Major Award for a Life Reporting, Writing & in Publishing all the Naval News (& history) that’s fit (& exciting enough) to Print

Iain Ballantyne was given the Maritime Fellowship at the UK’s Maritime Media Awards 2017. The full story here…

Artwork used with the Maritime Foundation’s tweet about the award made to Iain Ballantyne, featuring the cover of his true-life tale of Cold War submarines and submariners.

Tribute from Cold War Warriors

During an event at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum (RNSM) in 2014 I was presented with a Patronage Award, for my ‘affiliation, writing and promoting of all things HMS Warspite above and below water for many years’.

This has been primarily through the books ‘Warspite’ (about both WW1 and WW2 battleship of the name and the submarine) and ‘Hunter Killers’ (which tells the story of Royal Navy submarines and submariners in the Cold War, not least Warspite). The Warspite in all her forms has also been among the vessels that have featured in ‘WARSHIPS International Fleet Review’ magazine over the years.

The accolade came during a well-attended HMS Warspite/Buddies in Boats reunion. To be honoured in that way by the guys who were out there on the front line in the Cold War under means a huge amount to me.

Others who received an award at the RNSM event were: Rear Admiral David Cooke, Simone Rae, Steve Roberts, Steve Dean, Steve Thompson, Roger Jones and Mark Morris.

Event organizer Mike King felt the awards were a means to recognise the efforts of submariners deserving of recognition but whose professional careers had by their very nature required them to remain covert.

Mike’s son Jordan, a TV production student, provided a multimedia show that enhanced the evening, including footage of Warspite veterans recounting the highlights of their careers.

‘Killing the Bismarck’

In 2010 I received a ‘Certificate of Merit’ from Countess Mountbatten of Burma, the President of the Maritime Foundation, during a glittering awards dinner held in the spectacular Nash Room of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Pall Mall, London.

As she presented me with the award Countess Mountbatten remarked that her late husband, Lord Brabourne, had produced the 1960s movie ‘Sink the Bismarck’. I told her that I had seen it as a lad and revisited ‘Sink the Bismarck!’ while researching my book.

A distinguished panel of judges paid fulsome tribute to my effort, their citation describing ‘Killing the Bismarck’ as ‘a book of intense drama, compiled with painstaking accuracy and vividly portrayed through the meticulous accumulation of first hand witness accounts.’

The ‘Mountbatten Maritime Award for best literary contribution Certificate of Merit’, to give the award its full title, also said ‘Killing the Bismarck’ is ‘authoritative and compelling description of the Bismarck’s last days, and how the loss of HMS Hood influenced the national mood, turning the pursuit and destruction of the Nazi battleship into a battle for survival.’

The recently published paperback edition, with some very slight tweaks to the original text, a section of new eyewitness material and better use of maps is even better. So, if you are going to buy an edition of ‘Killing the Bismarck’ that is the one to go for.

For Work Over the Course of my Career

In 2007 I received a Special Recognition Award from the British Maritime Charitable Foundation (BMCF) for ‘consistent and unwavering contribution to raising maritime awareness over the years.’