"Behind Walls of Sand"
THE FALL OF FRANCE IN JUNE, 1940, CAUSED A DECISIVE turn in the history of American foreign policy. The worst prophecies made by the Wilsonian generation of internationalists concerning the consequences of a failure of collective security had to come true before Americans would believe them. When the powerful and savage Nazi war machine stood on the Atlantic shore and promised to satisfy fully the American appetite for isolation, Americans in majority finally understood that isolation was not a cure-all but a deadly danger. They decided that their institutions and their liberties could not thrive in isolation.
On April 2, Hitler secretly ordered the invasion of Norway and Denmark for a week later. The Department of State received on the same day reports of the Nazi preparations. The Norwegian Minister to the United States, Wilhelm Morgenstierne, suggested that American representations be made to support his country's neutrality. This was forestalled by the surprise attack on Norwegian ports at dawn on April 9 by Nazi troops hidden in freighters flying the British flag. Denmark was occupied at the same moment without fighting. Hull satisfied himself that the invaders had set out before April 8, when the British decision to prevent violation of Norwegian neutral waters by German ore boats provided Hitler with his official "excuse." President Roosevelt ordered the freezing of Norwegian and Danish credits in the United