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

Our new website is now live! Owner Lisa-Marie had been hard at it!


Amazing photochrom image of Impregnable as a training ship in Devonport, c. 1890-1900 from @librarycongress Gives a great sense of Plymouth's maritime heritage

It's #NationalHotDogDay! When USS Thomas S. Gates and USS Kauffman became the 1st U.S. ships to visit Sevastopol in 1989, they treated the Soviets to hot dogs and Pepsi. Pepsi was so popular with Soviets that the USSR once paid for it with surplus subs: https://t.co/akz67Sg7oY

There she blows! Cover of new @WarshipsIFR (Aug edition) which is now out. Star is Royal Swedish Navy @Forsvarsmakten Visby Class corvette HSwMS Karlstad. Superb photo by Michael Nitz. Inset: Rafale M landing on @MarineNationale carrier CdG. Pic Joris van Boven. @CMoreSales

Moon landing footage would have been impossible to fake. Here's why: https://t.co/5n6T2PKIWn #Apollo50

@IBallantyn @ManfromMosman @RoyalNavy @USNavy Talking of the potential mine threat in the Gulf and how to handle it - here's shot from last week of @USNavy mine warfare vessels on ex in Arabian Gulf + pic of a USN Sea Dragon MCM 'copter landing aboard UK's @RFACardiganBay - earlier ex in same part of the world. Images: USN.

#NATO ships wrap up Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise #DynamicMongoose in the North Atlantic. Read more here: https://t.co/LuZs5hqFW6

And here's something with 'Admiral Woody' fleetingly seen as Nimitz, who we are sure needed the occasional 'tot' off duty and while not aboard ship (as USN vessels are 'dry') https://t.co/rLd2W8juVO https://t.co/KSyJb52p50

And here's something with 'Admiral Woody' fleetingly seen as Nimitz, who we are sure needed the occasional 'tot' off duty and while not aboard ship (as USN vessels are 'dry') https://t.co/rLd2W8juVO

Today we performed the largest Australian-led amphibious landing & offensive assault since #WorldWarII.

Soldiers from Australia, US, UK, Japan, and NZ secured Langham Beach in Stanage Bay, North Queensland.

#TalismanSabre #TS19 #YourADF #USForces #Force4NZ #USMC #RoyalMarines

@GreyFunnelLine Destroyed? Doubtful. Damaged certainly

Don’t forget to check out our back catalogue. Today I bring you @sovietsub who owns a Soviet Sub moored on a river in the UK. Listen here https://t.co/mTbvdQxVam @KingNeptune767 @Capt_Navy @SalfordUni_PCH @HackGreenBunker @sovietvisuals

So #OTD 50 years ago one of these bad boys left earth 🌏 to land men on the moon for the first time. Still astonishing #Apollo50

No nuke subs, no ballistic missile subs, no real drone fleet, no carriers, 3 Kilos, 18,000 manpower, no real training or proficiencies.

I would give them 25th on a good day. https://t.co/uTOWPAHlnJ

I would give it about 200 ft before it went out of control and dove into the dirt lol https://t.co/OFQhlu8mkH

On 15 July 1958, HMS Stickleback (X-51) was sold to Sweden as 'Spiggen'. Here seen in Swedish service in 1958.
Museum ship at Scottish Submarine Centre, Helensburgh, Scotland

HMS Montrose steaming in the Gulf today - seen from her Wildcat helicopter

Via @steven_gill

'NATO’S SELECTIVE SEA BLINDNESS' Assessing the Alliance’s New Navies
by Thomas-Durell Young.

#Losharik Submersible Disaster Handicaps Russian Naval Operations

Echoes of situation in 1990/91 when media talked up Iraq's huge army prior to Desert Storm. Reality in detail & size ain't everything. Nobody with serious knowledge of naval 'power' would talk up Tehran's fleet like this. Its strength is in staying nimble with a mosquito fleet. https://t.co/2kHG2s9nDW