LAST EDITED ON Dec-27-17 AT 11:30 PM (EST)
HMS Barbican - The Royal Navy has a tradition of naming its most significant shore installations as if they were ships (the traditional term is "stone frigate"). HMNB Folkestone is fictitious, but many similar naval bases existed in the British Isles in wartime (and a few still operate today). A "barbican" is a type of medieval fortification.
Zuiun - More formally the Aichi E16A Zuiun ("Lucky Cloud"), a single-engine reconnaissance seaplane employed by the Imperial Japanese Navy toward the end of World War II. Aviation battleships such as Hyūga and Ise carried them. Intended as the replacement for the E13A, which was itself the successor to the Mitsubishi F1M biplane (one of which Mio Sakamoto can be seen flying in Strike Witches the Movie). The 501st JFW has one as part of its small fleet of conventional aircraft for training and (as seen here) liaison purposes.
Atago - Second of the Takao-class heavy cruisers. The real one was sunk by American submarines in October 1944.
Chikuma - Second of the Tone-class heavy cruisers. Sunk the day after Atago.
Nagato - Name ship of the Nagato-class battleships. Survived the war only to be used as a target ship in the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests. Likes to snuggle with destroyers.
Amagi - The second Unryū-class fleet carrier, completed near the end of the war. Not to be confused with the scrapped-before-completion name ship of the abandoned pre-war battlecruiser class by the same name, the second hull of which was converted into the fleet carrier Akagi. The wartime Amagi appears late in season 2 of Strike Witches, and in the movie.
Zuihō - Name ship of the Zuihō-class light aircraft carriers. Should not be confused with Zuikaku, second of the Shōkaku-class fleet carriers.
Katsuragi - Amagi's sister ship, the fourth planned but third-and-last-completed ship in the class. In this setting, with Fusō one of the most prosperous and militarily productive members of the Alliance, one expects the other planned Unryū-class ships actually were (or are still in the process of being) built, making her the fourth of, eventually, seven.
more destroyers than you can shake a stick at - Since they were smaller than capital ships, cheaper and quicker to produce, less costly to operate, required much smaller crews, and could do a number of different jobs, WWII-era navies had hordes of destroyers. Depending on how you count them, the wartime Imperial Japanese Navy had either 20 or 24 destroyers of the Fubuki class, and 15 or 16 other classes of destroyer besides. (Admittedly, one of those classes, the Shimakaze class, had only one ship in it, but still.) Meanwhile, the US Navy had hundreds of the damn things, including a hundred and seventy-five of the Fletcher class alone! (One of which, interestingly enough, was the USS Hutchins. No relation.)
Kyōto - Evidently the capital of Fusō didn't move to Tokyo during their version of the Meiji Restoration.
polar convoy system - Based on a similar strategy for getting supplies and equipment to the Russians during WWII.
Baltland - The Strike Witches world's equivalent of a combined Sweden and Norway.
Satō - No relation; Satō is the most common surname in both Japan and Fusō.
that doesn't stop a certain sort of girl from trying - In real life, too, women have been finding ways into military roles reserved for men pretty much as long as there have been military roles reserved for men. It isn't the source material's intent or function to explore the social and political implications of witches' special place in society, but I find it interesting to consider, since they're simultaneously privileged and much-demanded of - and I suspect that in the setting, the dividing line in terms of taking part in the war effort would particularly rankle some young women who didn't happen to be born with magical ability. In that world, the tagline on this notoriously patronizing WWI recruiting poster is probably "Gee! I wish I were a Witch" - and gets on just as many people's nerves as the real thing. Hence, young women like Megumi Satō, while not exactly common, are - as Admiral Sugita observes - far from unknown.
Mogami - Name ship of the Mogami class of heavy cruisers. In real life, sunk two days after Atago and one after Chikuma during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Akebono - The real Akebono (a Fubuki-class destroyer) rescued Mogami's survivors before scuttling the wreck with a torpedo. She was herself sunk only a couple of weeks later.
oh, a long time ago - Or a long time in the future, depending on how you reckon it; he's talking about his time in the Morita Navy in Aegis Florea.
A7M Reppū - IRL, the successor to Mitsubishi's highly successful A6M Zero line of fighters. By all accounts an extremely capable aircraft (Saburō Sakai, Mio Sakamoto's ace archetype, tested it and said it was the fastest airplane he'd ever seen), but it came along too late to make any difference; only 10 were ever built.
Imperial Order of the Rising Sun and Waxing Moon - Based on the real-life Japan's oldest order of merit, the Order of the Rising Sun. The real badge looks basically the same, but without the bit of obsidian to represent the moon that exists in the Fusō version of the national crest.
the Emperor's Great Seal - Fusō uses the Imperial Seal, the golden chrysanthemum, where Japan would use the State Seal.
In terms of its use here—"caused the Emperor's Great Seal to be affixed"—there is only one physical object which can serve this purpose. This indicates that Hirohito (or one of his entourage, anyway) had the foresight to bring it with the imperial party to Brandenburg, just in case His Majesty needed to issue an official order while he was abroad.
the accession to the throne of Empress Jingū - In the real world, Empress Jingū is a second-century-AD figure whose historicity cannot be firmly attested, and who is therefore considered legendary-if-not-mythical by modern historians. Even the ones who agree she exists customarily don't consider her a regnant empress these days, instead relegating her to the status of consort empress while her husband was alive and a mere regent for her underage son after said husband died.
In this setting, Jingū takes the place of Emperor Jimmu, the similarly mythical grandson of the sun goddess Amaterasu and first emperor of Japan, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC, and of whom all the emperors since, right up to the present day, are asserted to be direct descendants. Imperial Fusō, like imperial Japan, uses three calendars: the Gregorian, for dealing with the outside world; the one dated according to the reigns of emperors; and one in which the first year of Jimmu's reign is year 1. (As noted elsewhere, this last is where the "Zero" in things like the Type Zero naval fighter come from; it was adopted in 1940, or the imperial year 2600.)
Mio Sakamoto's radio callsign is a reference to (this version of) Empress Jingū.
a pair of medals and a neatly folded length of red-and-white ribbon - The Emperor, however, does not travel with spare high-level decorations and honors along, just in case His Majesty needs to hand some out on the spur of the moment. We will probably never know which member of his entourage he took this set from. (He will presumably have replaced them when they got home.)
I didn't realize your Emperor had a sense of humor - Indeed, this would come as a shock to many, if not all, Fusōnese. Yoshika's taking it very well! A lot of her countrymen and -women would be disturbed at the very thought; but I assure you, this is as humorous as it is physically possible for this Emperor to be.
a couple of ideas that worked for a few of my friends - He's deriving a fair bit of the operating principle for Mogami's new rig from what he knows of how Ishiyaman kōbu-kai battle machines work.
a thing I have to take care of - In the original draft of this scene, Shizuka just played her usual straight-man routine, calling Wilma's attention to the breach of security like a combination of Sam the Eagle and the Kirstie Alley Saavik from Star Trek II. Upon reflection, I decided it was time for her to progress along that arc a little bit. She's learned how to deal with these people, and not just by letting their antics pass.
The Compasses - Not based on any one real pub.
Mio seemed to know and be known there - A lot of people, including her wingmates, forget that Mio spent a lot of time in Britannia even before she joined the 501st. The development work on the Miyafuji engine and the Hurricane Striker that was the first production model to employ it were both done there, and she was Dr. Miyafuji's techno-magical consultant and test pilot for all of it.
Some talk of Atalanta and some of Artemis - This is the local version of the old marching song "British Grenadiers", which long-time NXE readers will know is a favorite of DJ Langley-Croft's, and which traditionally begins, "Some talk of Alexander and some of Hercules." The tortured pronunciation of "Artemis" to make it rhyme with the next line is a typically Britannian method of dealing poetically with loanwords from classical antiquity.
Of Dido, Alexandra... - The original song mentions Hector and Lysander here. In this setting, Dido, the legendary queen of Carthage, was presumably a more heroic figure than the tortured, screwed-around-with-by-the-gods, and ultimately suicidal figure she is in the real-life Aeneid; Alexandra is, of course, the ancient witch version Alexander the Great, one of the few witches of antiquity to take a direct hand in world affairs beyond the slaying of monsters (and equally revered and reviled for doing so).
"Umi Yukaba" - Traditional Japanese sailor's song. A rough capsule translation of the lyrics would run something like, "If I go to sea I'll end up dead, but it's for the Emperor, so that's OK." Banned by the occupation authorities after World War II, even though it's one of the relatively few popular military songs of the time that doesn't specifically mention killing Americans.
I assigned him to guard the top-secret prototype - She's an officer now; she can do that kind of thing. :)
according to the Hays Code - The equivalent of how someone familiar with American/Liberion motion pictures would say "keep it G-rated" before the imposition of the MPAA ratings system in the 1960s. The Hays Code (formally the Motion Picture Production Code) was the MPAA ratings system's stricter, stonier-faced predecessor, a set of moralistic guidelines about what was and was not acceptable content for American movies. Compare to the Comics Code of the 1950s, although, ironically, by the time the Comics Code came along, the motion picture industry was already moving past the strictures of the Hays Code.
I think I'll go and lie down for a while - In the animated version of this scene, she'd be staggering away with the spiral-y eyes.
a little top-heavy - Jokes about Kancolle character design aside (and in fact, the design of the shipgirl Mogami is quite modestly proportioned), the real Mogami class was very top-heavy as initially configured. This was a common failing of Japanese warships designed in the Washington Treaty era, a result of trying to cram as much firepower as humanly conceivable into hulls that at least looked like they were obeying the treaty-stipulated tonnage limits.
metal at one of the welds glowing - As originally built, the first two Mogami-class ships also had serious problems with failed welds, which were still a relatively new technology in warship construction at the time.
As an aside, in this scene and going forward, the logic for whether Mogami's name is italicized in any given reference has to do with whether she's acting as the ship, or just the girl. Hence, you will note that it's italicized in most of this scene, but when her rig sinks and she's trying to swim back to shore, it no longer is. Just for the record, that's not accidental.