I have been doing some work on SMS Emden and her action against HMAS Sydney on November 9, 1914 near the Cocos-Keeling Islands.
I was reading John Walter's book The Kaiser's Pirates and came across a reference that some of Emden's best gunlayers were ashore with the landing party and therefore did not partake in the action (p. 83). This I thought was interesting especially later in the book when Walter quotes a description of rounds impacting on Sydney but not exploding, Walter says "Sydney had been a most fortunate beneficiary of some inaccurate fuse setting aboard Emden."
My question is exactly how are German 15cm SK's fused? Isn't simply a choice between base fused designed for AP and Nose fused designed for bursting on impact? So how do you inaccurately fuse one of these? If anything it sounds like the wrong shell was used and not inaccurately fused.
Does anyone have an idea on this?