Hitler may see his blitzkrieg invasion of Denmark and Norway turn into a boomerang according to Rupert Emerson '21, associate professor of Government, who like most of the members of the Faculty, yesterday was noncommittal about the rapid succession of events in Scandinavia.
"In my mind, it is an open question whether Hitler would not have been better off if he had kept Norway and Denmark neutral," Professor Emerson said.
"No longer restrained by international law protecting Norway's neutral territorial waters, it is possible that the British will be even more successful in stopping ore ships from passing between Narvik and Germany than they would have been if Hitler had held his hand.
Bases Will Help Nazis
"It is not certain that even the capitulation of Norway will bring Germany much in the way of material gains," he remarked, adding, however, that new bases along the coast of Norway from which to attack naval bases in Scotland and harass British commerce would be a great advantage to the Nazis, if Norway falls.
By her invasion of Scandinavia, Germany began the real war, according to Professor Emerson, who believes that the Allies may welcome a fight in Norway as a break in the deadlock which grips the Western Front, even though the Nazis have again stolen the initiative.
"The question now is whether Britain and France will be able to transport troops to Norway in sufficient numbers to stop the Nazis and whether they will be able to effect a landing," he said.
"I believe we are about to see a decisive test of the strength of the British fleet in the face of the superior German air force. It is very possible that Nazi bombers will be able to prevent British transports from reaching Norwegian shores."
According to Professor Emerson, Russia may again play a decisive part in Scandinavia. Since Germany has taken Denmark and Norway under her "protection," Russia may decide to give similar "protection" to Finland and Sweden, he said, adding that "Sweden will probably wait to see what Stalin will do before taking any part in Germany's latest surprise."