The main purpose of Operation Epsom was to occupy panzer divisions near Caen so they could not move west and threaten the gap between the British and American armies. Encircling Caen was also a key objective as it was the major stronghold in the region, which needed to be taken before the Allies could move east. The plan was to establish a number of bridgeheads across the Odon River and move south towards higher ground. The Allies made slow progress south through mud and fierce German resistance. A bridgehead over the Orne was established and inroads were made towards Hill 112. However, by 29 June a German counterattack had begun against the bridgehead, whilst a large panzer force attacked from the west. The British eventually held on to the bridgehead after inflicting significant losses on the panzer division, and the operation achieved its aim of stopping their movement west.