I’ve heard this phrase bandied about as pundits discuss the latest political gaff of this year’s sorry presidential election. It means an action or step that is too ambitious or overreaching. I have the impression that it implies something that cannot be accepted or accomplished after a series of successful actions – and now I know why.
This is a fairly recent phrase coming from Operation Market Garden, an Allied airborne military operation of 1944 designed to strike at the heart of Nazi industry. Securing bridges for advancing ground forces was an essential part of the plan. Several brides were captured, but the operation failed to capture the main road bridge over the river Waa.