Once a firm base of operations had been secured within the city proper, the flanks would be expanded and the cutting edge would drive deeper until Madrid had been pounded into submission. The segment of Madrid selected as the first objective, the base from which successive advances into the interior would be mounted, was the area between University City and the Plaza de España. As the Government debated the possibility of defending Madrid and came to the conclusion that the city could not be defended, terrible rumors floated in from Carabanchel. Brandishing daggers, knives, pistols and clubs, crowds moved with improvised leadership towards the flashes of gun-fire on the western and northern approaches to Madrid. From dawn the Madrid radio, monitored by the headquarters of General Mola at Avila, transmitted the mobilization orders to the city. Furthermore, the levers of power were now firmly in the hands of the Madrid communist party and its affiliate, the Unified Socialist Youth.