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The Selle
La Selle à Croissy.JPG
The Selle (or Celle) at Croissy-sur-Celle
Country France
Basin features
Main source Catheux
River mouth Somme River
49°54′25″N 2°16′50″E / 49.90694°N 2.28056°E / 49.90694; 2.28056 (Somme-Selle)Coordinates: 49°54′25″N 2°16′50″E / 49.90694°N 2.28056°E / 49.90694; 2.28056 (Somme-Selle)
Progression SommeEnglish Channel
Basin size 610 km2 (240 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 39 km (24 mi)
  • Average rate:
    4.5 m3/s (160 cu ft/s)

The Selle (also spelt Celle in the Oise) is a river of Picardy, France. Rising at Catheux, just north of Crèvecœur-le-Grand, Oise, it flows past Conty, Saleux, Salouël and Pont-de-Metz before joining the Somme River at Amiens.

In many places along its course, the river widens to form or fill lakes, much appreciated by anglers and gravel extractors. Several water-powered mills can still be seen including a paper-mill at Prouzel. Brown trout thrive in the clear waters of the river.


In 57 BC, the Selle was the site of the battle between Julius Caesar and the Nervians.[1]

In World War I, during the Hundred Days Offensive of 1918, the German Army had taken up positions along the Selle near Le Cateau. General Rawlinson's Fourth Army spent two weeks preparing to assault these positions. The attack was launched on the night of 17 October when the river was crossed in foggy conditions and continued until the Germans were finally forced to retire on 20 October. The action is known as the Battle of the Selle.[2]


  1. ^ Pierre Turquin ("La Bataille de la Selle (du Sabis) en l' An 57 avant J.-C." in Les Études Classiques 23/2 (1955), 113-156) has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the battle was fought near modern Saulzoir.
  2. ^ The Western Front Association - Land War - The Battle of the Selle, October 1918

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