The strengths of metallic multilayers, composed of alternating layers of soft metals such as Cu and Nb, approach the theoretical limit of material strength when the bilayer periods are on the order of a few nanometers. We have investigated the damage mechanisms in these ultra-high strength nanolayered composite materials subjected to monotonic deformation. Large strain plastic deformation such as room temperature rolling does not lead to any dislocation cell structure formation within the layers indicating that the deformation and dislocation storage mechanisms in nanostructured materials are completely different from the bulk. In bulk metals, dislocation pile-ups lead to heterogeneous slip, but in nano-materials, deformation by single dislocations on closely spaced glide planes results in more homogeneously distributed slip. The implications of the high tensile strengths and homogeneous slip on the fatigue properties of nanolayered materials are also discussed.