Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Forlorn Hope

Forlorn Hope, a military term signifying the body of men selected to plant a scaling ladder on a fortress or to be the first to make a breach. It is derived by Professor Skeat from the Dutch verloren hoop (pron. hope), or "lost band." Similarly the French give the term enfants perdus ("lost boys") to the leaders of a storming party.