AbstractResidual stresses induced by laser shock peening in Ti-17 titanium specimens were experimentally and numerically investigated to identify the mechanisms and generation conditions of the retardation of fatigue crack propagation (FCP). The retardation was experimentally observed with fatigue life prolonged by 150%. A multi-step simulation strategy for fatigue life prediction is applied, which successfully predicts the experimentally observed FCP behavior. The fractographic observations and numerical simulation indicate that crack closure, as opposed to other microstructural influences, is the dominant effect on retardation. The studies of multi-FCP aspects show that significant retardation occurs in specimens at high values of residual stresses, small peening gap distances, and lower externally applied loads.