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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: 1938
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 х 70
Printer: Goznak, 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, and...giving 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.


Now I will allow myself to express my personal assumption about the screw of the aircraft seen on the banknote, behind the pilot.

I repeat - this is only my personal assumption.

On the banknote is a Soviet R-5 airplane.

The Polikarpov R-5 was a Soviet reconnaissance bomber aircraft of the 1930s. It was the standard light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of the Soviet Air Force for much of the 1930s, while also being used heavily as a civilian light transport, some 7,000 being built in total.

The R-5 was developed by the design bureau led by Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov as a replacement for the R-1 which served as the standard reconnaissance and light bomber aircraft with the Soviet Air Force.

The prototype first flew in autumn 1928, powered by an imported German BMW VI V-12 engine. It was an unequal-span single-bay biplane of mainly wooden construction.

After extensive evaluation, the R-5 entered production in 1930, powered by the Mikulin M-17, a licence-built copy of the BMW-VI, as a reconnaissance bomber. Further modified versions were produced to serve as floatplanes, ground-attack aircraft and civil transports.

The R-5SSS, an improved reconnaissance bomber with improved streamlining, served as the basis for the Polikarpov R-Z, which succeeded the R-5 in production.

The aircraft was designed by Nikolai Polikarpov in 1928. 1,000 aircraft were manufactured for Aeroflot under the designation P-5. The aircraft was also taken into the Soviet Air Force's use in 1931. They operated 5,000 aircraft under the designation R-5.

The R-5 became the standard reconnaissance and attack aircraft with the Soviet Air Force, being used in large numbers, with over 100 regiments equipped with the R-5. R-5s served with the Soviet Air Force and Mongolian People's Air Force during the 1939 Battle of Khalkhin Gol fought against the Japanese and, took active part in the Soviet invasion of Poland (1939), and the 1939-1940 Winter War against Finland, where they were known as the hermosaha ("nerve saw"). The Finns downed and captured several R-5s, but none were taken into operational service. They remained in service during the war against Germany in 1941-45, where they were mainly used as night bombers and liaison aircraft, serving until 1944.

R-5s were also used by the Spanish Republican Air Force in the Spanish Civil War, 31 being sold to Spain. These arrived in November 1936, and were quickly deployed on combat operations, but were found to be slow and were relegated to night bombing. Seven R-5s remained in good condition in March 1939. The aircraft was known as the "Rasante" (roughly translated as "Low flying") in the Spanish Republican Air Force.

Civil versions of the R-5 were used in large numbers, mainly by Aeroflot. They were used to carry up to 400 kg. (882 lb.) of freight, with many being fitted with an enlarged rear cockpit to carry two passengers. Other aircraft were fitted with enclosed cabins for passengers. P-5s could also be used to carry underwing containers (or Kasseta) for freight or passengers with one P-5 carrying 16 adults, including seven in each Kasseta. Ski-equipped P-5s carrying Kasseta paid a key role in the rescue of the crew of the icebound Soviet steamship Chelyuskin in 1934. Civil R-5s remained in service until after the end of the Second World War.

There is also an assumption on the site of Goznak Museum, that the male screw on the banknote belongs to the ANT-25 aircraft, on which Chkalov's crew was flying across the North Pole.

Despite the fact that it fits the topic, I still hold a different opinion.

However, about the ANT-25 airplane you can read here .


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.