Battle of Shanghai: Black Saturday

"Crying Baby" Staged Photo

There is a much publicized photo that instigated hostility against Japan in 1937. The following gcrying babyh photo appeared in October 4, 1937 edition of the gLIFEh magazine. This photo is still being used today in various websites as an evidence to indicate "Japanese aggression and atrocity."

This photo was was photographed by Wang Xiao-ting (, a.k.a. gNewsreelh Wang) sometime after the bombardment of the Shanghai South Station by Japanfs planes that took place at 3:00 p.m., August 28, 1937.

By this time, the Chinese KMT Forces swarmed in the outskirts of Shanghai City and its 87th and 88th Divisions commenced their assaults on August 13 from the northwest corner of the city against the Japanese Marine Corps stationed around the Eight Letters Bridge District (n) for the defense of Japanese residents in Shanghai.

Against the disparity of the troop sizes, which was 10 to 1, the Japanese Marine Corps fiercely fought the battles while asking the Army HQ in Tokyo to send more troops to Shanghai. Out of the fear of the possible recurrence of the Tsushu Massacre iʏBsEjthat took the lives of 300 Japanese residents in China, Tokyo decided to send two Army divisions (Nagoya 11th and Zentsuji 11th) to Shanghai. The Battle of Shanghai escalated into a full-scale war between the Chinese KMT Forces and the Japanese Army.

On August 14, Chinese fighter planes appeared over the sky of Shanghai and one of the planes tried to bombard the Battleship Izumo, a Japanese Navy ship stationed along the Japanese Concession. Fired back from the battleship, the panicked pilot mistakenly bombarded the nearby entertainment district and hotels. The Battleship Izumo was intact and there was no damage. Other Chinese planes bombarded the French Concession and the International Concession. This intentional bombardment of the Chinese KMT Air Force against its own people caused the death toll of 1,741 and 1,868 injured. Most of them were Chinese. (Source:China Yearbook 1938)

Pitched battles followed with no end in sight and, on August 28, in a frantic attempt to cut-off the enemy supply route, Japanfs fighter planes bombarded the Shanghai South Station, then the supply depot of the Chinese KMT Forces.

These "Flying Tiger" pilots were typical examples of gullible Americans who were easily deceived by Chinese con artists. Click the image to watch "The Story of The Flying Tigers" on Youbube.

gMy sympathies were of course with Chinese people because of the atrocities that I had seen in the newsreels and so forth the Japanese had subjected the Chinese people to, and one very impressive picture I saw was a little baby in the rail station I think in Shanghai.h

It was the Chinese Nationalist Forces who attacked on the Japanese Marine Corps stationed in Shanghai first and the bombardment on the civilian district was caused by Chinese Nationalist fighter planes. In other words, Chiang Kai-shek killed his own people to provoke and lure the Japanese Army into the fortifications equipped with German field artilleries and machine guns created in the suburbs of Shanghai.

Click the image below to view the KMT fortifications created between Shanghai and Nanking

BTW, there are at least two other different versions of this gBlack Saturday Crying Babyh photo.

One appears in a book titled gHistory of the 20th Century: World War IIh edited by John Campbell (below) and the other appears in the gBattle of Chinah directed by Frank Capra.

History of the 20th Century (p.23)

Battle of China (21:25-24:27)

Rape of Nanking (3) (11:48)


You may wonder why there are some different scenes for the photo that is supposed to be the documentary. The documentary photo is a snapshot of one scene the photographer has come across by chance.

Therefore, the author considers the photo is the so-called STAGED PHOTO intentionally created.

Conveniently Placed Toys

Click the image to find more Staged Photo Techniques

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