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The previous day the island Schouwen-Duivenland had been prepared in some state of defence after it had become obvious that the Germans were massing on the east side of the Island on Tholen and St. Philipsland. The troops available to the island commander were modest and their value was in fact little to none.

The defence of the island wouldn't contribute to any higher plan anymore. The French had no assets on the most northern Zeeland island and moreover given up on Zeeland anyhow. Their only interest was to slow down the German advance. An immediate surrender of the island wasn't considered however.

The seizure of Schouwen-Duivenland

The German force on St. Philipsland - to the east of Schouwen-Duiveland - had been shelling Bruinisse and (the village) Zijpe with mortar fire since the late hours of the 16th. They continued to do so until 0230 hrs on the 17th, when a company-force boarded storm-boats and pontoon-boats for the crossing of the narrow Zijpe.

This German assault party comprised no trained marines but the regular infantry-men of the 15.MG Battalion and as such the Germans feared for what might be their share. But much to their surprise not a single shot was fired. The guard-company in Bruinisse had again left its position and moved westwards. Five clicks west of Bruinisse the company-commander had stopped and instructed his troops to make camp. When he was about to take a nap himself he was suddenly opposed by a number of Germans. The entire company was captured.

Other units - warned about the German landing on the east-shore - hurried to get to Zierikzee, in order to get a vessel at the port from thereon. The Germans had however followed the route that made sense, and the first motorbikes that had been shuttled over from St. Philipsland were applied to a recon party to Zierikzee, the capital of the island, and moreover, the main way out for the occupational forces.

The highest Dutch commander on the island - Major Meyer - quickly assembled his small detachment around him and started to sweep the streets of Zierikzee. In the process of doing so, his cautiously advancing team soon noticed that their opponents were doing the exact same! When both parties collided a brief but fierce fight broke out in the streets of the town. During these street fights five German soldiers of 3/15.MG Bat and PiBtl52 were killed against just one Dutch soldier. These unfortunate five Germans would be the only German soldiers to get killed during the capture of the entire island.

The three modern pieces of 4 cm Bofors AA guns were captured intact by the Germans when the battery was on its way to Zierikzee for embarkation. The Germans immediately placed the guns near the coast of Zierikzee. They were manned by personnel of I./FLAK49, of which one battery had meanwhile crossed the Zijpe.

All other Dutch forces surrendered without any resistance upon the arrival of the very first Germans. Before noon the entire island was in German hands.

The next day the 15/MG Battalion and pioneers of the PiBtl52 were relieved from the occupation of the island. They were replaced by the occupational unit for the southwest, the 225.ID. One battalion of this division would occupy the island and form defences against Allied landingings. A landing that obviously never came.