An Aberdeen-born woman was privy to the secrets of the invasion through her work for a military boss.
Major Antoinette Robertson was dubbed by a national newspaper as the “woman behind the man who planned the invasion”, but dismissed the moniker as “frightful tripe” in a letter to her parents.
However, her dismissal of the name may have been premature, because Anne – as she preferred to be known – held the unique position of aide-de-camp to Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, the military boss in charge of planning the invasion.
Anne was privy to some of the most sensitive plans in UK history which were being drawn up by Combined Operation in London including the best-kept of all secrets – the date of the landings themselves.
Working flat out for five months, Anne, Lt Gen Morgan and the rest of the allied command were almost completely incommunicado, for fear of sharing secrets.
In a letter sent home to her parents, Colonel and Mrs Jo Robertson, during this time, Anne said: “My dearest Momma, it seems a long time since I wrote to you but we seem to have been fairly busy lately and there has not been much time for private writing.”
Before serving her country, fiercely intelligent Anne graduated with a masters degree from Edinburgh University in mathematics, political economy, psychology, philosophy and Latin.
The story in the newspaper described Anne as “having a good, clear brain, great power of concentration and a higher than average capacity for work”.
According to documents found in a suitcase belonging to her brother Rab Robertson, Anne hoped to be able to better serve her country, joining the Auxiliary Training Service in 1942 and being commissioned later that year, before landing her role as the personal assistant to the general.
Following the invasions, Anne crossed the English Channel to witness the surrenders of the Germans and the Vichy French at Reims, before moving on to Berlin, where she was responsible for finding places for soldiers to sleep.
For her service, Anne was mentioned in despatches – a report from a commanding officer to high-ranking officials which flag up meritorious service from a particular officer.
She was also the recipient of the American Bronze Star, an award usually reserved for US service personnel in recognition of their heroism, as well as a service medal from the British Government.