An incident on Simonka


R H Auslander has woven an interesting tale of Sevastopol in late February 2014. The author’s extensive knowledge of the tactics and protocol of both the Russian and NATO side of the event becomes clear as the story unfolds, as does his knowledge of Russian culture.

The fate in early March of the NATO forces stationed in Fiodosya on the south coast of Krimea is known, but what happened to the NATO enclave in Sevastopol in February? The US Marines in the enclave, located on Ulitsya Simonka in Rahdio Gorka Region on north side of the harbor, had been ordered at dawn on 23 February by the Sevastopol government to leave the city in two days, which they refused to do. They were gone from Sevastopol and Krimea by sunrise of 24 February.

In Soviet times, readers of the news were adept at reading the news and finding the nuggets of truth. That skill is useful when reading this tale. Is this story true? Only the author, and those who may or may not have been involved in an event that may or may not have happened, know for sure.

Available for purchase on Amazon in paperback, $8.98. 119 pages.

Available for purchase on Amazon in Kindle ebook, $5.95 119 pages.

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April 30, 2018.
I read Incident On Simonka from a copy sent to me by Auslander. I can’t put this review on amazon, we don’t have it here, but I give it top marks. Here is my take on this book.

This is not an ordinary book or story, neither is it told in an ordinary fashion. And it isn’t a book about ordinary circumstances either. The events described in the book have a close resemblance to actual events that did go down. For someone who was briefly associated with the events in Crimea, it fells like a stroll down memory lane. The book doesn’t unfold like a book but rather like an experience. I am very glad Auslander was kind enough to give me a copy to read.
April 29,2016
A Tantalizing Introduction to Auslander’s Second Book
An Incident at Simonka

What a pleasure to be back with these characters we first met in “Never the Last One”. That being a full length book, the characters had plenty of space to develop and many of them were indelibly drawn: very unique, unfailingly interesting, and some seemingly bigger than life. Readers who have not read the first book will still enjoy a good read, but will not have the back story on the characters. The characters who are new with this book are very real. The ones who are arrayed against the Russians are not depicted as evil or nasty, but rather as people who are on the opposing side. They are treated with a soldier’s respect for his opponents, who are simply following their orders, too. But they are each distinct personalities. I felt glad to meet them and hear what they had to say.

Well, for readers of the first book, our old friends are back, all summoned to respond to a crisis in their shared and beloved city of Sevastopol. This being a very short book, they each get less exposure, but all my favorites take part in the action.

And action we get into right away. With only a day’s notice they must plan, practice, and execute a very dangerous mission to save their home city, and maybe a big chunk of Russia, from falling into enemy hands.

The author is a skilled story teller with a sure hand in directing action scenes, and plotting a very plausible story. Very plausible and quite relevant. This reviewer believes that something along the lines of this story actually happened – or maybe almost happened.

The story line is well structured, with roughly a chapter each presenting (1) the assault and capture operation itself, (2) the careful business of returning captured soldiers to a US Navy ship standing offshore, (3) the after the event analysis on-board the Navy ship – which reveals to the reader many interesting things, and (4) various personal impacts, mainly centering on a young, pretty, and foolish Russian girl who was living with one of the coup plotters, and also managed to fall in love with a handsome young Russian naval officer. Action, romance, individual people participating in large scale historical events. You are not missing anything, except the rest of the book.
September 25, 2017
Don’t read this book!
If you do, then you will find it necessary to read the full story, “Never the Last One” by the same author. When you start reading it, you can’t put it down, so it may have a serious impact on your life! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

You see, I did this, I started with “An Incident…” and found it so engaging and interested that I had to continue. Lots of good info in both these books for those who are not brain-washed into being “anti Russian”.
December 8, 2017
A page turner. Highly recommended.
Paul D. Meyer
August 12, 2017
Fun as well as informative!
Great story line with excellent insight into probable events in Crimea during the coup d’etat in Kiev!
September 28, 2016
Short, good suspense story.
I have read ‘Incident On Simonka’ from beginning to end in one go.
During the read I had pictures from the ‘Crimea. Way back Home.’
documentary in my mind. Even your book is fiction; in reality it is more
than that: Your book is a reality tour de force on steroids in helping
to understand the Russian World. The minute details laid out through
your writing have not left my mind. Well done, Auslander!

In my former life I had a German Government security clearance. I know
one or two things how US/NATO operates in Germany.

Nough said.
Babushka in Oz
Skillful waeving of facts into fiction
April 30, 2016
Auslander has skilfully woven the facts of recent events in Crimea and Sevastopol (following the coup in Kiev) into a fast paced fiction. In Soviet times listeners of the news became very adept at reading between the lines and sifting out the hidden nuggets of truth. The same craft is required in reading Auslander’s short story. I was engaged and enthralled and with family living in Sevastopol, the story was particularly relevant. I look forward to more revealing ‘incidents’. I love the characters – they are ‘so Russian’.
John Neal Spangler
Interesting "novel'
Good insight into Russian thinking , particularly the Russian military. Very good description of Crimea and some perhaps operation. Enjoyable read, if you like military affairs.

Interesting book. Makes me wonder how much is 'fiction' and how much is truth.
19 February 2019
Similarities to actual events in Crimea and Sevastopol.

BOOK PREVIEW – a small taste:

We waited until the sun set, at this time of year that was shortly after 16:00. We had hurriedly planned and rehearsed the action three times, using the basement of an abandoned factory in Ternivka that vaguely resembled the Church basement. We divided into three teams, one for outer security, two teams to do the actual assault and take down. The Madame Polkovnik had arranged for a bus to take whatever prisoners we obtained to the Krim border with two Ural transports for us as guards, and we would have ten of us in the bus to make sure they did not make more trouble. The bus was the common yellow marshrutka, no markings on him as usual.

After we had our prisoners, the driver would put his Sevastopol flags in the brackets on each windshield pillar, this mostly for ID as we traveled north to the border, we did not know at this time how many of the block posts were up and running. Our Ural transport trucks would have both Sevastopol and Krimea flags on them, the number tags turned around and the shiny aluminium back side quickly sprayed with flat black as I had ordered. I found later that the local citizens, some of whom had noticed the sudden appearance of numerous heavily armed Spetznaz at the traffic ring near Simonka Street, had filled the local internet social systems with advisories to all to stay away from that ring and the general area. Not a word was leaked to the outside world, and we learned after the fact that the warnings were in a distinctly local slang that few, if any, outsiders would understand.

I listened to the hand held radio as my group crouched silently in the underbrush just south of the Church, volume turned as far down as possible, as we counted the arriving officers. We knew from the cleaning lady inside that 19 of them were in the basement offices, so we patiently waited for the other seven. It was not long, they arrived in two groups, laughing and joking as they exited their vehicles and entered the building. The cleaning lady knew she would be treated unkindly, this to protect her in future, we had to make sure the NATO officers suspected nothing about her.

I counted them and I noticed that all of them were now in uniform, combat uniforms with armored vests visible under their open field coats, and all of the late arrivals had black weapons cases that they carried by the handles, not slung over their shoulders. I could see the magazine pouches made in to the sides of the cases were all full, so these Marines were now officially armed, and my hope was this would not turn in to a fire fight. The officers in charge of the Fleet guards at the Russian base across Simonka Street had been told that no matter what happened at the Church no one was to cross the street, we would handle this operation ourselves.

I turned to Annushka. “Tell them to start. Get Bogdan’s unit in place and block the street. Get the Medical Sisters ready to move to us, but wait for us to clear the building.”