Using Tresca's yield criterion and its associated flow rule, solutions are obtained for the stresses and strains when a thick-walled tube is subject to internal pressure and subsequent unloading. A bilinear hardening material model in which allowances are made for a Bauschinger effect is adopted. A variable elastic range and different rates under forward and reversed deformation are assumed. Prager's translation law is obtained as a particular case. The solutions are practically analytic. However, a numerical technique is necessary to solve transcendental equations. Conditions are expressed for which the release is purely elastic and elastic–plastic. The importance of verifying conditions under which the Tresca theory is valid is emphasized. Possible numerical difficulties with solving equations that express these conditions are highlighted. The effect of kinematic hardening law on the validity of the solutions found is demonstrated.