Gertrud Barkhorn is a flight lieutenant and one of the main protagonists from the Strike Witches series. Gertrud is third-in-command of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing.
She is voiced by Mie Sonozaki in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Stephanie Sheh in the English version of the anime.
A calm, cool and collected realist, Gertrud always tries to conduct herself in a rational manner. But since deep down she is a hot-blooded person, there are also times when her emotions get too worked up and she loses sight of her surroundings. She believes that a military member should abide by discipline and rules, but still doesn't seem to try to impose that much on anyone other than Flying Officer Hartmann.
Gertrud has a serious siscon side, with a weakness for not only "little sisters" but also "little sister-like characters". The target of her affections are those who resembles her own little sister, Chris, in looks (like Sergeant Miyafuji) and those who she concludes that were "certainly raised by a gentle elder sister" (like Flying Officer Litvyak). Those like Pilot Officer Lucchini or Flying Officer Juutilainen are excluded.
Gertrud's cooking specially is the Eisbein. She usually is not particular about taste, but that changes when she is cooking for her little sister. Also, she is bad at handling complex machines, with her car driving being especially dangerous. Out of prudence, she often has Flying Officer Hartmann take the wheels when going out.
She is based on Gerhard Barkhorn, the #2 ranked flying ace of World War II.
Gertrud's inherent magic is called Superhuman Strength <Super Physical Strengthening> Classified in telekinesis-lineage, it far exceeds the Body Strengthening - one of the basic abilities of a Witch - in capacity and sustainability. This kind of ability circulates the magic power inside the body and expenditure is low since there is no external diffusion, making possible to employ it for long periods of time. Because of that, Gertrud can hold heavy armaments that normal Witches cannot and, from the fact she can carry even more ammunition than others, this can be described as an ability suited for a drawn-out combats. It also allows her to tear off iron chains and lift up steel frames of a few tons for a short time.
Gertrud can perform for a long time with heavy armaments thanks to the special qualities of her inherent magic and is a capable flying corps' combat leader. Still, she is also skilled in the drafting operation plans, arranging of equipment and human resources and desk work about thing such as management of supplies, making her a good fighter-wing's adjunct. Within the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, she is the archivist in charge.