Securing the northern end of the Cotentin Peninsula was a key strategic victory for the Allies, permitting the Americans to turn south and engage the Germans on a single front. All along the German front line it was becoming clear that they were overstretched and worn down after the continuous fighting since D-Day. In the west, the Americans made slow progress towards St-Lô and La Haye-du-Puits, capturing both towns after securing high ground and observation posts which had given the Germans a major advantage. In the east progress was finally being made towards Caen. A series of drawn-out offensives had resulted in the Germans gradually retreating out of the city, first to the south side of the River Orne during Operation Charnwood on 9 July, with the full liberation of the city occurring during Operation Goodwood on 18 July. Activity around Caen was still keeping most German strength away from the Americans.