In these three relatively recent movies: Pacific Rim, Independence Day and The Avengers,

the good guys win by sending a nuke through some orifice to blow up the bad guys on their side of things in what seems like an act of self sacrifice (though in all 3 cases, the prospective martyr-to-be survives).

What is the origin of wrapping up a major conflict (typically a war) with a self-sacrifice to deliver a final blow (via nuke or otherwise)? What is the earliest iteration and what other developmental instances are there in movies?

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    I'm not sure what trope you're looking for..."pure self-sacrifice"...."saving the day by blowing stuff up". Could you clarify. – Paulie_D Jan 24 '17 at 20:05
  • The whole trope of heroic sacrifice is older than dirt. – cde Jan 24 '17 at 22:50
  • The question was designed to ask not about self-sacrifice per se, but about going to the opposing side to deliver the destruction (on their turf) as that separates these three from any generic martyr. – rosends Jan 24 '17 at 22:54
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    Heroic stupidity, heroic suicide, behind enemy lines. All older than movies. – cde Jan 24 '17 at 23:14
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    It seems so common that in war movies having multiple character, I expect atleast one to give such sacrifice. It is inspired from actual events – Panther Jan 25 '17 at 12:28

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