The Victory Loan and banknotes with Alexander Nevsky: glimpses of history of Goznaks military products9 2018

The Victory Loan and banknotes with Alexander Nevsky: glimpses of history of Goznaks military products

The Great Patriotic war changed the life of our country dramatically. It touched every enterprise, every house, everybody. Goznak went through the wartime difficulties in full measure. Evacuation of Goznaks enterprises to Krasnokamsk and Tashkent, blockade routine of the Leningrad Mint, hard labor of the Moscow Printing Factory, foundation of a mint in Moscow these are all important marks of Goznaks military history. In the extreme conditions, with lack of materials and work force, it was necessary to master new products starting with mustard-gas protective paper produced at the Leningrad Paper Mill and up to the military bonds and state decorations issued in the increased amounts during the wartime.

Artists of Goznak headed by Ivan Dubasov also worked hard during the wartime. Their most important task was designing military bonds and banknotes.

The military bonds were issued four times in 1942 1945. They looked more like agitation posters. Attacking soldiers of the Red Army, tanks and planes, wartime banners and reconstruction of ruined buildings were depicted on them. It is interesting to note that the last the fourth military loan was initially called The Victory Loan, and was renamed The Fourth State Military Loan at the last moment. Ivan Dubasov had to remake the sketches of the bonds and change their name urgently.

It is not so well-known that besides the bonds, the artists of Goznak designed sketches of the soviet banknotes. Those of them that were never issued are the most interesting. They are first of all a series of paper money dedicated to the Russian military commanders. It was probably planned to place anonymized images of the war heroes foot-soldiers, sailors, pilots on one- to five-rouble banknotes. It was planned to apply portraits of military commanders Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov on banknotes with higher face values. If they had been fulfilled, the circulation would have probably seen the most interesting series of the soviet banknotes. The sketches were likely made in 1942 the beginning of 1943. However, the idea about the future currency reform appeared shortly after, and the issue of the new military money was considered unfeasible. Already in 1943 1945, sketches of the new money were created, and there was no place for the military topic on it; the large denominations were decorated with Lenins portrait only. They were printed in 1946 1947 and put into circulation on December 15, 1947.

During the wartime, not only the soviet paper money, but also banknotes of the socialist countries Albania, China, Mongolia, Czechoslovakia were designed. Their production was one of Goznaks priority tasks during the last years of the war; it is now one of the most underexplored pages of its history.

Andrey Bogdanov,
The Exhibition Complex of Goznak

Translated by Tatiana Ugryumova
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