Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting question.
The phrase can be attributed to a number of people since, but the
earliest I can trace the saying ?bleed them white? is to World War I,
and more specifically to German commander-in-chief Field Marshal Erich
In 1916, while planning what would eventually become the 'Battle of
Verdun' in the Lorraine region of France, and the longest and most
ferocious battle of the entire war, von Falkenhayn developed what he
called his ?bleed them white? strategy, whereby he hoped to inflict
such great looses upon the French Army that it would not only
annihilate them but it would also seriously compromise the country's
British and Russian allies (both literally and psychologically). While
his other commanders were under the impression that von Falkenhayn?s
primary objective was to capture the town of Verdun, in actuality was
the absolute and utter destruction of the French forces that he was
Presumably then, the original intent of the phrase ?bleed them white?
refers to a strategy designed not only to win, but also to thoroughly
destroy your opponent.
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