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

@IBallantyn @pinstripedline @sweeneygov @BorisJohnson @RoyalNavy Btw here's more on the 'Guide to the RN 2020' & its 'State of the RN' leader commentary https://www.warshipsifr.com/news/out-now-our-new-portrait-of-the-british-navy/ #Warships #Navies @RoyalNavy Avail in shops and also direct from us https://www.tandymedia.com/product/grn20/

Heartily agree. To get rid of any of major warships an error of gigantic proportions, an act of a nation burying its head in the sand - the focus needs to be on making the case for more frigates and to pull the finger out on building them and recruiting/training the crews. https://twitter.com/sweeneygov/status/1220992328329875456

Much talk of the inaccuracies of Where Eagles Dare. Never-emptying magazines on MP40s, etc. Unlike Bridge Too Far or Dunkirk, WED was not meant as a serious war movie. It's a spoof, eg: the presence of the helicopter. So sit back, feet up & enjoy. It doesn't matter! https://twitter.com/guywalters/status/1220708859343441920

Here's what's in the new edition of @WarshipsIFR which has now hit the water and is deploying globally. Avail in shops or subscribe http://www.tandymedia.com/warships-ifr/#subscribe-options #Navies #Warships #geopolitics

Jan Loos experienced the Battle of #Arnhem as a teenage civilian & has given his reaction to my effort at telling his story, among many others in 'Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron' @AgoraBooksLDN Thankfully, it "reflected so well what it was really like." http://iainballantyne.com/a-powerful-portrait-of-the-fighting-in-the-streets-houses-gardens-and-woods/

Actor Suranne Jones says upcoming BBC nuclear deterrent drama "feels fresh". "Nostril-flaringly fetid" is actually how I'd describe the atmosphere on a V-boat. Being made without official RN input. Uh oh.

On this day in 1995, Moscow comes frighteningly close to ordering a nuclear strike on the United States after mistaking a Norwegian research rocket for an American submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Excellent that Neill Denny @BookBrunch still aboard for a voyage across the epic span of submarine warfare history as presented in 'The Deadly Trade' @wnbooks http://bookbrunch.co.uk/page/free-article/what-we-re-reading--24-january-2020/ Describes it as 'rewarding stuff' ...keep going Neill! Down 'scope and run silent, run deep...

Here's the cover of the new edition of @WarshipsIFR showing USS Normandy departing Djibouti - a powerful @USNavy image by Kenji Shiroma, picked as we have an interview with CNO Admiral Mike Gilday inside http://www.warshipsifr.com #Navies #Warships #USNavy

"On the afternoon of January 23, 1968, in an unprovoked incident that would make headlines around the world, North Korea attacked a US Navy spy ship, the USS Pueblo (AGER-2), as it operated in international waters off the coast of North Korea." https://bit.ly/2sXmRF6

This weekend 26th January, HIJMS SHIKISHIMA commishioned in 1900.
She was elder sister of 4 SHIKISHIMA class battleship launched at Thames Iron Works.

Prinz Eugen https://twitter.com/tomkkuma/status/1220347213424943104

#AnswerWednesday's solution to #TriviaTuesday! You are correct if you answered "The Hunt For Red October", where DSRV-1 Mystic was shown ferrying men to Red October. Well, a prop Mystic was used- the real artifact is safe and sound at the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum!

23 Jan 1944 // Destroyer HMS Janus was sunk by a German glider bomb off Anzio while operating in support of Allied landing operations. 158 of her crew were lost. #RoyalNavy #WW2 (image copyright @I_W_M: FL 3695)

On 3 March 1942 nine Japanese Zero fighters raided Broome in Western Australia. The attack destroyed 22 Allied aircraft and killed at least 40 people. The dead included Dutch refugees who had just fled Indonesia in flying boats.

Read more at: http://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/alliesinadversity/japanese/broome


One of the coolest things about being a History dept is when people share their amazing photos and stories with us. These are from HMS Sussex in 1931. @h1bennett & @Louis_Halewood will enjoy these (and they might feature on Harry's Interwar War Britain module @PlymUni )

On 22 January 1979, Russian Tango-class submarine B396 was laid down at the Gorky shipyard.
Museum ship in Moscow, Russia