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

Chilean Navy Scorpene-class attack submarine SS-22 Carrera coming into Talcahuano after 5-month deployment - October 16, 2021 #carrera #ss22

* photos from video posted on Armada de Chile FB page

Somebody signed for that torpedo after all. Taxpayer property 💁🏻‍♂️
#SubSunday https://twitter.com/navalinstitute/status/1449827833153478667

In 1979, USS Sam Houston fired an unarmed Mark 37 torpedo near Guam that entered international waters and was picked up by a Soviet trawler. After the Navy gave chase, Soviet and U.S. sailors met in the water where the torpedo was returned along with a bottle of vodka. #SubSunday

#SubSunday submarine cutaway tradition - Suffren Class SSN http://www.hisutton.com/Suffren-Barracuda-Class-Submarine.html

aka Barracuda

Very impressive boats, bring new capabilities to French Navy (Marine Nationale)

New issue of @WarshipsIFR is in the shops & as usual I'm very happy to have contributed. #Defence #Navies #analysis

#SubSunday: Crew members of USS Scranton (SSN 756) await a supply drop from an SH-60F Seahawk helicopter while surfaced in the Arabian Sea in May 1996. Scranton was operating with the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Battle Group.

I'll even hold up my hand for coming up with it! ;-)

USS Nautilus (worlds first nuclear submarine) leaves the Submarine Force Museum for a $36 million preservation project. 🇺🇸⚓️

The long dash of #RoyalNavy heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire into action against #Bismarck #ww2 is the stuff of legends - joining the fight, guns blazing around 9.00am on 27.5.41 - turning & unleashing a full broadside of her 8-inch guns. Here's an interwar shot @USNHistory pic.

#AUKUS features big in the latest @WarshipsIFR but of course we have endeavoured to serve up plenty of other stuff, plus the usual high impact imagery. The cover image is an Astute Class #submarine #SSN of the #RoyalNavy. Pic by PO Phot Jay Allen/Royal Navy.

Latest @WarshipsIFR video is a look at the enduring mission of @COM_SNMCMG1 @NATO mine-hunters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS96WT7qB8g in the #Baltic. #LatvianNavy #MCMV LVNS Talivaldis. Courtesy of NATO videographers #minehunters #navies #warships #EOD

#OTD in 1918, the British Q-ship Cymric attacked and sank the submarine HMS J6 after the crew misread the hull number as “U6” and thought it was a German Uboat. The incident was classified under the Official Secrets Act until 1969. The wreck of the J6 was discovered in 2011.

The @WarshipsIFR podcast is a 'dry ship' https://audioboom.com/posts/7933242-alien-visitors-and-the-mystery-of-the-fly-away-logbook but no harm in its host & our Editor @IBallantyn having a restrained run ashore as he prepares to record episode two, especially when @RoyalNavy & @kon_marine #warships enhance the #PlymouthSound scenery #podcasts https://twitter.com/IBallantyn/status/1448974821338062850

Preparing to record the 2nd episode of the @WarshipsIFR podcast this afternoon with some super guests - to be revealed in good time - so yesterday granted myself an hour or two off. Was greeted with splendid sight of #frigates in #Plymouth Sound & another fine vessel...

Showcasing an impressive display of electronics and weaponry the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Ross is pictured departing Plymouth on 05/09/21 @WarshipsIFR @USNavy @HMNBDevonport #USNavy. Copyright Steve Jagger 2021

Operation Eunavfor MED IRINI is the European Union (EU) military mission to enforce a United Nations (UN) arms embargo on Libya. Vessels working under its aegis - overseen by @EUNAVFOR_MED are seen here on patrol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD86AdqChBs #warships #navies #OperationIrini

Too true - a disgrace @BorisJohnson @BWallaceMP that successive governments have failed to speed up naval ship construction & fill long-standing capability gaps. A navy cannot be created at the drop of a hat & Fleet support fundamental. Urgent action needed not more jam tomorrow. https://twitter.com/pinstripedline/status/1448926752827486208


HMS Starling attempts to ram U-202, 2nd June 1943.

Painting by John Hamilton. Source IWM.

Fine tribute by @PlymouthLive to a great man & Editor - Alan Cooper, who has just 'crossed the bar' and gave me my start in defence journalism, on the Evening Herald, Plymouth (which sold 58,000 copies a day at its peak)
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/former-plymouth-herald-cornish-guardian-6055319 Fair winds & following seas Alan.

Great depiction of the 92-gun Rodney @HMWarships Christened at Pembroke Dock in June 1833. First CO was Captain Hyde Parker, who had been a midshipman in the 32-gun HMS Narcissus in 1801! Rodney departed Plymouth for the Mediterranean in Sept 1835 to be Guard ship off Barcelona.