human wave attack
A military tactic in which a broad front of unprotected foot soldiers many men deep run towards enemy lines in an attempt to overwhelm the opposing army’s position by sheer numbers and force the enemy into melee combat.
The carnage, especially when the attacking wave faces machine guns and cannons is unspeakable. 20,000 British soldiers died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme (World War I) and another 40,000 were wounded using the human wave strategy. Pickett’s Charge, an infamous human wave attack by the South under General George Pickett, marked the end of the American Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg (1863) and is regarded as a turning point of the War. Of the 13,000 Confederate soldiers who began the attack, 7,500 were left lying on the field of battle.
Synonyms Human sea attack, massed frontal infantry assault, suicide attack