3 different accounts of the theory that a US sub may have sunk the Kursk and the Kursk sinking.
- For more details on this topic, see Russian submarine Kursk explosion.
The Kursk sailed out to sea to perform an exercise of firing dummy torpedoes at the Pyotr Velikiy, a Kirov class battlecruiser. On August 12, 2000 at 11:28 local time (07:28 UTC), the torpedoes were fired, but soon after there was an explosion on the Kursk. The only credible report to date is that this was due to the failure and explosion of one of the Kursk's new torpedoes. The chemical explosion detonated with the force of 100-250 kg of TNT and registered 2.2 on the Richter scale. The submarine sank to a depth of 108 metres (350 ft), about 135km (85 miles) from Severomorsk, at . A second explosion 135 seconds after the initial event measured between 3.5 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, equivalent to 3-7 tons of TNT. One of those explosions blew large pieces of debris back through the submarine.
But this other article in Wikipedia gives a very different treatment:
USS Memphis and USS Toledo
After Kursk sank, the wargames were canceled, and two American Los Angeles-class submarines — Memphis and Toledo — put in at European ports. These two vessels, plus the Royal Naval submarine HMS Splendid, were monitoring the activities of the war games. Some have speculated that a collision with the Toledo, which was closely shadowing the Kursk, may have led to the disaster (see below).
 Emergency batteries
Another theory for the first explosion was that one of the emergency batteries exploded. At the time it wasn't uncommon for batteries to explode due to battery leakage. The batteries, which act as a back-up power source if the reactors are shut off, are similar to a car battery in that they charge up during use, produce hydrogen, and if they leak they could possibly cause an explosion. Most people reject this theory because the torpedo tube showed signs of being blown off first.
 Film: Kursk: a Submarine in Troubled Waters
French filmmaker Jean-Michel Carré, in Kursk: a Submarine in Troubled Waters, which aired on 7 January 2005 on French TV channel France 2, alleged that Kursk sank because of a sequence of events triggered by a collision with the US submarine USS Toledo. According to Carré, Kursk was performing tests of a new torpedo called Shkval and the tests were being observed by two US submarines on duty in the region, USS Toledo and USS Memphis.
At some point, the film portrays Kursk and the Toledo as having collided, damaging the former (video footage shows long gashes carved in the side of Kursk) and, in order to prevent Kursk firing upon Toledo (allegedly presaged by the audible opening of Kursk's torpedo tubes), Memphis fired a Mark 48 torpedo at the Russian submarine. It is claimed that Kursk was opening its torpedo tubes in order to launch the Shkval in accordance with the exercise, however if the torpedo had been launched at the Toledo the US Submarine would not have been able to avoid the attack. According to this story, the US torpedo would have hit an old type Russian torpedo on Kursk which did not explode until later, but when the explosion did occur it seriously damaged Kursk. Carré claims that Russian president Vladimir Putin deliberately concealed the truth about what happened and let the crew members die in order to not strain relations with the US Government. The New York Times later revealed that Memphis had in fact been observing Kursk during the torpedo tests.
Another incident purportedly supporting the veracity of this story is that Toledo arrived at the Håkonsvern Naval Station in Bergen, Norway, where — per standard practice — no non-Americans were allowed to inspect the submarine in its dock. Another circumstance purporting to confirm the story and its coverup is that the USA freed Russia from payment responsibility for a substantial monetary loan and even gave Russia permission to take out another loan. In addition, although the submarine was later raised by a Dutch salvage company, the damaged front section was cut off and left on the seabed. Despite this apparent secrecy, video footage of the raised submarine showed what appeared to be concave impact damage. The documentary claims this to be typical indication of U.S. MK-48 torpedoes. Today, the salvaged portions of Kursk have been melted down and recycled.
Some Western submarine experts point out that there are a number of flaws with the theory regarding a collision scenario:
- A Russian Oscar II class submarine has more than twice the submerged displacement (physical mass) of a Los Angeles-class submarine, and a considerably thicker hull; it is therefore not credible from a fundamental physics perspective that Kursk would have sustained far worse damage in such a collision.
- U.S. peacetime rules of engagement (ROE) would not in any way have permitted a U.S. submarine to fire upon Kursk without first being fired upon, and no credible argument has been made by anyone for that scenario.
- The idea that a U.S. torpedo would be capable of 'hitting' an on-board Russian torpedo — which only later detonated—is extremely improbable; torpedoes function by getting very close to their target and then detonating their massive warheads, crushing the target with the force of the explosion. No weapon in any nation's submarine force makes a small hole like the claimed entry hole; lightweight shaped-charge torpedoes, like the U.S. Mark 50 or the Royal Navy Stingray torpedo, are theoretically capable of punching a relatively small, fatal hole in a submarine's pressure hull, but these are carried and launchable only from surface vessels or aircraft.
here as the USS Toledo Wikipedia site is rather negative
Kursk conspiracy theory
Conspiracy theorists claim that the Russian submarine, Kursk which sunk in Barents Strait of the Barents Sea was accidentally crashed into by the USS Toledo and possibly torpedoed by the USS Memphis which were claimed to be spying on Kursk which was conducting weapon practice in the region. Conspiracy theorists support their thesis by the two circular holes on Kursk's wreck (claimed to be the proof Kursk being torpedoed by a submarine) and USS Toledo's being sent to Norway for repairs on 15th of August, 3 days after the incident.
Although there were officially declared Norwegian and American submarines in the region USS Toledo wasn't among them and it is quite peculiar for a nuclear submarine like USS Toledo to be sent for repairs three days after the incident took place. Nuclear submarines are known for their endurance and durability. Despite what theorists believe, the Russian government's stated official cause for the Russian submarine Kursk explosion was due to a torpedo detonation.W
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