Iain Ballantyne

Iain Ballantyne


Iain’s writing assignments have taken him flying over the Norwegian Arctic with the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force, on patrols with the Royal Marines in Ulster’s so-called Bandit Country (during the Troubles) and into sea minefields off war-torn Kuwait and even into the Bosnian war zone.

Winner of a British Maritime Charitable Foundation (BMCF) Special Recognition Award for his ‘consistent and unwavering contribution to raising maritime awareness over the years’, as a journalist Iain Ballantyne covered the front line activities of navies around the world.

Aside from being one of the few writers to voyage beneath the waves in a Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine, he has also visited closed zones in Russia, including Murmansk, Kronstadt and the Crimea.

When it comes to writing on naval history Iain’s action-packed account of WW2 sea combat, ‘Killing the Bismarck’, garnered a Mountbatten Maritime Award Certificate of Merit while his ground-breaking ‘Hunter Killers’ was the first book to tell the truth behind several dangerous episodes in the Cold War under the sea.

A one-time London-based defence and diplomatic correspondent for a national news agency, Iain has contributed to coverage of naval and defence issues in The Sunday Telegraph, Western Morning News and Scotland-on-Sunday, as well as prestigious publications published on behalf of NATO and the Royal Navy.

In addition to being founding (and current) Editor of the global naval news magazine ‘WARSHIPS International Fleet Review’ Iain also produces HPC Publishing’s popular ‘Guide to the Royal Navy’.

Aside from regularly commentating on geo-political naval affairs and maritime history for regional television and radio, Iain’s other varied pursuits in the past have included movie reviewing (for newspapers, magazines and radio) and co-devising a six-part wine game show (broadcast on the UK’s Channel 4). Iain also for some years worked on numerous projects for London-based Grosvenor Film, both in project conceptualization and script-writing.

Iain’s public speaking engagements have included giving a talk on the pursuit and destruction of battleship Bismarck at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and, most recently, a very well received talk on the same topic at the Naval & Military Club, St James’s. Earlier this year (2016) he spoke on issues surrounding renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent to the Defence Society of Westminster School.

Iain Ballantyne @IBallantyn

Royal Navy Astute class submarine passing Gourock this morning inbound for TA removal in Loch Long then in to Faslane #RoyalNavy #Navy #Submarines #shipping

Curious! @HMSMontrose sailing from Portsmouth today despite paying-off for disposal last week.

Guess the frigate! For those with a keen eye the ship's badge bottom right is RFA Plumleaf. The others even my long vision cannot read in this light. I am not drinking Tennants' Extra! 😁

I’m feeling sad that I missed the #AuroraBorealis activity last night, so I’ll share photos from my one time seeing it - while onboard #HMCSMargaretBrooke during #OpNanook last summer. Wow! @WarshipsIFR #canada #north #arctic #nunavut #photography #shipphotography @RoyalCanNavy

The perfect way to spend the afternoon - photographing the Britannia during its brief stopover at Yeovil Railway Centre.

@Whole_Ship @CommonsDefence "The Navy does not own the air systems, the money, capability development or force generation. This creates tension (intensional or not) and question marks over what is an air wing"

❄️ 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗩𝗶𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 '𝟮𝟯

Onder arctische omstandigheden in 🇳🇴 oefenden maritieme collega’s uit verschillende landen het opereren bij extreme omstandigheden.

Commandeur Morang vertelt je in de video waarom deze oefening juist in deze tijd zo belangrijk is. #WeAreNATO

Vigil to return & this time the RAF gets the treatment! 😆 Is this the plot? Detective trapped in a gigantic Poseidon MPA circling globe while hunting Russian submarines. One-by-one aircrew murdered? Looking forward to more shapeless beret wearing. 😂


Some dry naval gunnery humour for your Tuesday😄 seen elsewhere in the Twitter-verse

German Navy Brandenburg Class frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern inbound to HMNB Devonport,Plymouth early this morning. @deutschmarine @HMNBDevonport Video courtesy
of Steve Jagger @StephenJagger4 #Navy #warship #Plymouth

Indian Navy Kilo Class Submarine INS SINDHURATNA (S59) arriving in Cadiz this morning⚓️
#shipsinpics #ships #shipping #shipspotting #submarine #indiannavy @IndiannavyMedia @INDIANNAVY1 @indiannavy
@air_intel @WarshipCam @NavyLookout #kiloclass

Lots of good dits as a few friends from 20 years ago got together to reminisce last night. The Al Faw assault will be part of me for ever - 845 NAS delivering 40 Cdo RM into battle - in atrocious weather conditions but conducted hugely professionally. Quite a night!

1/3 Backed toppling Saddam 20 yrs ago having seen devastation caused by the Beast of War & offence against humanity (& Mother Nature) of finale in kicking Iraqi occupiers out of Kuwait 1991. But, I was warned against it blinding me to 2003's situation. Pic: My report, March 1991.


SS #HMSOnyx S21
Oberon Class
AO #RFATidespring A75
Tide Class

26th April - 18th August 1982

@RoyalNavy @RFAHeadquarters

BZ to them. Totally unbiased in that opinion, but anyone who wants to read my book, which it is based on should try this from @Canelo https://www.canelo.co/books/bismarck-24-hours-to-doom-iain-ballantyne Yes, it's shameless plug, but I think I can be forgiven for that. Very proud to get the veterans on screen & in print.

@Saturnax1 @CovertShores @Capt_Navy @RSS_40 @The_Lookout_N @TayfunOzberk @FORONAVAL @IBallantyn @SubBrief @USN_Submariner Today in the Baltic:
B-806 Dmitrov (487) of project 877
B-261 Novorossiysk (555) of project 06363
B-585 Sankt-Pietierburg project 677
B-586 Kronstadt project 677 (in trials)
B-588 Ufa project 06363

Did you see the latest episode of @WarshipsIFR?

Author @mike_welham was in conversation with host @IBallantyn to discuss the mysterious world of undersea warriors known as ‘combat divers' from Mike's new book.


Starting gun on new Baltic submarine race. Time for Poland to crack on with regenerating its submarine arm. Denmark to ponder yet again the error of getting rid of its submarine arm. Finland might mull over new undersea capabilities while Sweden and Germany up their game.

Whilst David Wanklyn’s exploits are fairly well known on here, George Hunt gets somewhat of an ignoring. During his time as captain of HMS Ultor, Hunt achieved the record of sinking the highest number of ships by a British sub during the war. 30 vessels in total(!)