A phrase used during World War I to describe men climbing out of their trenches to attack the opposing trenches. Before running into a wall of rifle and machine gun fire, the attackers were usually given a warm meal, a bit of rum, and said potential goodbyes to each other before facing almost certain death. It was considered the greatest test a man could ever face.
"As time passed, apprehension became acute as I weighed my chances for surviving the attack. No; I could not so easily give up. The grip of life was tightening on me and more than ever I wanted to live." -British Liaison Officer before going over the top at the Third Battle of Ypres