I hate to tell you this, but in 1940 both the UK and the US were woefully unprepared to take on Hitler. The UK didn't have enough rifles, let alone airplanes, tanks, trucks, boats, ships, etc to pose a serious threat to Hitlers plans.
In the US, recruits were marching around with broomsticks because of a lack of military rifles.
It took about 3 years for the US and UK to begin making any serious headway against the Nazi war machine.
I think when tribal referred to "gear", he was referring figuratively rather than literally. I may be wrong but it sounds like you could substitute "stones", "cajones" or "big steel ones" for "gear" to get an idea of what he was saying.
I can certainly see how you could misinterpret and I may be totally wrong, however. If so, I apologize in advance. (hows that for a PC rear end covering statement?
Spine, heart, balls, cajones, Big Brass Ones, piss and vinegar.
Europe at one time had some fight in them. Now...