In the village Nieuwe Schans, just west of the German border, the first act of war in Groningen would be seen. The traffic and railroad-bridge at this location was guarded by a platoon that had two light machinegun casemates available on the western landhead. One stick had been positioned at the railway bridge a few hundred metres away from the traffic-bridge. At 0300 [55 minutes before X-hour] suddenly the roaring sound of airplanes was heard, soon followed after by gun shots of an armoured train that suddenly appeared in front of the Dutch position. The bridge had been turned open, but the Germans unloaded an infantry squad that overwhelmed the ten defenders and turned the bridge down. The traffic bridge was blown up in time, but soon after this event the defenders had to surrender. The German train was able to proceed to the west after this short delay. Some skirmishes with small Dutch units followed, but in no time the Germans had managed to work themseles to the front of the Q-line.
At Nieuwolda an infantry platoon, backed up by two mortars, defended the bridge. Two light machinegun casemates had been constructed on both sides of the bridge. Only at 0815 hrs the German units showed up. The Dutch managed to destroy the bridge and take position in their casemates and trenches. The combined fire of mortars and machineguns forced the Germans to carefully plan any offensive action. They decided to cross the water a little to the north where they would be out of gun-sight. The Dutch immediately realised that retreat to the west was the only feasible option left, and after 3 hours of fighting most of the men and the mortar section succeeded to avoid captivity. Some defenders had been wounded or killed, and some others made prisoner. The small bridge had been repaired by German engineers at around 1130 hours.
At Woltersum - some seven km to the west - the Germans again lost time when some small Dutch formations engaged them in a number of fire-fights around the bridge over the canal. The many local fights resulted in so much delay that when the northern German force reached Adorp (north of the city of Groningen) in the evening, they decided to make camp there and proceed the next day.
In the city of Delfzijl, on the south-shore of the Dollard [water in direct connection with the Waddenzee], a modest Dutch detachment had been stationed. A battery of four old 84 mm guns had been stationed at the harbour side to prevent German landings. The northern [Emden] and eastern shores of the Dollard were German territory [province Ost-Friesland]. The Germans did however not launch an attack from the east [over land] to the city, and as such the German penetration of the Q-line forced the occupation of Delfzijl to retreat. Just as they did so - leaving behind the four guns due to lack of transport facilities - four small German navy ships approached. The Dutch decided that this was no match to them and increased the speed of their retreat.
The German armoured train had proceeded westwards after the first obstacle at Nieuwe Schans had been successfully negotiated. But some clicks to the west another railway bridge had been constructed thoroughly. It would take the Germans many hours to repair this construction, after which the train was able to come under steam again. The next challenge appeared at the east side of the city of Winschoten - still only 10 km inland. Here another [pivot] railway-bridge had to be taken. This particular construction had not been prepared with charges, but the ingenious Dutch commanding sergeant had coordinated with the railway personnel that a locomotive was crashed into the water. The wreckage of the engine prevented the movable bridge-part from the possibility to be pivoted into the right position again. This obstruction - that could not be removed without proper heavy craneage - would mean the end of the German train-plan. It would later return to Germany. The train unloaded a platoon of German infantry that assaulted the Dutch occupation [half a platoon] that had positioned themselves along the small canal. The Dutch were able to reject the attack. The defenders could maintain there positions for hours, and then managed to retreat without being noticed by the adversary.
The German progress on the first day had not been much. The average German unit showed little determination to proceed westwards. Given the light resistance their progress can only be scaled as extremely poor.