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What is the army smell?

Although I'm not a military man my limited experience with the army left a lasting impression of the "army smell" - the dank, musty smell of the back of bedfords and of stores. Its a smell I've never smelt anywhere else before.....what is it? Is there such a thing as the "army's smell" - what is it?
Wet cam nets, tentage (9 x 9, 12 x 12, etc), hexi blocks (though not smelt so much in these days of Peak stoves), hessian, cordite(?) after firing your rifle, weapon oil, diesel, exhaust fumes, '58 Patt webbing (not worn it for years but can still smell it!). When a singlie, the smell of curry and stale kebabs in the block over the weekend!

Hope this helps!

Damp hessian.


Gun oil mixed with some form of propellant.


The remains of 20 Rothmans.

The hint of CIVGAS/DIESO

..........and all wrapped up in a curry or kebab fart.
The smell of a patrol after 21 days in the ulu,has been known to cause RN
Wessex crews to vomit,and make the pilot fly sideways to air the chopper
8O :D
The fruity aroma of a compo anaconda previously left by someone else in the OP...............

How I laughed at the MFC whilst going back to the mortar line!

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