Results of experimental and finite element study on fracture behavior of damaged thin plate specimens subjected to lateral pressure are presented. Plate specimens with a single crack or an array of collinear cracks were tested applying lateral pressure load by using a specially designed experimental setup. The elastic plastic fracture mechanics concept (EPFM) was employed in FE analyses, as large scale yielding occurred in ligaments of fractured specimens. The critical J-integral and crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) values associated with fracture onset were inferred from finite element simulation results. Assessed critical pressure loads for considered plate specimens were compared with experimentally obtained results and a good agreement was ob-served.