Prince Harry Says He Killed 25 Taliban Fighters in Afghanistan; Draws Flak for Saying 'They Were Chess Pieces'

The Duke of Sussex has made another bombshell revelation in his explosive autobiography Spare that he killed 25 people during his time fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"So my number is 25," Prince Harry said but quickly added that it doesn't fill him with satisfaction. "But nor does it embarrass me."

Harry writes that in the era of Apaches and laptops he was able to say with exactness how many enemy combatants he had killed. "And it seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number," he said.

Prince Harry

"When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn't think of those 25 as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board. Bad people eliminated before they could kill good people."

Prince Harry served with the British army and had two deployments to Afghanistan. He flew on six missions during the second deployment from 2012-13 that resulted in deaths for the Taliban.

Inappropriate to Disclose Kill Count

Harry's revelations have moved heads and speared criticism his way. Adam Holloway, a former army officer and British MP, believes it's inappropriate to publicize the kill count. He has never heard, in his interactions with professional soldiers, anybody talk publicly about how many people they have killed. "They just don't think it is appropriate to publicize the kill count, never mind whether it is satisfying or embarrassing to them or whatever. It's not about macho codes. It's about decency and respect of the lives you have taken," Holloway said. "Even if Harry did feel some righteousness in fighting, that's still no reason to publicize his kills."

The British MP pointed out that Harry is exhibiting the precise opposite of what his grandmother exemplified – dignity, restraint, and an ability to not parade his emotions.

Not Chess Pieces

Colonel Richard Kemp, who took command of forces in Kabul in 2003, has taken offense to Harry suggesting that Taliban insurgents were seen by the army as "sub-human and just as chess pieces to be knocked over". He believes its wrong when the Prince says that insurgents were seen just as being virtually inhuman – subhuman perhaps, just as chess pieces to be knocked over.

Prince Harry's new book
Prince Harry's new book Twitter

"That's not the case at all. That's not the way the British Army trains people as he claims. I think that sort of comment that doesn't reflect reality is misleading and potentially valuable to those people who wish the British forces and British government harm, so I think it was an error of judgement."

Moreover, the colonel said Harry should be proud of his "kill number" due to the effective impact it would have had on the campaign, his courage in action and for the way he has championed wounded soldiers. But Kemp also feels that this revelation could worsen the Duke's security problems and provoke people who sympathize with the Taliban to take revenge.