The Netherlands / Battlefield
Riley's Gully (literally: the trench of the British commander Peter Riley) was the place at the Vlootbeek where heavy fighting took place during January 1945.
Riley's Gulley is a sunken lane near the Vlootbeek between Linne and Maasbracht. The road provides a good picture of the terrain conditions and illustrates what the British attackers had to deal with during their advance to the island of Osen near Heel in January 1945. Due to wet weather, many floods covered the low-lying terrain from east to west, turning it into a wetland. Tanks and other heavy equipment could not possibly pass through it. It was different for lightly armed infantrymen. This task was reserved for the men of the British 1st Commando Brigade, led by Peter Riley. On 23 January, they crossed the Vlootbeek. The small bridgehead they established on the north side of the stream was named after their commander: Riley’s Gully.