What was Chris Kyle's longest sniper shot?
AMERICA'S deadliest sniper, Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle, had at least 160 confirmed kills in Iraq by the Pentagon’s official count.
But before he was fatally shot on a Texas gun range, the war hero said he was more interested in the people he'd saved – "that’s the number I’d care about".
What was Chris Kyle's longest sniper shot?
Chris Kyle was such a skilled marksman that he killed an enemy fighter 1.2 miles – 21 football fields – away with a single shot.
The hero's longest sniper shot was fired while he protected an approaching US Army convoy in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, Iraq, in 2008.
He described the killing in his book, American Sniper.
Kyle said that he was on a house's second floor, scanning the village with his rifle scope.
He spotted a man on a roof, who initially didn't appear to be carrying a weapon – but hours later, a further check revealed the insurgent was clutching a possible RPG (rocket-propelled grenade).
With his 'boys' approaching, Kyle aimed and killed him with his McMillan TAC-338 sniper rifle from about 2,100 yards (1.2 miles) away.
It was the world’s eighth-longest confirmed kill shot by a sniper, reports D Magazine.
Kyle later downplayed the long-range kill as a “really, really lucky shot".
The McMillan TAC-338 is a specialized sniper rifle made to "exact" specifications with long range lethality and precision in mind, explains Military Factory.
D Mag says that, "while on the sniper rifle, Kyle had to do complicated math, accounting for wind speed, the spin of a bullet, and the curvature and rotation of the Earth.
"And he had to do it quickly, under the most intense pressure imaginable. Those were the moments when he thrived."
In an interview with the defence publication, Kyle said he didn't regret any of his kills in the field.
He was officially responsible for 160 kills during his career as US Navy SEAL sniper, according to the Pentagon.
But it's likely the number was far higher, as he had 255 claimed kills – where a shot hits the target, but a fatality cannot be confirm during battle.
Kyle was dubbed 'Al-Shaitan Ramad' or “the Devil of Ramadi" by the insurgents as a result of his lethal skills.
When asked whether he regretted fatally shooting men and women, he told D Magazine: “I regret the people I couldn’t kill before they got to my boys.
“You don’t think of the people you kill as people. They’re just targets.
"The things they would do – beheadings, dragging Americans through the streets alive, the things they would do to little boys and women just to keep them terrified and quiet… That part is easy. I definitely don’t have any regrets about that.”
How accurate is American Sniper?
Texas hardman Chris Kyle became a household name after his autobiography, American Sniper, was adapted into a movie by Clint Eastwood, starring Bradley Cooper.
Regarded as one of the most lethal snipers in US military history, Kyle served four tours in Iraq before he was killed by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh at a Texas shooting range.
American Sniper was about his military service from 1999 to 2009.
His sole mission in Iraq was to protect his fellow servicemen – his 'boys' who hailed him as "The Legend" for saving countless lives.
American Sniper, his brutal and graphic book about his life became a
bestseller in 2012 and the film was optioned shortly afterwards.
But by then Kyle had become a controversial figure.
He was accused by some in the US of being anti-Muslim and of giving his country a bad name through the red crusaders’ cross he had tattooed on his arm.
American Sniper, the movie, whipped up a fierce backlash.
After blasting box office records and being up for six Oscars, left-wingers tried to torpedo Sniper’s gong hunt at the Academy Awards.
They started a row based on Kyle himself, arguing that his actions were not those of a hero, but a trigger-happy coward, reported The Sun on Sunday in 2015.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore appeared to lash out against it on
Twitter when he wrote: “My uncle killed by a sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”
Former CNN host and anti-Iraq war campaigner Piers Morgan, however,
defended the man behind the movie, saying: “Chris Kyle, American Sniper, was NOT a coward.
“He repeatedly risked his life serving his country in some of the most
dangerous terrain on earth. And by doing his job so well, better than anyone in his country’s history, he saved many American lives.”
Also, questions were raised about the true number of medals he'd been given for his military success.
In 2016, the Associated Press reported that documents showed the number of medals slain Kyle received for his military service was different from what he indicated in his best-selling memoir.
Navy documents show Kyle earned one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with valor, instead of the two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars his book says he received.
The Silver Star is the third-highest military combat decoration. The Bronze Star is awarded to members of the Armed Forces for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.
Lt. Jackie Pau, a Navy spokeswoman, told the AP that Kyle’s military personnel file stated he received one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with valor.
But Kyle’s discharge paperwork, known as a DD214 form, showed he had received two Silver Stars and at least five Bronze Stars, which is what he wrote in his book.
"Although the information on the DD214 should match the official records, the process involves people and inevitably some errors may occur," admitted Pau.
It wasn’t the first time something in Kyle’s book was questioned.
Jurors in 2014 awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3million for unjust enrichment in a trial over a passage in Kyle’s book that Ventura claimed was a complete fabrication.
Kyle described punching out a man, later identified as Ventura, whom he said made offensive remarks about Navy SEALs.
Ventura, a former Underwater Demolition Teams/SEAL member, testified he never made the comments and the altercation never happened.
He said the book ruined his reputation in the SEAL community.
The verdict was appealed. But in 2017, Ventura confirmed the defamation case had been settled.
Navy Times reported back then that neither he nor his lawyer would say whether the money came from publisher HarperCollins or its insurance company.
But Ventura said it didn’t come from Kyle’s widow or his estate, and that he didn’t get an apology.
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