The tensile fracture behavior of oxide dispersion strengthened 18Cr (ODS-18Cr) ferritic steels milled for varying times was studied along with the oxide-free 18Cr steel (NODS) at 25, 200, 400, 600, and 800 °C. At all the test temperatures, the strengths of ODS–18Cr steels increased and total elongation decreased with the duration of milling time. Oxide dispersed 18Cr steel with optimum milling exhibited enhanced yield strength of 156 pct at room temperature and 300 pct at 800 °C when compared to oxide-free 18Cr steel. The ductility values of ODS-18Cr steels are in the range 20 to 35 pct for a temperature range 25 to 800 °C, whereas NODS alloy exhibited higher ductility of 37 to 82 pct. The enhanced strength of ODS steels when compared to oxide-free steel is due to the development of ultrafine grained structure along with nanosized dispersion of complex oxide particles. While the pre-necking elongation decreased with increasing temperature and milling time, post-necking elongation showed no change with the test temperature. Fractographic examination of both ODS and NODS 18Cr steel fractured tensile samples, revealed that the failure was in ductile fracture mode with distinct neck and shear lip formation for all milling times and at all test temperatures. The fracture mechanism is in general followed the sequence; microvoid nucleation at second phase particles, void growth and coalescence. The quantified dimple sizes and numbers per unit area were found to be in linear relation with the size and number density of dispersoids. It is clearly evident that even nanosized dispersoids acted as sites for microvoid nucleation at larger strains and assisted in dimple rupture. © 2021, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International.