Around 150 soldiers are claiming compensation from the Ministry of Defence for injuries caused by the cold similar to the infamous First World War "trench foot", it was revealed today.
The MoD said it regretted any physical problems suffered on duty and would pay out where liable, with the total claim in the region of £5 million to £6 million.
Lawyers acting for the soldiers, many from warmer Commonwealth countries who are far more susceptible, said failures of equipment and training were to blame for cases of Non Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI).
It can lead to life-long sensitivity to the cold and chronic pain.
Solicitor Simon Harrington, of McCool, Patterson, Hemsi, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "These types of injury are entirely avoidable.
"The kit was sub-standard, the training was sub-standard, and the supervision afforded to soldiers, and recruits in particular, was sub-standard," he said.
There had been "fantastic" improvements in training in the light of the claims, he said, but there were still changes needed across the whole of the Army.
One ex-soldier from Nigeria, who was discharged after suffering NFCI, told the programme he contracted it on winter exercises in Wales and now faces constantly sore feet and fingernails which drop off.
"Your feet are stuck in your boots. They are swollen and your fingers feel stiffer to move," he said.
"I was told 'Soldier on, and stop being a wimp'."
He told Today that the Home Office had refused him a visa to return to the UK for the final medical he required to get £150,000 compensation.
Dr Howard Oakley, head of survival and thermal medicine at the Institute of Naval Medicine at Gosport, Hampshire, said African and Afro-Caribbean soldiers were 30 times more likely to attend his clinic.
He agreed that training had improved, telling the BBC: "We've gone from an attitude of 'Well, if you're tough enough' to one where early reporting is mandatory and trainers are always thinking about risk."
An MoD spokesman said: "The MoD regrets any injury suffered by our personnel while on duty.
"We can confirm that approximately 150 claims for non-freezing cold injury are currently being investigated. Where the MoD is liable for injury, compensation will be paid."