Although war patrol reports provide a staple source for histories of U.S. submarine operations during the Second World War, their reliability is open to question and they should be read critically. The "fog of war" often produced exaggerated claims about ships sunk. Submarine commanders in rare cases fabricated parts of reports, and frequently made deliberate omissions for security reasons or to avoid censure. To an extent, war patrol reports should be treated as literary productions. Because the reports passed up the chain of command and circulated widely among submariners, strong incentives ensured that they reflected well on personnel and provided a readable and sometimes entertaining narrative
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