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

USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN 617), commissioned #OTD in 1963, made deterrent patrols for 30 years with Polaris/Poseidon missiles.

Served seven years past planned decommissioning date after USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN 636) was severely damaged in grounding incident.

It will be an outstanding achievement if @BWallaceMP can pull this off. But it’s not an outrageous ask. It’s simply what we need to do. https://twitter.com/tnewtondunn/status/1541490544144252930

Thanks for sharing :-) One obvious thing that has always slightly peeved me about that cover is the warship steaming 'uphill'! Horizon-straightening is something QED in photos these days too!

Another spectacular UK MoD image, this time from the POV of a Royal Marine Commando who has just leapt from the RAF Chinook flying away over the Bristol Channel, during the 40 Commando RMs and 47 Cdo 'helicasting exercise' #RoyalMarines @RoyalMarines @RoyalNavy @RoyalAirForce

Royal Marines have been leaping into the sea off the coast of North Devon from a hovering Chinook helicopter of the RAF. Cdos picked up by Rhib. The RMs, from Charlie Coy 40 Cdo, were training alongside 47 Cdo in the art of 'helicasting.' Photos: UK MoD.

Fair winds and following seas to the Captain, Officers and crew of JS Kashima outbound and passing Gravesend this afternoon. @JAPANinUK @jmsdf_pao_eng @LondonPortAuth @navalnewscom @WarshipsIFR @IBallantyn #Warships #JMSDF #JSKashima #Gravesend #TV3508 #RiverThames

The Daring Class (Type 45) destroyer Royal Navy @hmsdiamond a visitor to Plymouth, seen heading for Devonport yesterday, courtesy of @WarshipsIFR team member @StephenJagger4

German Navy Sachsen Class frigate FGS Hessen @deutschemarine transits a bleak and windswept Plymouth Sound this afternoon en route to HMNB Devonport. @HMNBDevonport Video courtesy of Steve Jagger @StephenJagger4 #Navy #warship #NATO #plymouth

USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) has been discovered 22,600 under the Pacific, making it the deepest wreck ever IDed. The Sammy B became known as the "destroyer escort that fought like a battleship" for putting up a fierce fight before being sunk during the Battle off Samar in 1944

@devrimyaylali Anyone with visions of Royal Navy mine-hunter storming in there to help those Black Sea navies is way of beam, for what can be achieved and would be wise. There are of course new means to clear mines the UK and other nations are pioneering.

The British P.M. is light on how the UK would assist the de-mining off Ukraine. The Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian NATO navies are as @devrimyaylali reports in the current edition of the magazine, already applying their skills and new tech where they can to counter mine threat.

@DavidLarter With Boris Johnson apparently suggesting the UK can help with 'de-mining' Ukraine waiters to get the grain out our podcast includes a timely discussion of related topics, not least Russia's eagerness for that so they can mount an assault against Odessa!

The latest episode of WARSHIPS POD is well worth a listen IMHO for discussion of serious naval topics such as the #ukrainewar plus some humour & movie chat thrown in there too - mentions for 'The Big Lebowski', 'Top Gun' & even the demise of Cdr James Bond.
#podcasts #Naval

In brighter news: Keeping our collective fingers crossed tonight for this beautiful film. It features archive footage from the RNLI communities of Scotland, an original score, 17 of my portraits and 2 of my audio recordings. Whether it wins an award or not, it’s a triumph! 🎞🏆🎞 https://twitter.com/launchonthesea/status/1523746984175501313

Cracking image of the Royal Netherlands Navy amphib/support vessel HNLMS Karel Doorman conducting a RAS with French Navy frigate FS Bretagne during NATO ASW exercise Dynamic Mongoose. Photo: NATO FRAN S.Dzioba. More pics in the August edition out July 15th http://bit.ly/wifrmag

My @WarshipsIFR Editor's pic of the day here, the #RoyalNavy destroyer @HMSDefender during #BALTOPS22 Photo: LPhot Lee Blease/Royal Navy. There are photos and a report from the latest BALTOPS in the forthcoming August edition, out July 15th http://bit.ly/wifrmag

Underestimating Russia's resilience and determination to achieve its security goals in the 1990s was perhaps understandable. Doing it again today would be inexcusable. https://warontherocks.com/2022/06/strange-debacle-misadventures-in-assessing-russian-military-power/