The military tactic of frontal assault is a direct, hostile movement of forces towards enemy forces in a large number, in an attempt to overwhelm the enemy. This is often referred to as a "suicide strike," because it is often a commander's last resort when he has run out of strategies.
Before the 19th century, a frontal assault against a thin line could be effective when conducted by horse cavalry. However, as the accuracy and range of firearms increased, this procedure proved increasingly suicidal. Cavalry charges against deeply-regimented infantry formations were also frequently repulsed as exemplified by the battle of Courtrais.
This style of combat was used heavily in the American Civil War, for example. The type of militaries used as well as the terrain lent themselves to direct frontal assault, and most of the battles of the Civil War were fought in this manner.
Frontal assaults were also the cause of massive casualties in the trench warfare of World War I. In many cases, frontal assaults were made by thousands of men towards trenches defended by machine gun emplacements, with predictable and tragic results.