Two grades of Steel, with tempered martensitic structure, were used for fatigue tests. From such tests, samples were obtained with significant differences in the probability of fatigue failure. The latter was related to surface/sub-surface misorientation developments and developments in compressive residual stresses. A combination of glancing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) and high resolution cross-sectional EBSD (electron back scattered diffraction) were used. The study brings out a clear correlation between misorientation, residual stress and fatigue life.