In-situ tensile tests have been performed in a dual beam focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope on as-grown and prestrained single-crystal molybdenum-alloy (Mo-alloy) fibers. The fibers had approximately square cross sections with submicron edge lengths and gauge lengths in the range of 9–41 μm. In contrast to previously observed yield strengths near the theoretical strength of 10 GPa in compression tests of ∼1–3-μm long pillars made from similar Mo-alloy single crystals, a wide scatter of yield strengths between 1 and 10 GPa was observed in the as-grown fibers tested in tension. Deformation was dominated by inhomogeneous plastic events, sometimes including the formation of Lüders bands. In contrast, highly prestrained fibers exhibited stable plastic flow, significantly lower yield strengths of ∼1 GPa, and stress–strain behavior very similar to that in compression. A simple, statistical model incorporating the measured dislocation densities is developed to explain why the tension and compression results for the as-grown fibers are different.