films The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant  

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For those eager to see history come to life, here are the best history documentaries on Netflix, as ranked by history buffs. Netflix is the perfect place to catch up on the latest and greatest historical documentaries. This list of Netflix historical documentaries is full of movies and miniseries about politics, science, and even sports. Many of the best history documentaries streaming on Netflix are about World War II, but there are plenty of others chronicling diverse eras and historical figures.

Ken Burns is considered one of the best documentary filmmakers of all time. His documentaries The War, Prohibition, and The Civil War are all available on Netflix Instant. Netflix released an original documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, in 2014. Errol Morris's The Unknown Known is another great historical documentary that looks at more recent history.

Several great Netflix documentaries are about presidents. JFK: A President Betrayed and Our Nixon are two informative films. On a very different note, The Decent One takes an in depth look at Nazi Leader Heinrich Himmler through diary entries, letters, and memos.

Vote up the best Netflix history documentaries below. If there's an excellent Netflix historical documentary that's not included, add it to the list of documentaries before it's history.

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H. H. Holmes: America's First ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer is a 2004 biographical documentary film directed by John Borowski. The film relates the true life story of American serial killer H. H. Holmes. ...more

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Tesla: Master of Lightning is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Winston Churchill: Walking wit... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny is a 2010 documentary biography film directed by Richard Trank.

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The First World War from Above is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Death Camp Treblinka: Survivor... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Battle of Britain: The Real St... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Battle of Britain: The Real Story James Holland presents a fresh analysis into the Battle of Britain, exploring the lesser-told German point of view, and highlighting the role of those who supported the Few during the summer of ...more

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The Galapagos Affair: Satan Ca... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden is a 2013 documentary biographical crime film directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine.

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Hiroshima: BBC History of Worl... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II Hiroshima is a BBC docudrama that premiered as a television special on 5 August 2005, marking the eve of the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The program was aired on the ...more

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Little Hope Was Arson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Little Hope Was Arson Little Hope Was Arson is a 2013 documentary, crime and drama film directed by Theo Love.

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The Truth Behind: The Freemaso... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Secrets of Scotland Yard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Secrets of Scotland Yard Secrets of Scotland Yard is a film directed by George Blair released on Jul 26, 1944.

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The Trials of Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
The Trials of Muhammad Ali The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a 2013 documentary, biography, sport, war film directed by Bill Siegel.

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The Truth Behind: The Ark is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Janis: Little Girl Blue is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Crips and Bloods: Made in Amer... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Deep Water is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Deep Water Deep Water is a documentary film, directed by Jerry Rothwell and Louise Osmond, produced by Jonny Persey, opening in the UK on 15 December 2006. It is based on the true story of Donald Crowhurst ...more

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Detropia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Detropia Detropia is a 2012 documentary film, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, about the city of Detroit, Michigan. It focuses on the decline of the economy of Detroit due to long-term changes ...more

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Last Days in Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Last Days in Vietnam Last Days in Vietnam is a historic war documentary written by Mark Bailey and Keven McAlester and directed by Rory Kennedy.

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Steal a Pencil for Me is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Steal a Pencil for Me The true story of the troubled marriage of Jaap and Manja Polak, who lived in German occupied Amsterdam.

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Night Will Fall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Night Will Fall Night Will Fall is a 2014 documentary film directed by Andre Singer that chronicles the making of the 1945 British government documentary German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. The 1945 ...more

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The Battered Bastards of Baseb... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
The Battered Bastards of Baseball The Battered Bastards of Baseball is a 2014 documentary film about the Portland Mavericks, a defunct Minor League Baseball team which operated from 1973 through 1977. Owned by actor Bing ...more

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The Witness is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
The Witness The Witness is a 2015 American documentary by director James D. Solomon. Narrated by William Genovese, the documentary investigates the killing of his sister, Kitty Genovese, in Kew Garden, on ...more

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Hitler, a Career is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Hitler, a Career Hitler, a Career is a 1977 documentary film written by Joachim Fest and directed by Christian Herrendoerfer and Joachim Fest.

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Churchill's First World War is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Churchill's First World War Drama-documentary about Winston Churchill's extraordinary experiences during the Great War, with intimate letters to his wife Clementine allowing the story to be told largely in his own words. ...more

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NOVA: Megastorm Aftermath is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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Inside the Hunt for the Boston... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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American Revolutionary: The Ev... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs is a 2013 American biographical documentary film directed by Grace Lee.

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Flight of the Butterflies is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant
Flight of the Butterflies Flight of the Butterflies is a 2012 Canadian documentary film directed and co-written by Mike Slee for 3D IMAX, starring Megan Follows, Gordon Pinsent, and Shaun Benson. The film covers Dr. Fred ...more

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The Truth Behind: The Nevada T... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant

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From Caligari to Hitler: Germa... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best History Documentaries on Netflix Instant