Prince Harry’s Spare: Full Taliban kill count extract revealed

Comments made by Prince Harry in his controversial tell-all, Spare, regarding his Taliban “kill count” in Afghanistan, caused outrage.

The contents of Prince Harry’s book were kept tightly under wraps until it accidentally went on sale in Spain days before its official release date.

A number of figures spoke up to condemn the sharing of these detail, with a senior Taliban leader saying: “The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return.

“Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes.”

The leaks also included claims that the Prince was physically attacked by his older brother and heir to the British throne, Prince William, during a disagreement.

With the full extract now available, what did Prince Harry say about his Taliban “kill count” in Spare?

What did Harry say about his Taliban ‘kill count’ in Spare?

Glasgow Times: PA - What Prince Harry said about his Kill count revealedPA – What Prince Harry said about his Kill count revealed (Image: PA)

In his memoir, the Duke of Sussex said that he was able to keep count of how many Taliban fighters he had killed while riding on apache helicopters.

He said: “Most soldiers can’t tell you precisely how much death is on their ledger.

“In battle conditions, there’s often a great deal of indiscriminate firing. But in the age of Apaches and laptops, everything I did in the course of two combat tours was recorded, time-stamped.

“I could always say precisely how many enemy combatants I’d killed. And I felt it vital never to shy away from that number.”

Adding: “So, my number: Twenty-five. It wasn’t a number that gave me any satisfaction.

“But neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed. Naturally, I’d have preferred not to have that number on my military CV.”

The section which caused the most controversy included one part where he described Taliban fighters in Afghanistan as “chess pieces” being “removed” from the board.

Glasgow Times: PA - Harry described fighters as chess piecesPA – Harry described fighters as chess pieces (Image: PA)

He said: “You can’t kill people if you think of them as people.

“You can’t really harm people if you think of them as people.

“They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bads taken away before they could kill Goods. I’d been trained to “other-ize” them, trained well.”

The Prince also talked about his experience watching the Twin Towers fall in 2001 and how this may have affected his outlook when on active duty, saying: “September 11 was vile, indelible, and all those responsible, along with their sympathizers and enablers, their allies and successors, were not just our enemies, but enemies of humanity.”

Harry went on to talk about one instance in which he and other soldiers were called to help Gurkhas who were pinned down by fighters.

He said that a breakdown of communication meant that they could not be helped and that this still “haunts” him.

In a previous part of the extract, he remembers another instance when he and his fellow soldiers were unable to help people because of the “bureaucracy of war,” adding that “we were no different from soldiers in every war. We wanted to fight.”


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