Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq have secured a victory in the latest round of a compensation fight with ministers.
The Court of Appeal said families could pursue damages claims against the Government. Three appeal judges announced the decision after a hearing in London.
Relatives say the Ministry of Defence failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment which could have saved lives and should pay compensation. MoD bosses say decisions about battlefield equipment are for politicians and military commanders.
The judges ruled that relatives could pursue claims on grounds of negligence. A lawyer representing the families described the ruling as "an important victory".
The Court of Appeal announcement followed a ruling in June 2011 by a High Court judge, who said relatives could pursue claims on negligence grounds - but not under human rights legislation.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) appealed against Mr Justice Owen's ruling on negligence claims - while the relatives challenged his findings on the human rights issue.
Legal action was started as a result of the deaths of a number of British soldiers following the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, judges heard.
Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, of Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was killed in a "friendly fire" incident in March 2003. He died after a Challenger 2 tank was hit by another Challenger 2 tank.
Shubhaa Srinivasan, a partner with law firm Leigh Day & Co, which is representing the family of Cpl Allbutt and the surviving servicemen, said: "We await the verdict, having fought for many years to get these claims to court. We maintain that the MoD's position has been morally and legally indefensible, as they owe a duty of care to those who fight on behalf of this country.
"British troops should at the very least have adequate equipment and training, ranging from the very basic such as a GPS devices, to sophisticated satellite tracker systems, which the Americans had available to them. It seems incredible that it was often left up to soldiers themselves to buy this equipment as they felt compelled to, so as to better protect their own lives and the lives of those they were responsible for."