Prince Harry in Afghanistan: what did Duke of Sussex say about being in combat in new book - did he kill 25 people?

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The Duke of Sussex has reportedly made startling revelations about his time served in Afghanistan in his memoir, Spare

Prince Harry has claimed in his memoir spare, that he flew on six missions in Afghanistan that resulted in “the taking of human lives”.

The Duke of Sussex reportedly made the revelation in his memoir Spare, which was accidentally released early in Spain.

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Prince Harry served in the army for 10 years, undertaking two tours in Afghanistan from 2007-2008 and 2012-2013.

Former senior British military advisor Major General Chip Chapman has accused the Prince of breaking four military values, calling his memoir “crassly and naively stupid” as well as “disloyal”. Whilst during an interview on Sky News, former British Army Officer, Colonel Richard Kemp called the revelation “ill-judged”.

So, what has Prince Harry said about his time in Afghanistan? Here’s what we know so far.

When did Prince Harry serve in Afghanistan?

Prince Harry served in the army for ten years, during that time he went on two tours in Afghanistan. He first went to war in 2007, when he took part in a 10-week tour as an air controller calling in airstrikes in the dangerous Helmand Province. His time was cut short however, when international media leaked the news of his secret mission online.

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Prince Harry at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in January 2013 (Photo: Getty Images)Prince Harry at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in January 2013 (Photo: Getty Images)
Prince Harry at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in January 2013 (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Duke of Sussex returned to Afghanistan in 2012 after he retrained and qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot. This time he served 20 weeks at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan with the Army Air Corps where he went on missions as a co-pilot gunner.

What has he said about Afghanistan in his new book?

Reported by The Telegraph, Prince Harry reveals in his memoir, Spare, that he flew on six missions in Afghanistan that lead to “the taking of human lives”. He goes on to describe watching videos of each “kill” from the nose-mounted video camera on his Apache helicopter after he returned to base.

Harry revealed that he saw the insurgents he killed as “baddies” explaining it is not possible to kill someone “if you see them as a person”, and that the Army had “trained me to ‘other’ them and they had trained me well”.

The Prince said: “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.”

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He went on to reveal how many people he had killed, explaining “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.”

Will Prince Harry face disciplinary action?

The Prince has reportedly broken “at least four values” of military code of conduct according to former senior British military advisor Major General Chip Chapman. Reported by Yahoo News, Chapman called his memoir “crassly and naively stupid” as well as “disloyal”, warning that it opened him up to “every jihadist and nutcase out there”.

Speaking to Times Radio, Major General Chapman said: “We have a code of conduct. It’s the values and standards of the military and he’s broken at least four of those values that include respect for others, integrity, loyalty, and selfless commitment.

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“You can’t be any more disloyal, either both to the Crown and the Crown being a member of your family, so from both of those perspectives it’s not really good.”

He added: “It’s crassly and naively stupid from Harry, his publishers and his ghost writer.”

Speaking on Sky News, former British Army Officer, Colonel Richard Kemp called the revelation “ill-judged”, adding it will have “re-incited, I think, those people who wish him harm as a result of his military service”.

Colonel Kemp said: “So that was 10 years ago now, and the memories might have faded – well now they have been resurrected and there will be people out there who maybe support the Taliban, support their agenda, who will now be motivated, I think, to kill Harry.”

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When is Spare coming out?

Prince Harry’s new memoir, called Spare, will be coming out in the UK on Tuesday 10 January.

The book was described as a “moving personal journey from trauma to healing” in a press release by Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. The title reflects on the Royal tradition that the first son is the heir, with the second being the spare.

It was accidentally released early in Spain, fuelling many of the latest extracts being shared in the press.

In response to a request from NationalWorld, a Ministry of Defence spokesperson declined to comment

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