and eventually counterattacking through it, utterly destroying a platoon of university tanks amidst a set of wild-western buildings, and finally engaging the Bermuda Trio, instrumentally ramming an enemy tank to hold it stationary for another teammate to take out. Katyusha was eventually taken out by Megumi, being one of the last tanks on the team to be immobilised.
MembersPravda Girls High School has five characters of note.
- Main article: Katyusha
Her hometown is Abashiri city, Hokkaido.The overall commander of Pravda Girls High School's Sensha-dō 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. She commands a T-34/85.
- Main article: Nonna
Nonna hails from Abashiri city, Hokkaido. The co-commander of Pravda Girls High School Sensha-dō 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 behaviour. Nonna is frequently seen giving Katyusha a piggy-back to counteract the latter's short stature. She is seen commanding a T-34/85, or an IS-2 for which she also acts as the gunner.
- Main article: Nina
A first-year student, she is the loader and possibly the commander of the school's KV-2. She didn't appear in the anime series, 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 dispositions 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 from the 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.
- 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.
- Because of differences in copyright law between Japan and the US prevented Katyusha from being used in the English localization, it was replaced by another famous Russian song, Korobeiniki, which is more famously known as the Tetris Theme.
- 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.
|Schools in Girls und Panzer|
|Schools in The Anime Series||Anzio Girls High School ♦ Kuromorimine Girls High School ♦ Ooarai Girls High School ♦ Pravda Girls High School ♦ Saunders Girls High School ♦ St. Gloriana Girls High School|
|Schools in Der Film||Chi-Ha-Tan Academy ♦ Jatkosota High School ♦ Selection University|
|Schools in The Mangas||BC Freedom High School ♦ Bellwall Academy ♦ Bonple High School ♦ Gilbert High School ♦ Maginot Girls' Academy ♦ Tategoto High School ♦ Tatenashi Girls High School ♦ West Kureoji Grona High School|
|Schools in Supplemental Material||Blue Division High School ♦ Count High School ♦ Gregor High School ♦ Koala Forest High School ♦ Maple High School ♦ Viggen High School ♦ Viking Fisheries High School ♦ Waffle Academy ♦ Yogurt Academy|