The influence of composition and microstructure on susceptibility to hydrogen induced cracking (HIC) was investigated in high strength pipeline steels, with Mn contents of 1.2% (standard, X70), and 0.5% (medium, MX70). The HIC resistance of the simulated coarse grained heat affected zone microstructures and normalized X70 transfer bar was also investigated. Notched and fatigue pre-cracked samples were charged with hydrogen prior to three point bend tests. The conditional fracture toughness JQ was determined. The results are discussed in relation to grain size, microstructure, composition and the type and distribution of non-metallic inclusions and precipitates.