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

A Sept 20 extract from 'Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron'
@AgoraBooksLDN https://amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGHHX55/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=agorawebsite-21&linkId=dbae0f3975d7f84addd7bbe2575dceda&language=en_GB… #Arnhem76 #MarketGarden76 #WW2

@IBallantyn @RowlandWhite @RoyalNavy @NavalAirHistory And here's some visual tasters of the fascinating Q&A between @RowlandWhite about his new book #Harrier809 and other aspects of UK carrier aviation, plus cover of the edition and contents page - a lot packed in there! Available now http://bit.ly/wifrmag #navies #FlyNavy

SJMedia created this artwork for latest @WarshipsIFR of proposed HMS Lion, lead vessel in a class of #battleship for the @RoyalNavy #WW2 Illustrates a fascinating article by Simon Matthews. For full feature get the magazine hard copy edition or digital http://bit.ly/wifrmag

Units of @EUNAVFOR Operation IRINI boarding the Merchant Vessel (MV) Royal Diamond 7 due to suspected violation of the United Nations (UN) arms embargo on Libya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYr-luUlwg0 Also see story with video #navies #Libya #EUNAVFORMED #OpIRINI

‘A LANDING ZONE ON FIRE, WITH SHELLS & MORTAR BOMBS EXPLODING...ENEMY FIRE CRISS-CROSSING THE SKY...' 2nd lift of British 1st #Airborne Division, 18 Sept 1944 - an extract from 'Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron' @AgoraBooksLDN https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGHHX55/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=agorawebsite-21&linkId=dbae0f3975d7f84addd7bbe2575dceda&language=en_GB #Arnhem76 #MarketGarden76

@IBallantyn @ShippingMag @USNHistory Very droll response to @ShippingMag news item from the @WarshipsIFR Editor, though the partially grey livery of the Uber Boat and shape of it does somehow suggest a U-boat of the old kind...If you half close your eyes, that is! ;-)

It's the anniversary of the #britisharmy attempt to take Rhine bridges #WW2 - a story told from the #combat #soldiers POV in my 'Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron' @AgoraBooksLDN Here's a @HistoryExtra article from last year's 75th anniversary
https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/arnhem-battle-facts-ww2-history-film-bridge-too-far #Arnhem76

Oh hey! My @CFCombatCamFC imagery technician MS Dan Bard took the cover photo for the recent edition of @WarshipsIFR!! Way to go!! https://twitter.com/WarshipsIFR/status/1306150259756851200

New edition @WarshipsIFR hitting the water & cover features @RoyalCanNavy units on their way to the most recent @RimofthePacific - an image by Dan Bard of the RCN. Reports & pics on that inside + lot more besides. Available as hard copy or digital http://bit.ly/wifrmag #navies

Suspicion remains @BorisJohnson yr supposed revolutionary review an attempt to avoid reality more hard power (of sort being acquired by potential foes & allies) + A.I., cyber, drones & 'Space' needed @RoyalNavy already showing the way - don't wreck it https://www.warshipsifr.com/features/pmreviewputsukindeepperil/

There's lightweight drones UK Defence Secretary trumpeted aboard a patrol vessel & then there's big league stuff carried & launched by rather substantial submarines. That's what the UK needs to worry about - a few toys & lightly armed OPVs won't handle it https://www.warshipsifr.com/features/for-want-of-anti-submarine-frigates/

Very memorable times were had aboard HMS Ark Royal (Adriatic, 1994), HMS Illustrious (Arabian Sea, 2001) and HMS Invincible (Gulf, 1999)!

#zrmszeeleeuw ook weer bijna natte voeten en "ready for action". #DMI #werkenbijdefensie #koninklijkemarine #onderzeedienst 🐬🇳🇱

Some of the humblest people you could meet, infused with defiant courage & acute awareness they were lucky when others did not survive - the story of both #Airborne troops & civilians in the middle told in 'Arnhem' https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGHHX55/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=agorawebsite-21&linkId=dbae0f3975d7f84addd7bbe2575dceda&language=en_GB @AgoraBooksLDN #arnhem76 #History #WW2

@IBallantyn @RoyalNavy @orionbooks As this is an HMS Courageous news day here's 2 x @RoyalNavy images relating to preserved #SSN that have crossed pic editor's desk @WarshipsIFR First one shows #submarine departing Faslane during #coldwar & other her '10 years open to public' cake during a ceremony @HMNBDevonport

Here's the mag's last feature on preserved #SSN at heart of proposed #ColdWar museum in #Plymouth - from Oct '19 ed @WarshipsIFR One of several over the years about fantastic time capsule that is Courageous exhibit @HMNBDevonport Article on prop museum to be in November edition

Concern over the axe held over key @RoyalNavy capabilities grows & good to see at least one local MP standing up for a vital element of #UK #Defence + highlighting damage done already with past (unwise) cuts. Our take on all that is here http://bit.ly/wifrmag #navies #news https://twitter.com/IBallantyn/status/1303232590598598656

A piece in @moorlandernews - the #UK #defence review not exactly 'unveiled' more like possible cuts 'leaked' (as reported in story) https://themoorlander.co.uk/plymouth-mp-discusses-threat-to-devonports-frigates-as-government-defence-review-is-unveiled/- in it @LukePollard highlights existential threat to national security & @HMNBDevonport #news #navies #royalnavy #warships

Just one of the many missions the hard-working @HMSSutherland has been engaged in over the last few years. Frigates are jolly useful vessels @BorisJohnson as our weekend blog pointed out https://www.warshipsifr.com/features/for-want-of-anti-submarine-frigates/ A kid with a tiny drone or a mere OPV won't do up in the big league https://twitter.com/WarshipsIFR/status/1303017116396912642

@RoyalNavy anti-submarine #frigate HMS Sutherland, along with @RFAHeadquarters tanker RFA Tidespring & @USNavy destroyer USS Ross + @Sjoforsvaret frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl on freedom of navigation patrol in the #Arctic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUcAvYoVRuI #navies #ASW #warships