12 episodes

WARSHIPS POD aims to put a spotlight on the world’s navies and features warships past, present, and future. We’ll cover current defense issues alongside interviews and commentary on the Royal Navy, US Navy, and all other navies across the globe, as well as looking back at historical events.

This is the podcast for WARSHIPS International Fleet Review, a monthly magazine.

Warships Pod Warships Pod

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    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

WARSHIPS POD aims to put a spotlight on the world’s navies and features warships past, present, and future. We’ll cover current defense issues alongside interviews and commentary on the Royal Navy, US Navy, and all other navies across the globe, as well as looking back at historical events.

This is the podcast for WARSHIPS International Fleet Review, a monthly magazine.

    The Queen, the Royal Family & the Royal Navy

    The Queen, the Royal Family & the Royal Navy

    In this special episode, as the United Kingdom and the world says farewell to Her Majesty The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, host Iain Ballantyne talks to long-time WARSHIPS IFR contributor Richard Johnstone-Bryden.

    Richard is the author of several books that highlight the strong connection between the Royal Navy and The Queen. When writing ‘The Royal Yacht Britannia - The Official History,’ Richard worked under the close direction of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s late husband, and also interviewed members of the Royal Family.

    During the podcast, Iain and Richard consider links between the Royal Navy and the monarchy, especially via special connections to various notable vessels and events. In addition to discussing the role of the Royal Navy in the state funeral of Her Majesty in London, Iain and Richard talk about how the Royal Family will carry on its close relationship with the Navy, in which some of its members have at various times seen combat service.

    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine.
    For reports and features on global navies, including the naval side of events
    connected to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II get the November edition of
    WARSHIPS IFR, due out on 21.10.22. Check out the website http://bit.ly/wifrmag
    Also, follow the magazine on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook
    @WarshipsIFR

    • Among other books written by Richard Johnstone Bryden are: ‘Britain’s Greatest Warship - HMS Ark Royal (IV)’; ‘HMS Illustrious (V) 1982 – 2014’; ‘HMS Ocean (VI) 1998-2018’, ‘HMS Bulwark (VII) 2005-2017’, ‘HMS Prince of Wales (VI) 2019’, ‘HMS Belfast Cruiser 1939’; and ‘HMS Cavalier Destroyer 1944’. For more information on his work visit:
    https://www.richardjohnstone-bryden.co.uk

    • 29 min
    Ukraine Naval Blockade, War by Hunger & Top Gun: Maverick

    Ukraine Naval Blockade, War by Hunger & Top Gun: Maverick

    We have as our guest this time David Larter, a noted commentator on US Navy matters and also global naval developments.

    First up for discussion will be the naval side of Ukraine War, with David giving his perspective on the Russian blockade, plus growing realisation of the global impact of Ukrainian grain shipments being blocked.

    Podcast host Iain Ballantyne asks what can be done. Can it be broken by force? If so, who would do it? Iain and David discuss the ‘War by Hunger’ that is potentially about to inflict starvation on some of the world’s poorest countries.

    Their chat also touches on echoes of what happened when the British imposed a sea blockade on Germany in WW1 and were themselves victims of U-boat attacks against maritime trade. 

    The overall Russian strategy today - and how it is driven by President Vladimir Putin’s urge to ensure Russia is not cut off from the sea - along with his desire to emulate Tsar Peter the Great in establishing his nation as a great imperial power, is also a topic of discussion.

    Turning to other aspects of the Ukraine War at sea, and indeed the entire conflict, Iain suggests that the most important battle on land and sea is in fact for possession of Odessa… Iain asks if David agrees that, if the Ukrainians get cut off from the sea and lose Odessa, it is ‘game over’?

    The USA of course is deeply involved in leading the West’s effort on Ukraine, but it also has a world of troubles to look out for, not least the rise of an aggressive China. And so in the vanguard of all that is the US Navy, with Iain asking David: How mighty is the USN these days? Is it being pushed to its limits and beyond by the world of troubles?

    WARSHIPS POD likes to also touch on history and culture in addition to current naval topics and geopolitics, which sees the discussion segue to an ancient movie history artifact - namely ‘Top Gun’ and its sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’

    Spoiler alert for this section of the podcast!

    Iain and David reveal they have both seen it and so discuss their reactions to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. Does it fly or crash and burn? 

    • In addition to being a well-established Navy reporter David Larter is a US Navy veteran, - now working in the aerospace industry in Los Angeles, but who still engages on naval issues. His comment on the podcast are in a personal capacity as a navalist and not reflective of any organisation’s opinions. David can be found on Twitter @DavidLarter 

    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR Iain Ballantyne can be found on Twitter @IBallantyn 

    • 59 min
    The Naval Present and Future is no Piece of Cake

    The Naval Present and Future is no Piece of Cake

    Host Iain Ballantyne is joined by two of the UK’s big thinkers on naval strategy, namely Dr Gary Blackburn and Mark Grove, for a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion of hot topics.




    The subjects they tackle include who is winning the Ukraine War at sea, plus its implications for navies long and short term, not least a worrying lack of lethality in British warships and the mystifying absence of urgency in doing anything about it.




    The chat also looks at the lessons provided by the Falklands War of 1982 and how they remain ultra-relevant to today. 




    Whether or not the UK is maximising the potential of its new aircraft carriers is discussed. Are split priorities between maritime defence needs and the RAF’s land-based air aims undermining the carriers’ ability to act as a proper deterrent to Russian aggression? 




    Then there’s the matter of whether or not British politicians who are bogged down in Westminster Village squabbling - over the so-called cakegate, beergate and currygate scandals - are paying attention to threats like the long reach of Russia’s cruise missile-armed submarines. 




    The expanding fire power of the Chinese Navy is touched upon in the podcast too, while the discussion also weighs up where we are in the new Cold War - and asks if the West has the luxury of time to hang around in bolstering its defences.




    • Dr Gary Blackburn is an honorary fellow of the Centre for Security Studies at the University of Hull, which seeks to enhance understanding on the nature of war and strategy while also providing guidance on best practice in war and strategy to professional stakeholders. 

    Gary has taught Security Studies and Military History at the Universities of Leeds and Hull, respectively. He has written for ‘Defence Studies’ and ‘The Critic’, and for the latter about aspects of the UK’s 2021 Integrated Review of Defence and Security.

    He can be found on Twitter @gjb70




    • Mark Grove is Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies specialising in Maritime Strategy, Warfare, and Security at the University of Lincoln’s Maritime Studies Centre at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, where he has taught for 24 years, originally working directly for the Ministry of Defence. Mark has written on amphibious warfare, the naval history of the Second World War and the Falklands War. Over the last decade or more he has spent most of his research time examining the threats posed by the Russian and Chinese navies, on which he has provided briefings for several UK and NATO Headquarters and Government Departments. Mark is also on Twitter @MarkJGrove




    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine and the author of numerous naval history books. These include ‘Hunter Killers’ and ‘The Deadly Trade’, both of which include chapters on the Cold War, Falklands War and naval operations today. 




    • For more details on WARSHIPS IFR magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag  

    Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR

      

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Sinking of the Moskva & Ukraine War Impact

    Sinking of the Moskva & Ukraine War Impact

     
     
    Host Iain Ballantyne and guest Dr Robert Farley reconvene for another podcast chat, this time looking at the sinking of the Russian Navy cruiser Moskva. 
     
    In addition to unpicking the event - for example, was the Black Sea Fleet flagship hit by Ukrainian missiles, or was she destroyed by an accidental explosion? – They assess the incident’s impact on the Russian Navy’s campaign. 
     
    The discussion includes how the Moskva may have opened herself up to attack and other topics such as comparisons with missile attacks in the 1982 Falklands War on British warships and in the 1991 Gulf War against an American battleship off Kuwait damage control (or lack of it) aboard the Russian warship; the sheer shock to the system for a Russian Navy lacking experience in high-intensity warfare. 
     
    Also, did the Moskva go down carrying nuclear weapons, creating a ‘broken arrow’ incident?
     
    The arc of the wider conflict is considered. With the launch of the Kremlin’s bid to conquer the Donbas is the war nearing its end? Beyond the Black Sea is a major confrontation between the NATO and Russian naval forces shaping up, with the advent of a new Battle of the Atlantic? Aspects of naval history in the Black Sea are touched upon, including the strange (but true) stories of Tsarist battleships that became capital vessels of the Bolsheviks in 1917 before ending up in surprising places (and ownership).
     
    Also discussed is the human cost of the Moskva’s destruction and how the aftermath bears similarities to the tragic loss of the submarine Kursk more than 20 years ago, at the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s reign as Russian leader. 
     
    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR • In addition to teaching at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, Rob Farley writes extensively about an array of defense issues. They include airpower, sea power, and military innovation. He is a Senior Editor of ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’ and manager of the LGM podcast. He's available on Twitter at @drfarls

    • 50 min
    Ukraine, a New Cold War & Some Hot Battleships

    Ukraine, a New Cold War & Some Hot Battleships

    In this episode host, Iain Ballantyne talks to Dr Robert Farley, a long-time US-based contributor to WARSHIPS IFR magazine, who currently teaches at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky.


    They begin with a survey of the Russia-Ukraine War, looking at how the West has handled a major conflict in Europe both diplomatically and military, including aspects of the struggle at sea.


    Iain and Rob go on to discuss the following: the practicality of a NATO No-Fly Zone; how such a move could see a clash at sea between Russia and Ukraine; the Russian-imposed Black Sea blockade of Ukraine; the prevention of wheat shipments; a possible amphibious assault on Odessa by Moscow’s naval forces (and its viability).


    Among other things Iain and Rob talk about is how the West can best assist Ukraine if it is confronted with a long struggle. They also weigh up whether or not, beyond its current military blunders, the Kremlin has a long game. Might Vladimir Putin be playing ‘11th-dimensional chess’?


    In addition to touching on the continuing spectre of nuclear weapons use by Moscow, Iain and Rob discuss whether or not there are useful parallels between the 1982 Falklands War and today’s conflict in Ukraine. They also chat about the possibility of China invading Taiwan and whether Beijing would be able to achieve an element of surprise.


    In addition to considering where the US Navy stands today in terms of handling its global commitments - and its recent missteps in warship building programmes - the discourse includes how the Russia-China strategic partnership may or may not evolve.


    Adding a dash of naval history, Iain and Rob nominate some noteworthy battleships, namely Japan’s Kongo Class (Rob) and the UK’s Warspite and Rodney (Iain). Finally, Rob gives his view on how the new Cold War between East and West may evolve in years to come.


    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. 

    For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag


    Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR


    • In addition to teaching at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, Rob Farley writes extensively about an array of defence issues. They include airpower, sea power and military innovation. He is a Senior Editor of ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’ and manager of the LGM podcast. He's available on Twitter at @drfarls

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Ukraine War: Conflict at Sea & the Nuclear Spectre

    Ukraine War: Conflict at Sea & the Nuclear Spectre

    Host Iain Ballantyne and returning special guest James Bosbotinis, who has deep insight into Russia’s strike capabilities and strategy, in this episode discuss the naval side of the Ukraine conflict and attempt to clear away some of the fog of war.


    In a wide-ranging chat they look at how things have unfolded so far, with attention paid to the following aspects: the shape of the overall offensive on land and from the sea; missile-firings by Russian warships and submarines from the Black Sea against targets in Ukraine; the Snake Island episode in which Russian warships bombarded a Ukrainian garrison that showed heroic defiance; merchant vessels being hit by missiles; the likely amphibious assaults by Russian forces and a looming blockade of Ukrainian ports.


    Iain and James compare the scale of Russia’s land-attack missile firings to those by the US Navy and allies in previous wars. They also discuss the capacity of Russian missile-firing vessels compared to American warships. 


    Among the other topics covered are: the urgent need for European NATO nations to close the land-attack missile gap with Moscow’s naval strike forces; Russia’s ‘aircraft carriers’ in Syria and the Kaliningrad enclave; the thorny subject of the Turkish Straits

    and whether or not they should be closed to Russian warships.


    Iain and James also talk about the risk of tensions between the Kremlin and NATO escalating into the use of tactical nuclear weapons (or even other kinds of attacks). There are also reflections on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war plus today’s risk of a miscalculation at sea in the heat of the moment. 


    • Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. 

    For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag


    Twitter: @WarshipsIFR

    Iain Ballantyne on Twitter: @IBallantyn


    • For more information about Dr. James Bosbotinis visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesbosbotinis 

    Twitter: @JamesBosbotinis

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Justin from Albany ,

Just started listening and I love it

I stumbled upon this podcast recently and enjoyed the discussion by the hosts and their guest(s) and I’d recommend it. I’ve learned a lot about a topic that interests me. Looking forward to more episodes.

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