The Tudors S04E07 2013-08-08

Boulogne as seen from King Henry's camp

 In The Tudors, Boulogne is a fortified port on the Normandy coast of France, and a target of King Henry's armies during the Anglo-French war in the latter half of Season Four.  Originally described as "one of the most beautiful towns in France", Boulogne has triple thick stone walls that resist even the considerable firepower of the English cannons.  Despite constant bombardment and starvation brought on by their encirclement and naval blockade (which causes great suffering for the civilians), the garrison of Boulogne continues to resit, and King Henry's army suffers great losses to disease and counterfire.  

Eventually, English and Italian engineers detonate an underground explosion that collapses several sections of the walls.  The beaten French garrison surrender the keys of the town to the gloating Henry, and the English troops take posession of the ravaged city.  Unwilling to march on Paris when his army is so exhausted, Henry instead returns to England and orders celebrations in honor of his victory.  However, his army are ill-equipped to stave off predicted French counterattacks, especially when their commander (the Earl of Surrey) leads an over-aggressive attack in episode 4.09 that results in heavy losses.  As his ally Emperor Charles V abandons him and makes peace with King Francis , Henry is forced to face reality: England is already bankrupt, and the cost of holding Boulogne far outstrips its' value as a spoils of war.  Ambassador Marillac and Edward Seymour finally convince him to ransom Boulogne back to France in the series finale.

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