I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the situation where individuals find themselves hopelessly surrounded, realize their inevitable demise, and decide to fight as hard as possible and deal as much damage to their adversaries as possible before their demise.

Verbs and nouns can work.

  • If I'm going down, you're going down with me. or ... I'm taking you with me. (I can't help but picture Gandalf and the Balrog here.) Or I'm not going down without a fight.
    – Jim
    Sep 16 '15 at 3:44
  • grim determination?
    – stevesliva
    Sep 16 '15 at 4:48

For a noun, you could use last-ditch effort.

The origin of the phrase is briefly explained here and here (under #1).

I will die in the last ditch. When the Duke of Buckingham asked him, after the execution of the De Witts, if he did not see that the commonwealth was ruined, William replied, “There is one certain means by which I can be sure never to see my country’s ruin: I will die in the last ditch.”—HUME: History of England, chap. lxv.

There is also the related phrase: last stand.

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