Wernher Von Braun surrendered with most of his team to an American private. But a large part of his rocket scientists were also caught by the Russians. WI the entire team, their plans & V2 parts had been caught by the Russians?
Without Operation Paperclip, the Russians would have had a huge start. Would it have been sufficient so that there is virtually no US space program ever: no Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, moon landing, space lab or shuttle? Or that NASA would be at least 10 years behind the Russians?
Or would all the stops behind Yankee ingenuity and spies be pulled out, and they'd manage even without Von Braun's team?