With the Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper becoming massively successful at the box office, it has been revealed that the world’s most deadly sniper is in fact a British marine.
The Briton is understood to have 173 confirmed kills as a sniper. These kills were accumulated during his tours of Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, the sniper is also said to have served during the invasion of Iraq. The report states however that most of the killing took place in Afghanistan with some reports even suggesting that he may have killed as many as 90 Taliban fighters in a single day.
The reported total puts the unnamed marine, who is believed to live in the southern part of England with his wife, ahead of the “American Sniper” Chris Kyle. Chris Kyle, the subject of the movie and the man who also wrote a book of the same name, had 160 confirmed kills during his 4 tours of duty in Iraq.
Some military sources are suggesting that the 173 confirmed kills is a “conservative” estimate of the number of kills the marine caused. These same people also state that the total may well be higher considering that not all of the kills could be confirmed and that the “unconfirmed kills” may move his total to a significantly higher number.
The sniper, who wishes to remain anonymous, is understood to have served in the Royal Navy’s elite unit for more than a decade. A source told the newspaper that, “He is not interested in scores or kill counts,” and would continue to say, “he took no satisfaction in the job he had to do. Because he saw the enemy as humans, he has not struggled emotionally or psychologically with what has happened.”
The statement concluded by suggesting that the marine was not interested in accolades or fame saying, “He had a unique job at a unique time. He must be the most lethal sniper in the world. But that is not a title he would seek out or revel in.”
American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper, and has over its first three weekends made £166m ($249m) and has been nominated for six Oscars. The film is not without controversy though. American Sniper portrays Kyle as a remorseful and tortured soul and yet Kyle himself felt he was doing a service to his American brethren.
Kyle reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. He was even quoted as saying, “I hate the damn savages.” He would also continue to say, “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.
That raises the question about films in general however, does being factually correct matter? Gladiator wasn’t, Braveheart certainly wasn’t and yet American Sniper is being taken to task for its inaccuracies. My advice would be to see the movie, if it can be viewed as just that then you will enjoy it. If you cannot separate the politics from the film then you will find it difficult to appreciate; and yet you should still see it.