This paper deals with the failure of compression-loaded sandwich panels with an implanted circular face/core debond. Uniform compression tests were conducted on intact sandwich panels with three different types of core material (H130, H250 and PMI) and on similar panels with circular face/core debonds having three different diameters. The strains and out-of-plane displacements of the panel surface were monitored using the digital image correlation technique. Mixed mode bending tests were conducted to determine the fracture toughness of the face/core interface of the panels. Finite element analysis and linear elastic fracture mechanics were employed to determine the critical buckling load and compression strength of the panels. Modeling approaches and failure criteria are discussed. Numerically determined crack propagation loads in most of the cases show a fair agreement with experimental results, but in a few cases up to 45% deviation is seen between numerical and experimental results. This can be ascribed to several factors such as the large scatter in the measured interface fracture toughness, differing crack tip details and crack growth mechanisms between the panels and the mixed mode bending specimens. Tentative strength reduction curves are presented, but uncertainty concerning the intact strengths of the materials used needs to be removed before these can be utilized with confidence.