Here the French captured a battery of seventy-sevens which the enemy had not had time to destroy. Pushing rapidly on, the French took the wood of Mereaucourt. The village of Herbecourt, a little more to the south, was captured by the French after an hour's fighting. By early dark the entire group of German defenses was taken, thus linking Herbecourt to the village of Assevillers.
The longer the battle continued the more this turning movement became accentuated. On July 3, 1916, the extreme left advanced from Mericourt to Buscourt, the left from Herbecourt to Flaucourt, which was taken, while the center occupied Assevillers. On the 4th the right, abandoning in its turn the rôle of fixed point, moved forward and took the two villages of Estrees and Belloy.
With his accurate eyes he tracked out the enemy in the mystery of space, and placing himself higher, tried to surprise him. On the 5th, near Frise, he closed the road to another L.V.G. which was returning to its lines, attacked it from above in front, tacked over it, reached its rear, and overwhelmed it like a thunder-clap. The Boche fell in flames between Assevillers and Herbécourt.
Between this last place and the river they broke into the German second position. Fayolle's left now commanded the light railway from Combles to Péronne, his center held the great loop of the Somme at Frise village, while his right was only four miles from Péronne itself. During the day of July 3, 1916, the French continued their victorious advance, capturing Assevillers and Flaucourt.