Read the text and circle T for True or F for False
Holding her two-year-old son, Bertje Voskuil sat in terrified silence among the wounded soldiers hiding in the cellar. Up above, violent fighting raged from room to room. Suddenly, a trapdoor opened and a grenade came flying down. Bertje grabbed her boy, Henri, and waited for the worst. At the very same moment, Private Albert Willingham of the Parachute Regiment performed an act of supreme courage and threw himself on top of them, taking the full deadly blast.

Bertje never forgot Albert Willingham. Nor did Henri. Even now, over 70 years later, Henri Voskuil still gives thanks for Albert, the Paratrooper who died trying to save him. Last week Henri was among several thousand of his neighbours at a ceremony so moving that it always makes the old soldiers cry. For when it comes to commemorating those who sacrificed their lives, there is nowhere quite like Arnhem.

This Dutch town has never forgotten its debt to the 10,000 British and Polish soldiers who came from the sky in one of the great heroic failures of the Second World War.

In September 1944, after liberating Paris, the Allies were waiting on the Belgian-Dutch border. According to the new plan codenamed Operation Market Garden, the Allies were to make a fast move through the Netherlands going around the Germans’ defensive “Siegfried Line”, then turn east to advance on Berlin. Airborne troops would clear the way, capturing and holding bridges for the ground forces to pass over. It was an ambitious plan – too ambitious, feared Lt General Frederick Browning, who said that Arnhem, the northernmost bridge the Allies were required to capture and defend, was “a bridge too far”.

Through a combination of poor planning and bad luck – the Germans had just parked a strong SS unit in the area – the lightly-armed Allied troops ended up surrounded by overwhelming enemy forces. Of the 10,000 men who landed at Arnhem, just under 2,400 would survive a vicious nine-day battle. The rest were killed or taken prisoner.

The Dutch people also paid a high price. After the British withdrew, the Germans punished the civilian population by forcing them out of their homes. As a result many civilians died of starvation and cold.

The Allied soldiers felt that they had brought nothing but death and destruction to these civilians. So they were afraid to return for the first anniversary, in September 1945, but they were welcomed as both friends and heroes. They also found that local children had volunteered to tend each and every one of the 1,759 graves in the Commonwealth cemetery in the village of Oosterbeek.

One can only imagine what it meant to the families of the fallen soldiers to know that someone far away was tending their boy’s grave. The legend of the ‘flower children of Arnhem’ was born. And it continues to this day as successive generations of schoolchildren all volunteer to take part in the commemorations, and look after the graves. This is the magic of Arnhem.
1. Albert Willingham died trying to protect civilians.
2. People from Arnhem still commemorate the soldiers who died there.
3. The aim of the Operation Market Garden was to destroy the “Siegfried Line”.
4. Lt General Frederick Browning thought the plan was too ambitious.
5. 2,400 soldiers were killed during the battle of Arnhem.
6. The Allied veterans were excited to go to the first anniversary celebrations.
7. The ‘flower children of Arnhem’ look after the graves of allied soldiers.
Read the texts and choose the best answer A, B or C
Leo Tolstoy
In 1828, baby Leo was born in the rich Tolstoy family in Russia. He grew up to write two of the greatest books in the history of literature. He also inspired a social reform which made a great impact on the world.

Tolstoy was an unsettled young man. He left university as he found his studies useless. Later he joined the army but could not stand violence so he gave up the military too. He decided to take up writing as a career and soon became quite successful. When he published his two famous novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, they were called masterpieces. In them, Tolstoy offered a new special kind of writing. He described events and characters in such a convincing and realistic way that they blurred the line between imaginary and real life. In Tolstoy's novels, it was not great world rulers that moved history, but common people. His work has been called "not art, but a piece of real life."

After publishing Anna Karenina, instead of enjoying its success, Tolstoy had a mid-life crisis. He kept on repeating that he would kill himself if he did not find the meaning of life again. He gave up his family fortune to live a simple life in the countryside among peasants. There Tolstoy found the peace of mind turning to God and Christian faith. He began propagating universal love and passive resistance to evil. Many years later Mahatma Gandhi adopted his message in his campaign to free India. The black people’s leader in America, Martin Luther King, did the same in his fight against racial discrimination. The effects of passive resistance are still felt today. Tolstoy was a gifted writer, but it was his revolutionary ideas that changed the world.

The Gurkhas
The Gurkhas, well-known soldiers in the British army, come from the Himalayan country, Nepal. It is a rugged and inhospitable region with hard living conditions. They have made the young Nepalese very tough and strong, which causes that the British willingly recruit them into their army. An average Gurkha is small and broad-chested with an average height of 5'4". Before his recruitment, he works hard in the fields and raises cattle in his village. He is usually illiterate and unfamiliar with the modern life. To him, service in the Gurkha Regiment means a higher standard of living, a chance to travel and a prestigious career. That’s why many young Nepalese men dream of becoming Gurkha soldiers.

However, the selection process is challenging. At the recruiting centre in Nepal, retired Gurkha officers select only the most suitable candidates. The first recruitment stage is the medical check-up. At this stage, many youths may discover for the first time that they have some abnormalities, like a punctured ear drum or a certain disease. A slight difference in their chest measurements and weight can disqualify them as candidates for Gurkha soldiers. For instance, one Nepalese youth ate eight bananas and drank two liters of water before being weighed. He passed the weight test but finally was rejected because he did not meet the minimum chest width requirement. The next stage after the medical examination is a series of tests which check candidates’ physical fitness and mental abilities. Many Nepalese men try to go through the selection process but very few succeed.

Only the best Nepalese youths go on special training. In hard conditions they train the most challenging fighting scenarios to become those famous Gurkhas, who later fight bravely in the British Army’s battles. However, it is not their training or excellent combat skills that have made the Gurkhas legendary. It is their determination to defeat the enemy at all costs. It is better to die than surrender, their motto reads.

One episode in World War I shows it perfectly. At Givenchy, France, a team of Gurkha troops had to cut the enemy's wire obstacle and create a gap for the attacking force. While crawling to the wires, the Gurkhas were spotted and fired on by the Germans. The first two were killed. So, another pair moved forward to replace them. They were killed too. The Gurkhas did not stop until the wires were cut. Gurkhas troops also fought in the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina. It was reported that the enemy in some locations there surrendered without a fight. The very presence of the fearsome Gurkhas in the battlefield made them feel frightened of any confrontation.
8. The author says Tolstoy’s books were special because they ...
9. Tolstoy thought of killing himself because ...
10. We learn from the text that …
11. The British recruit the young Nepalese because of …
12. One Nepalese youth was rejected during the selection process because ...
13. The text says that the Gurkhas are legendary because of ...
14. The author writes about the Falklands War to show that the Gurkhas ...
In this task six phrases have been removed from the text and placed at the bottom. An extra phrase has been included. You must decide which phrase goes into which gap and write the letter in the box below the sentences.
Command Structure
NATO plans to introduce a new bigger command structure. Its supreme commanders say that it will help the alliance to deal with the current serious security challenges, … (1) … , which has become the priority today. Defense ministers have agreed to change the alliance’s command structure at their meeting in November. This includes creating two new commands. The first one, which is for the Atlantic, aims at securing sea lines of communication between North America and Europe while … (2) … . Its purpose is to improve the pact’s forces’ military mobility on it.

The document which showed the necessity for the change was the NATO internal report … (3) … . Its authors pointed to it as the key factor weakening the alliance’s combat and defence capabilities. Other concerns voiced by them was NATO’s insufficient ability to rapidly move troops and equipment around mainland Europe. It worries NATO eastern members, particularly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The need for the change is also spelled out by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He emphasizes that the command structure was reduced at the end of the Cold War … (4) … . However, now, instead of concentrating on expeditionary operations worldwide, there must be more focus on the alliance’s presence in Europe.

Without a doubt, the new larger command structure will be an improvement. However, it cannot be introduced without the support of civilian authorities … (5) … to overcome administrative problems. Moreover, to improve military mobility in Europe NATO commanders need guarantee that roads, bridges and rail networks will be able to take large military vehicles and heavy equipment.

NATO has become the most successful military alliance in the world … (6) … and react to them fast. “To win tomorrow’s war, we have to prepare today, and this is what was behind the reorganization,” said Gen. Denis Mercier, one of the NATO’s supreme allied commanders.
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