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Sendai: The Night Raider

Sendai was the lead ship in the last class of Japanese 5,500 ton light cruiser designs to be built in the interwar period. Being one of the final light cruisers to be commissioned by the IJN before the outbreak of WWII, Sendai will soon steam into battle once more with its arrival in War Thunder as part of upcoming update 1.95 “Northern Wind”!

Briefly: The last in the series of Japanese 5,500 ton light cruisers, featuring improvements to anti-air protection and torpedo armament.

Sendai, light cruiser, Japan, rank IV.


  • Improved anti-air protection
  • More potent torpedoes
  • Excellent mobility


  • Light armor protection

The Sendai-class of light cruisers were a further development of the preceding Nagara-class, which itself was the successor to the Kuma-class. All ships of these classes were part of the Japanese 5,500 ton light cruiser design conceived in the years following WWI, with the Sendai-class being planned as the final ships to be based on this design.

To this extent, initial plans foresaw the construction of 8 vessels of the Sendai-class, however, with the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty in 1922, Japan was forced to cut back on these plans. This resulted in 4 ships being cancelled and one being broken up on the slipway, while the remaining ships did in fact see completion.

Sendai, as the lead ship of her class, was laid down in February 1922 and saw completion in April 1924. With the outbreak of hostilities in Asia in the late 1930s, Sendai took part in the Second Sino-Japanese War, participating in the Battle of Shanghai and providing support for Japanese land units.

During WWII, Sendai’s early war service mostly consisted of escorting convoys around Malaya and Indochina while the ship also formally took part in the Battle of Midway, though not actively engaging Allied forces. 

Sendai saw the height of her service career during the Solomon Islands campaign, taking part in both naval battles for Guadalcanal. Roughly a year later, in November 1943, Sendai was involved in the major naval battle of Empress Augusta Bay. There, Sendai would meet her fate, being heavily damaged by concentrated gunfire from four US cruisers, sinking on the following day on 3rd November, 1943.

In War Thunder, Sendai will be a new light cruiser coming to rank IV of the Japanese naval tree with the release of the upcoming update 1.95 “Northern Wind”. Being a further development of the same design on which the already familiar Kuma light cruiser is also based on, Sendai offers its aspiring Captains improved anti-air protection as well as a more powerful torpedo armament, while maintaining the light protection and excellent mobility of its predecessor.

Similar to its predecessor, Sendai is fitted with a primary armament consisting of seven 140mm cannons, six of which are capable of firing simultaneously on each side. On one hand, this does allow seasoned Kuma Captains to easily transition over to Sendai, without needing to worry about gun performance differences or changes in firing angles. However, on the other hand, Sendai also inherits the same drawback from Kuma’s armament layout, meaning that one cannon will always be unable to line itself up with the currently engaged target.

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Unlike Kuma however, Sendai offers its aspiring commanders much improved anti-air protection. This comes in the form of an increased AA armament consisting of two double 25mm cannons, one quadruple and 13mm heavy machine guns as well as two single rifle-caliber 7.7mm machine guns. Furthermore, Sendai is also fitted with four double torpedo launchers, with two on either side of the ship’s hull. However, unlike Kuma’s torpedo launchers, these have been upgraded to launch the deadly 610mm Type 93 torpedo, making Sendai’s torpedo armament a considerable force to be reckoned with.

Being based on the same design as previous ships, Sendai also received the same levels of protection as found on Kuma, meaning that Captains can expect the best armor to be found at the belt, being 63.4mm in thickness. In addition, due to overall design similarities and displacement, Sendai will also feature comparable mobility to that found on Kuma.

Sendai is expected to dock in War Thunder with the arrival of the upcoming update 1.95 “Northern wind” and by doing so, will become available to all players as a new Japanese rank IV cruiser. In the meantime, keep scanning the horizon for more news to out what the next major update has in store for you. Until then, fair seas Captains!

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