The Duke has told of his time during military service in his new book (Picture: Getty)
Prince Harry has revealed that he killed 25 people during his time in the army during his second tour of Afghanistan.
The Duke of Sussex said in his role as an Apache helicopter pilot, that he flew on six missions that resulted in ‘the taking of human lives’, something of which he is neither proud nor ashamed.
He has disclosed the information in his memoir ‘Spare’ which is due for publication next week, however, copies of the book have already gone on sale in Spain.
The Telegraph also reports that Harry suffered from trench foot during the war.
He says that in the heat of combat he did not think of the 25 as ‘people’ but instead as ‘chess pieces’ that had been taken off the board.
It is the first time the Prince, 38, has discussed the number of Taliban fighters he personally killed during his military service.
Harry served on two tours of Afghanistan (Picture: PA Archive/PA Images)
His memoirs have already been released in Spain (Picture: REUTERS)
The Prince said he shot and killed 25 people during his second tour (Picture: PA)
The Prince has long been regarded as a terrorist target not only because of his royal status but also because of his two deployments to Afghanistan, which have made him a target for Islamist terrorist organisations.
Writing about his time in Afghanistan, the Prince describes watching video of each ‘kill’ when he returned to base, as a nose-mounted video camera on his Apache helicopter recorded each mission in full.
He says that in the ‘din and confusion of combat’ he saw the insurgents he killed as ‘baddies eliminated before they could kill goodies’.
It is not possible to kill someone ‘if you see them as a person’, he says, but the Army had ‘trained me to ‘other’ them and they had trained me well.’
He adds that: ‘I made it my purpose, from day one, to never go to bed with any doubt whether I had done the right thing…whether I had shot at Taliban and only Taliban, without civilians in the vicinity. I wanted to return to Great Britain with all my limbs, but more than that I wanted to get home with my conscience intact.’
He said he saw the men as ‘baddies’ (Picture: PA Archive/PA Images)
He served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot and Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps for a year (Picture: PA)
Harry on tour in 2008 (Picture: WireImage)
He says that in war soldiers do not usually know how many enemies they have killed, but ‘in the era of Apaches and laptops’ he was able to say ‘with exactness how many enemy combatants I had killed. And it seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number.
‘So my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me.’
Part of his reason for feeling no guilt about taking lives, he says, is that he never forgot being in the TV room at Eton, watching news coverage of the 9/11 attacks on New York, and later meeting the families of victims of the attacks on visits to America.
He describes those responsible for the attacks, and their sympathisers, as ‘enemies of humanity’, and says that fighting them was an act of vengeance for one of the worst crimes in human history.
He writes that the only shots he thought twice about were the ones he had not taken, and in particular being unable to help his Gurkha ‘brothers’ on an occasion when they were under fire from the Taliban and a communications failure meant he was not able to help them.
He complains about military bureaucracy, detailing an occasion when he witnessed around 30 Taliban blow up a lorry and was denied permission to fire on the enemy.
Writing about his military training, the Prince reveals that he suffered from trench foot during an exercise in Wales when he slept in the open and was caught in a downpour.
‘I noticed that my feet were burning’, he writes. ‘I sat on the floor, took off my right boot and sock and saw that the sole of my foot was raw.’
Another soldier told him he would not be able to carry on, and he went to a medical station where he was told he would have to pull out of the march, which left him ‘dejected, although I’ll admit also relieved’.
His sergeant, however, told him he should push on, so he taped up his feet and took ‘among the most difficult steps I have ever taken on this planet’ to get to the finish.
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