header Notes Collection

5 Rubles 1938, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

in Krause book Number: 215a
Years of issue: 1938
Signatures: no signature
Serie: 1938 Issue
Specimen of: 1936
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 х 70
Printer: Гознак, Московская печатная фабрика, филиал ФГУП "Гознак", Москва

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Rubles 1938




5 Rubles 1938

Rectangular frame with two-line inscription "STATE TREASURY TICKET OF THE USSR" at the top, bottom text in small letters: "STATE TREASURES BILLS ARE PROVIDED BY ALL UNION OF THE SOVIET UNION AND MANDATORY TO RECEIVE IN THE WHOLE TERRITORY OF THE USSR IN ALL PAYMENTS FOR ALL INSTITUTIONS, ENTERPRISES AND PERSONS ON ITS VALUE." In the upper left-hand corner there is a coat of arms of the USSR of the 1936 model (11 ribbons, according to the number of union republics), above it the text "USSR", on the sides laurel leaves. In the lower left is a large guilloche rosette with the number "5", in the two corners on the right are the same rosettes, but smaller. The inner part is covered with a background of fine wavy lines, in the middle a figured frame with the indication of the face value: the number "5", over it in handwritten type: "Five rubles".


In the upper left corner is the coat of arms of the USSR, the model of 1936 (11 bands, according to the number of union republics).

At that time, the USSR had 11 republics - the RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Byelorussian SSR, the Georgian SSR, the Armenian SSR, the Azerbaijani SSR, the Uzbek SSR, the Turkmen SSR, the Tajik SSR, the Kazakh SSR, the Kirghiz SSR.

The State Emblem of the Soviet Union (Государственный герб Советского Союза, Gosudarstvenny gerb Sovetskogo Soyuza) was adopted in 1923 and was used until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Although it technically is an emblem rather than a coat of arms, since it does not follow heraldic rules, in Russian it is called герб (gerb), the word used for a traditional coat of arms.

The state emblem shows the traditional Soviet emblems of the Hammer and Sickle and the Red Star over a globe, and two wreaths of covered by the ("Workers of the world, unite!") in the official languages of the Soviet Republics, in the reverse order they were mentioned in the Soviet Constitution.


In the right part is an engraving depicting a pilot with a parachute, against the background of an airplane.

Here is information that, as I think, has to do with the image of a pilot with a parachute on a banknote:

Valery Pavlovich Chkalov (Russian: Валерий Павлович Чкалов, February 2, 1904 – December 15, 1938) was a Soviet and Russian aircraft test pilot and a Hero of the Soviet Union (1936).

Fortunately for Chkalov, his professional career as a pilot coincided with a period of Soviet history when aviation’s prominence as a cultural symbol was second only to that of Stalin himself. During this era, the government of the Soviet Union lionized – in fact, almost deified – its pilots. This glorification applied to pilots in general but also tended to concentrate intensely around certain individuals deemed particularly exemplary. Stalin – a man noted for his paranoia towards anything he believed could possibly develop into a rival cult of personality – decided that deliberately elevating pilots to make them popular with the population at large posed no political risk to him or his government. Far from creating powerful, politically motivated people around whom dissatisfied Soviet citizens could gather, the motivation behind exalting the USSR’s pilots was twofold: 1) to raise the population’s morale, and, as a function of that 2) to strengthen the legitimacy and strength of rule of the heads of government.

Aviation, specifically, was poised to positively affect public spirit. Firstly, tsarist Russia had not possessed a significant air force, meaning any successes in aviation could be wholly attributed “to the virtues of Bolshevism.” Furthermore, the successes of Soviet pilots (which the Soviet press publicized widely) offered the populace a feeling of technological superiority over both the world around them and Nature itself.

Stalin felt that exalting individual pilots was not dangerous to his own political interests because although the skill, strength, fortitude, etc., of the pilots were praised, Stalin was held as “ultimately responsible” for their achievements. The public narratives took pains to emphasize the father-son relationship between Stalin and his pilots. For example, Chkalov published an article titled “Our Father” soon after becoming the first person to fly from Moscow to the United States via a polar route. In this article, he explicitly stated that “[h]e[, Stalin,] is our father.” Stalin’s role as a paternal figure (and the implied nature of the pilots as his ‘spiritual sons’) emphasized that ultimate responsibility for the pilots’ feats lay with Stalin. This point was driven home by “accounts [which]…credit Stalin with much of the initiative and planning of [important flights, including, but not limited to] listening carefully to the ideas of Soviet aviators and aviation planners, tracing [the pilots’] routes, determining who [would] fly, the final permission.” Furthermore, the most prominent Soviet pilots (the ones around whom mini personality cults developed) enjoyed personal success, including compensation and other perks, within the structure of the USSR because of their successes in aviation. They thus had a strong incentive to remain publicly loyal to the regime. Stalin wished to use this system of glorifying pilots as a vehicle for promoting a type of role model to the people of the Soviet Union. The public identities of the USSR’s hero-pilots were to serve as representatives of Stalin’s conception of the New Soviet Man – someone beyond the petty machinations of politics - rather, someone who was a master of nature and an “eternally youthful…individual hero.”

The role Soviet pilots played in Soviet society was not solely constructive – they also served to distract. Some of the highest-profile flights Soviet pilots undertook coincided with the purges. Praise for both the victorious pilots – and, thus, Stalin – hit a fever pitch at just the moment the multitudes unfortunate enough to fall victim to the purges needed both the sympathy of the public and a thorough, unbiased examination of that of which they had been accused. Distraction turned to a full assault for those better-known victims of the purges who could not be simply swept under the carpet. Such unfortunates were instead subjected to unfavorable comparison with the pilots.

Again, fortunately for Chkalov, he had the honor of being “the Soviet Union’s most famous pilot.” Chkalov’s life story (as the government chose to represent it) reflects the traits of Stalin’s New Soviet Man - apolitical, forever young (he died in an accident at the age of thirty-four), a master of nature, and as concerned with the greater good (the integrity of his experimental aircraft) as he was with his own life. Interestingly, the government chose to highlight Chkalov’s personal initiative (that is, his youthful disdain for authority) – a peculiar sort of dualism in a society where the collective good was (supposed to be) prized over individual initiative. As John McCannon writes, “Chkalov was a brilliant instinctual flier, preferring to rely on hunches and reflex rather than standard methodology or flying instruments. He was also a daredevil who disdained authority.” The intended focus was not on youthful disobedience (for which, in canon, he was punished and for which he apologized), but on his use of his instincts. Chkalov, as a superman, could intuit towards the end of efficiency, something prized in the New Soviet Man. However, this intuitive strain was incomplete without a sense of “maturity and self-discipline.” One story in the public canon recounts how Chkalov tells a little boy he sees fighting a small girl to stop fighting and to focus his energy on his studies. The boy takes the advice to heart and is successful because of it. The point of the story is to show that though Chkalov was a firebrand as a youth, “in becoming a hero, [he] had gained not only wisdom but the capacity to transmit that wisdom to others.” This unification of bravery and maturity was the model which Stalin wished to transmit as the ideal – his conception of the New Soviet Man.


Referring to V. A. Berezina (St. Petersburg) (read Comments!), On the banknote is the Soviet ANT-25 aircraft.

The Tupolev ANT-25 was a Soviet long-range experimental aircraft which was also tried as a bomber. First constructed in 1933, it was used by the Soviet Union for a number of record-breaking flights.

The ANT-25 was designed as the result of a recommendation by Kliment Voroshilov to the Revolutionary Military Council Revvoyensovyet on 7 December 1931, to build an aircraft for long-range flights.

The aircraft was designed by the brigade of the Experimental Aircraft Design Department of TsAGI led by Pavel Sukhoi under the overall supervision of Andrei Tupolev. The first prototype, designated Experimental Airplane RD-1, (also designated TsAGI-25, ANT-25), RD standing for Rekord Dalnosty, i.e. "Range Record") made its maiden flight on 22 June 1933, piloted by Mikhail Gromov, using a direct-drive M-34 engine.

The first crew, Gromov, Filin and Spirin, began with a long-range test flight in September 1934 on the second prototype, the RD-2. The RD-2 used a geared M-34R engine, which substantially increased its range. They spent 75 hours in the air, covering 12,411 kilometeres (7,712 mi.) in a single trip, (Moscow–Ryazan–Tula–Dnepropetrovsk–Kharkov). The aircraft was unable to return to Moscow because of a fuel shortage. Gromov was made a Hero of the Soviet Union. The flight was not recognised as a world record as it could not complete the circuit to Moscow, and so could not claim the closed-circuit record, while the direct distance between Moscow and Kharkov was too short for the distance in a straight-line record.

Gromov and Yumashev decided to make their next long-range flight an attempt at the straight-line record. They wanted to fly the traditional long-range route via Africa and the Atlantic Ocean to South America. A crewman, Sigizmund Levanevsky, on studying some maps, suggested they fly in a completely different direction – to the north. Polar aviators were extremely popular at that time, so his plan was considered plausible. The flight was cancelled in the spring of 1935 when he fell seriously ill.

The next long-range flight planned was from Moscow to the US via the North Pole. A sloping concrete runway, 4 kilometers (2.5 mi.) in length, was built at Schelkovo air base near Moscow. In the early morning of 3 August 1935, Levanevsky, Baydukov and Levchenko climbed aboard their RD and took to the air. For the first 50 kilometers (31 mi.), the aircraft ascended to only 500 meters (1,600 ft.). They then steadily increased their altitude to 5,000 meters (16,000 ft.), maintaining an average speed of 165 kilometers per hour (103 mph.). After approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi.), an oil leak was discovered, but the aircraft was able to make an emergency landing at Krechevits near Novgorod. Levanevsky was called to a Politburo meeting, where he blamed Tupolev, declaring that his single-engined ANT-25 was underpowered. It seemed to be the end for the aircraft.

His second pilot, Georgy Baydukov, who was also an aviation engineer, disagreed and proposed Valery Chkalov for a second attempt. Chkalov was at first sceptical about his selection, as he was a fighter pilot with little navigational knowledge. Baydukov briefed Chkalov on the finer points of flying the ANT-25 and proposed Alexander Belyakov, who was the chief instructor of their flight academy, as their third crewman. Chkalov's authority was enough to convince Joseph Stalin.

In July 1936, the record was broken by Chkalov, Georgy Baydukov and Belyakov flying the same aircraft from Moscow to the Far East (Stalin's Route) in 56 hours 20 minutes, a distance of 9,374 kilometers (5,825 mi.). They passed Franz Josef Land–Severnaya Zemlya–Tiksi–Yakutia–Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky–Khabarovsk–Okhotsk Sea and landed on a beach at Udd Island (now called Chkalov Island), near the Amur River.

The next day, the Pravda newspaper published a leading article "Glory to Stalin's Falcons!" («Слава сталинским соколам!»). A wooden runway was constructed on Udd island, and on 2 August the ANT-25 departed for Moscow. The trip back lasted a week, with stops at Khabarovsk, Chita, Krasnoyarsk and Omsk, with a grand welcome at each. Chkalov's trio each became a Heroes of the Soviet Union. Two islands nearby were renamed after Baydukov and Belyakov.

Chkalov's achievement became world-famous; however, the Politburo still wanted the publicity of a direct flight. Gromov was ordered to fly to Brazil on 14 August 1936 in a second ANT-25, but as he prepared for the start on 25 September, Brazilian officials denied access to the Soviet plane, and the flight was cancelled.

Both Chkalov's and Gromov's crews were now destined to fly north from Moscow to San Francisco. Over 18–20 June 1937 – the same crew of Valery Chkalov, co-pilot Georgy Baydukov and navigator A. Belyakov made a non-stop flight from Moscow to Portland, United States, in bad weather. At the 60-hour point they passed Seattle, and after two more hours they passed the Portland lighthouse on the Columbia River and headed deeper into US territory. Over the city of Eugene they found they were short of fuel and turned back for the army airbase at Fort Vancouver Barracks at Vancouver, landing at Pearson Airfield. The 9,130 kilometers (5,670 mi.) trip took 63 hours and 25 minutes. In 1975, an obelisk was erected on the airfield to commemorate this event.

Another widely publicized feat was the Moscow–San Jacinto non-stop flight in a backup aircraft just three weeks after Chkalov's. This journey, via the North Pole, covered 11,500 kilometres (7,100 mi) and ended in a dairy pasture outside of San Jacinto, California, after they had encountered fog conditions in San Diego and as far inland as March Air Force base in Riverside. The landing site is marked by California State Historical Landmark Number 989. The crew, still composed of Gromov, Yumashev, and Danilin, flew for 62 hours and 17 minutes between 12 and 14 July 1937. After landing, the aircraft still had sufficient fuel for approximately 1,500 kilometers (930 mi.), enough to reach Panama. This would have involved crossing the Mexican border without the permission of FAI sporting officials.

Gromov became an unofficial Soviet Pilot No. 1, though Chkalov remained the favourite pilot of the Soviet people. Joy at the achievements were tempered by Levanevsky crashing on the same route in a brand-new four-engined DB-A.

The record set by the Soviets was broken by two British Vickers Wellesley bombers which flew from Egypt to Australia in November 1938; a distance of 11,523.9 kilometers (7,160.6 mi.). The USSR did not continue the race as aviation design bureau work was stalled by repression: Tupolev was jailed, and Gromov was also on the brink of arrest. Chkalov mysteriously crashed while testing a new fighter on 15 December 1938.

After Chkalov's death, Usachyov, the Chief of the Aviation Industry Directorate, Belyaikin, the director of the plant where Chkalov's machine had been built, and Tomashevich, the designer, all came under suspicion of sabotage. Nikolai Polikarpov escaped arrest.

The Soviets displayed the ANT-25 flown by Chkalov from Moscow to Vancouver at their pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. .SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935

SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935

SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935 SSSR na strojke 1935

Parachute I.I. Dubasov sketched from a photograph published in the magazine "USSR at a Construction Site", in issue 12, 1935, dedicated to Soviet paratroopers.


On pilot is the parachute PD-5 (ПД-5).

PD-6 is one of the first parachutes created in the Soviet Union especially for airborne units.

He entered service in 1936. In fact, it was a licensed American "Irwin" and was a single unit with a spare parachute. The dome of this parachute measuring 60.3 square meters had a round shape.

In the first half of the thirties, the period of mastering jumps from airplanes of all types and designs began, leaving them from different points and at different positions of the machine in the air. We, the instructors of parachute training, had to prove the full possibility of leaving the aircraft on parachutes in any, the most complicated emergency situation.

Leaving an airplane flying at low speed and in a horizontal flight line is quite simple. In all kinds of emergency situations, when an aircraft is flaming with a fire, when it dives to the ground in a dive or falls in the air, it is much more difficult. It is necessary to apply great efforts to overcome the powerful flow of air, which literally presses the paratrooper to the plane. It's not such a soft environment - air. At high flight speeds it can be very dense and solid. In addition to the physical obstacles, during the forced jumps, tasks of the psychological order also arise. To overcome all these difficulties, which as the speed and altitude of the flight increases, it was necessary to train the flight crew.

With their tasks the workers of the parachute service of our Air Force coped well. After the necessary experiments, a detailed instruction was drawn up, indicating how to act in this or that case during the jumping from this or that type of aircraft. There was an official document, which said :.

"In all cases, when the aircraft becomes uncontrollable due to malfunctioning of the material part (failure in rudder actions, damage to wings, fuselage, fire, etc.) and a real threat of crew death is created, the latter is obliged to leave the plane without delay and to parachute It should be remembered that: the omission of time in all these cases entails the death of the crew, parachutes are given to the crew so that in all cases when a clear threat to life is created, to be thrown out and saved on them.

In all cases, first of all, care must be taken to preserve the life of the crew.

The life of the crew is more expensive than any aircraft and engine. "

In order to prepare the flight crew for the forced parachute jumping, every student at the aviation school began to learn how to jump with a parachute, each pilot in the combat unit performed several training jumps from combat training planes a year and, in addition, systematically passed ground training in abandonment the cockpit of the plane on which it flew.

A great contribution to the study of the theory of forced parachute jumps was made by our masters of aerial filming, which fixed on the film everything that occurs from the moment of leaving the aircraft to the opening of the parachute. Kinobektiv impartially noted all the mistakes, the whole path of passing the parachutist. Studying the jump on slow-motion film shots, it was clearly possible to see how and what should be done to eliminate those or other errors. With the help of cameramen, several films were filmed, which served as excellent teaching aids during lessons on learning the technique of forced jumps.

From the very beginning of the creation of new types of aircraft, the design bureaus connected parachuters to their work, who made their suggestions for improving and facilitating the jump from the airplane.

Designers have worked hard to make it easier to leave the winged cars. Initially, the cabs made folding sides, which at the right time were easily thrown aside, thereby increasing the volume of the cabin. On high-speed fighters and bombers, the transparent lanterns that blocked the pilot at the right time could be opened or dropped accidentally, which also greatly facilitated the separation of the pilot from the aircraft.

Just as the captain is the last to descend from the dying ship, the pilot flying the plane was obliged to create favorable conditions for jumping to his crew and leave the plane last, except for those cases when one of the participants in the flight due to injury or loss of consciousness does not could apply a parachute.

Unguided aircraft is left after the signal "Jump", and the pilot jumps simultaneously with the rest of the crew. The necessity of a forced jump sometimes arises instantaneously. It is possible that in some cases the pilot unexpectedly may find himself thrown into the air. Therefore, he needs to be able to quickly find the exhaust ring.


5 Rubles 1938

A rectangle made up of numerous colored wavy lines, in the corners, diagonally, are the digit "5". In the middle, over the two guilloche rosettes, there is an octagon with the inscription "FIVE RUBLES", on each side, as well as on top and bottom, the denomination is repeated in ten other major languages of the USSR at that time: Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Turkmen, Tajik, Kazakh and Kyrgyz.


The banknote was introduced in 1938, the old issues were not canceled. They remained in circulation until the reform of 1947. Design developed by I.I. Dubasov - the author of most Soviet banknotes.


In 1938 a series of new Soviet treasury bills with denominations of 1, 3 and 5 rubles was issued. A miner was depicted on the ruble, a Red Army soldier on a three-ruble note, and a paratrooper pilot on a "five". However, initially the artist was faced with the task of depicting a woman on a five-ruble note. The People's Commissar of Finance of the USSR G.F. Grinko in February 1937 approved the drawing, which depicted a woman in a suit. After that, a cliche was made and test prints of the front side were made. However, for some reason, the manufacturing process did not go further. In October 1937, projects were created with the image of a paratrooper, one of which was implemented. (Музей Гознака .rus)

V. A. Berezina (St. Petersburg) - "How a Woman Became a Pilot: Unfulfilled Projects of a Five-Ruble Bill of 1938 Sample."

“The focus of our attention is on unfulfilled projects of the USSR state treasury bill worth 5 rubles of the 1938 model and reconstruction of the history of the creation of this bill. Sources for the report were materials from the Goznak Storage Fund: design drawings and their photocopies, as well as proofs.

Most of the projects of this banknote were completed by II. Dubasov, then the main artist of Goznak. As far as one can judge from their dating, the artist was actively developing the design of the banknote from the summer of 1936. It can be assumed that the artist was originally tasked with depicting a woman on the banknote of five-ruble denomination.


At least five versions of her images, made for this bill, have been preserved.

Most of the drawings lack characteristic details that would help to unambiguously determine the occupation of the depicted women. This distinguishes them from banknote designs in denominations of 1 and 3 rubles (with the image of a miner and a Red Army soldier). Only on one of the options are they shown against the background of factory pipes, which makes us think that they are young workers.

The images of women of all options are similar and characteristic for the second half of the 1930s, when a new type of female image is taking shape: an intelligent one, dressed in a modest business suit, with short hair and low-heeled shoes. In 1935, the famous slogan “Life has become better, life has become more fun!” Was put forward, a shift in the value system took place. In the new Soviet society, a woman had to be able to dress well and tastefully, but inconspicuously.

Komsomol workers of the 1920s, with red scarves and leather jackets, were a thing of the past. They were more appropriate, for example, on postage stamps (where they appeared in 1937), on which there was no such severe restriction on the number of subjects than on banknotes. At the last, all the most advanced should have been shown, and the new Soviet woman met this criterion in the best possible way.

In addition, the theme of the protection of motherhood and childhood in the USSR, in those years, was very relevant. The network of child care facilities, antenatal clinics, etc., was actively developing. The discussion and adoption of the law on the prohibition of abortion (summer 1936) dates back to the same time. Propaganda was chosen as one of the countermeasures to the inevitable negative reaction of part of the population to it. Undoubtedly, the design of the five-ruble, dedicated to the Soviet woman, was one of the ways of this propaganda.


Another confirmation of this is the preserved sketch of the back of a five-ruble ticket with a picture of a children's hearth with children and educators.


As for the woman on the front side, out of five projects, a drawing of a woman in a suit was eventually selected. People's Commissar of Finance of the USSR G.F. Grinko approved it on February 16, 1937. After that, the cliche manufacturing process was launched and test prints of the front side dated 1937 were made.

However, on August 13, 1937, G.F. Grinko was dismissed from the post of People’s Commissar of Finance and expelled from the CPSU (B.), And four days later he was arrested and subsequently shot.


It can be assumed that the arrest of the People's Commissar stopped the process of creating a banknote and influenced a change in its concept. On October 12, 1937, two draft banknotes of five rubles denominated with the image of pilots were dated. One of them was approved for release. The new sketches no longer provided a place for the people's commissar to sign, because after Grinko’s arrest it was decided to remove it completely from banknotes. It can be noted that the second half of the 1930s. - The peak of the popularity of aviation in the USSR. It was in the summer of 1937 that the famous flight of the Soviet ANT-25 aircraft under the direction of V.P. Chkalov from Moscow to Vancouver. The plane on the final version of the sketch of the bill is very similar to one of the ANT-25 (different copies were slightly different from each other). Parachute I.I. Dubasov sketched from a photograph published in the magazine "USSR at a Construction Site," in a 1935 issue dedicated to Soviet paratroopers. As a result, the bill was issued in 1938 in a completely different design than originally intended. The planned unity of the composition of the three banknotes did not work, and the image of a woman on Soviet banknotes never appeared." (How a woman became a pilot: unfulfilled projects of a five-ruble note of the 1938 sample. Numismatic readings of the 2017 State Historical Museum. Moscow .rus).