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

#OTD in 1967, John McCain was shot down and taken prisoner. He would spend 5 and half years as a PoW during which time he was routinely tortured. He refused an offer for early release. Whether you agreed with him politically or not, there is no denying that the man was tough.

#OTD 1942 #WW2 #RoyalNavy #battleship HMS Rodney headed for #Gibraltar with ship's company sensing something big next on 'to do' list. Winston Churchill had hinted as much. Took a run ashore & a 'leak' for one senior rating to have it confirmed https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DN5V4ZY/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0 #History

One of the agents they trained tells his story here. https://pod.fo/e/9c88f https://twitter.com/trevorwbarnes/status/1320495037986312192

Star performers!! https://twitter.com/CovertShores/status/1320473087779999749

The unveiling of the Zeebrugge Memorial in April 1925. It commemorated the British Raid on the port in 1918. This was another memorial the Germans took exception to and they blew it up during #WW2. #WW1 #Flanders

The SBS operation on #NaveAndromeda was over in 9 minutes BBC has been told. #IsleofWight

ROS Regina Maria of Romanian Naval Forces sailed southbound today. She will participate in NATO task force SNMG2 between 27 October-7 December. She will take part in OP Sea Guardian and exercise Mavi Balina 2020 and visit Aksaz, Souda, Alexandria, Haifa.

Ah, Cdr Bond...we're not expecting you!?

A piece on so-called Russian submarine 'surge' by myself & @SteveGrant67 as published in Sept 2020 @WarshipsIFR - part of the mag's continuing overwatch of global #naval matters. In this case also reporting on @NATO sharpening #ASW skills in waters close to the fabled #GIUK #news

On October 23, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf began with @USNavy submarines attacking two elements of the Japanese armada moving towards Leyte.

Read all about it here: https://go.usa.gov/x7rFk #WWII #USNHistory #History #NavalHistory

In 2019, a memorial service was held at the Bonaventure anchor memorial in Point Pleasant Park on the 50th anniversary of the #HMCSKootenay gearbox explosion that killed 9 and injured 53. @RoyalCanNavy @WarshipsIFR https://smcclearn.smugmug.com/Nautical/HMCS-Kootenay-Gearbox-Explosion-50th-Anniversary-Ceremony

@sandymcclearn @RoyalCanNavy Here's part of your excellent telling of the Kootenay explosion story @sandymcclearn from @WarshipsIFR last year - published on anniversary to honour courage & sacrifice. Pic in visual extract is of funeral service aboard HMCS Saguenay in @HMNBDevonport #Plymouth #UK

The defence review @BorisJohnson said would be the most profound since #WW2 is seemingly delayed, which may be a 'blessing in disguise' giving @GOVUK more time to avoid falling into a 'Terminator' trap according to Odin of @WarshipsIFR https://www.warshipsifr.com/features/boris-johnsons-historic-review-may-be-a-terminator-trap-for-uk/ #defence #news

Proposal will pay tribute to key role of @RoyalNavy submariners, surface fleet, #RN & #RAF aviators + @RoyalMarines in #ColdWar & amazing history of @HMNBDevonport + d'yard in #Plymouth along with continuing pivotal role in UK def & NATO https://www.warshipsifr.com/features/voyage-from-the-cold-war-into-the-future-at-proposed-museum/ #Navies #history

The day the might of three lifeboats saved a stricken ship... https://twitter.com/RNLI/status/1318911372051292161

1/3 #OTD 1918 #WW1 German naval high command issued ‘cease order’ to U-boats tho' not quite what it seemed - needed #Uboats home for a last-ditch attack. One, however, was sent early to sink #warships in #ScapaFlow Extract from ‘The Deadly Trade’ @wnbooks Scapa pic: @USNHistory

@sandymcclearn @magsstore Here's that Canadian cover shot in all its glory...with more on @RoyalCanNavy in RIMPAC and also @sandymcclearn news focus report on RCN activities inside - available in shops + also direct digital or hard copy http://bit.ly/wifrmag #navies #news #RCNavy

I was hoping to get some good shots of @HMCSHarryDeWolf in the narrows yesterday, but she seemed perfectly happy larking about in Bedford Basin so these will have to do. #shipsinpics @WarshipsIFR @TimDotChoi #RCNavy https://smcclearn.smugmug.com/Nautical/Canadian-Navy

#OTD1941 W5856 made her first flight 27 years ago she took to the air again at Brough and now is with @NavyWingsUK #Swordfish

Cracking piece by @RowlandWhite in today's Express about how the Harrier helped us win the Falklands War... https://twitter.com/MattNixson/status/1318129541135687680