@ gary: Pandouri
Gary, just ask!
Now, this is a rough story - which will shed some light on modern fashion, not really arms related.
In the slang of Balkan people, pandur (origin from word you mentioned) means a cop, in a bad manner. This is a policeman in bad meaning of the word, somebody terrorizing poor honest and peaceful people...
The word comes from the time of mediaval wars, when one of most succesful military leaders was Baron Franjo Trenk. He had formed a unit under his command of elite soldiers and cavalary, fighting against the enemies of Austria. (foreign and domestic)
The name of unit was "Trenkovi panduri", or "the Trenks pandours".
Thats the answer you asked for, however the story goes on.
The unit was formed in 1740 for the purpose of fighting the war with Prussians by barun Franjo Trenk and full support of Maria Teresia, the Austrian Empress. At the begging the unit consisted of 1000 men. In later years upgraded to more then 3000. the ranks were split between pandoures (infantry), and housars (cavalry).
Pandours weaponry consisted of two pairs of muzzle loading pistols, a sword, a sabre and a muzzleloading rifle or musket. During their war history they were deployed from France, to Prussia and up to Checkia. Their skill, succes and ruthlessness against much stronger enemy force made their name quite infamous.
Barun Trenks exploits were noted amongst the wider European nobility, and there was always need for skilled and experienced soldiers to be used in other smaller wars and conflicts elsewhere in Europe.
So, it was Baron Trenk, with his pandoures often called for assistance when the need arose. And was paid well for the services rendered.
There was widely spread saying amongst middle Eropean nations saying: "God save us from plague and Croats", which is quite self explanatory. i would guess, from the reason that lower ranks were fighting for the prize...
So his unit was one of the first in history to be used as "soldiers of fortune", or hired paramilitary unit, which is hystorically less known fact.
They acted within strict military discipline (at liest on the battlefield) and one of their symbols was a tie, as a part of their uniform, the rest of uniform looked very much made under turkish influence - for simple reason - they kicked the Otomans out of Slavonia - northern part of Croatia, and took their colors, to which they integrated a tie. This also added to their image of fearless and ruthless combatants.
This is the same tie we use today - this was actually first used as a part of military uniform and their symbol widely recognized, feared and deeply respected.
The other word for a tie, is "kravata", or "croata", and simply beacuse these guys were Croats, thus the name for this fashion article.
The nobility (they were fighting for) quickly accepted this part of uniform as a fashion and status symbol of a winning side, and the tie remained in western dress code ever since.
Completely off-topic, but there is another story of why the buttons on the sleeves are part of modern business suits. The story goes like this: great percentage of Austro hunagrian court servants came from Croatian rural country. Those servants had a nasty habit of wiping their noses using their sleeves, which did not look good at all.
So some of the Austrian emperors (not sure which) put a stop to nose wiping using sleeves by making an order that servants uniform must have buttons starting from elbow, down to wrist.
Thus even the buttons remained.(on modern suit)
Last edited by jolly1; February 27, 2013 at 01:18 PM.